1. Complete My Personal Reading Challenges
Last December I decided I wanted to do two reading challenges for 2016. I was going to re-read 12 old favorites from my bookshelf, and I wanted to try 12 new authors.
Old Favorites: I only read 2 of the 12 books I selected. I've given up on this challenge. Re-reading is hard for me unless I'm listening to an audiobook. I have a hard time focusing when I already know the story, even if it's a story I love. I'd rather being reading new books, and that's OK. I'm alright with failing this personal challenge. I wanted to do it, so I could give the books away without feeling bad that I hadn't read them recently. Now I know that I don't really want them, so I'm going to give them away. See #4 below.
New Authors: I was doing really well with this challenge. I read a new author per month for the first half of the year, and then my reading schedule got crazy! I joined another book club, and I got a ton of ARCs at BEA (see #2 and #6 below). I loved 3 of the 6 new authors, and I do still want to try the others. I just don't know that I'll get to them in 2016, and I'm mostly OK with that.
2. Read More ARCs
I may have gotten a little carried away here. I've reviewed 22 adult/YA books and 16 children's books on NetGalley so far this year, and I have 23 books sitting on my shelf to read and review. I also came back from BEA with 72 books (mostly ARCs). I've reviewed 25 of them here on Mom's Radius and a handful more over on Opinionated Book Lover. Not to mention other ARCs I've been sent by publishers - solicited and unsolicited. I think I accomplished this goal!
3. Participate in Reading Together Book Club
I did OK with this goal. Christopher and I read the Arctic picture book together back in February, and we read the Australian picture book in July. I've been a co-host for September and October, so I read all 3 books (picture, middle grade, and YA) and blogged about them and let discussions on Facebook. Hootsuite helped tremendously here. I am calling this one done as well. (I will still participate in November/December by at least reading the picture book with Christopher.)
4. Use a Little Free Library
I haven't used a Little Free Library yet, but I found a couple in my neighborhood, and I am going to drop off some of my ARCs as soon as I verify that I've emailed all my review links to the publishers. I am also going to use them as a marketing opportunity for my blogs by printing stickers with my blog logo, URL, tagline, and description and putting them inside the front covers. I figure it can't hurt to have that information in there as the books are passed from person to person.
5. Carve Out Regular Time to Write
I have still not managed to find regular writing time. I squeeze it in wherever I can. Lately I have been building the shell of all of my posts for the month for Opinionated Book Lover in one sitting because finding the images, etc. can take the longest sometimes. I had always been planning out my blog posts well in advance, but now I've made it a little easier to write true content when I find the time. I need to get a little more organized with Mom's Radius, although it's not as challenging since I don't have feature images for all of the posts on this blog.
6. Attend BEA
Done! I went, and it was amazing. Read more in my recap post and my most anticipated BEA books post. I don't know that I'll make it to NYC in 2017, but I sure would love to go again.
7. Learn SEO
I took an SEO course online through Gale Courses offered free through my public library. It was pretty helpful, but I didn't implement everything I learned. I also took a Google Analytics course that wasn't quite as good. I am doing better with SEO on Opinionated Book Lover because of the Yoast SEO plug-in. I would really like to move Mom's Radius over to WordPress. I like that platform a lot better.
8. Get in Shape
I was doing better with going to the gym before work thanks to my mommy friends, but I sort of feel off the bandwagon over the summer. The Whole 30 has helped me lose some weight, so now I need to get back to the gym regularly. I'll keep working on this goal.
9. Be a More Fun Mom
I am failing at this goal big time. Even while Jim is away for work, I haven't been that fun. I'm shuttling him around to organized activities (i.e. baseball, soccer) or taking him places that he loves (i.e. trampoline park), but I'm not really participating with him. I would still like to improve in this area. We need to find something that he and I both enjoy.
10. Travel to One New Place
This hasn't happened yet. We were going to do the Savage Race in a different location, but due to costs and scheduling, it just worked out better to go to the one near my sister's house. I really wanted to go to Oregon just for fun, but I didn't get it together and plan it well enough. And now with my new job (which pays a lot less), this goal has become less important to me. I am still hoping we might go somewhere over Christmas break - maybe Atlanta. But I'd be OK if it doesn't happen this year.
Did you set goals for 2016? How are you doing?
On the blog last year...
I'm changing my blog URL