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The Sunday Salon: Goals, Goals, and More Goals

The Sunday Salon.com Ok, this is the final meta-book and blogging post for the foreseeable future. Next week I’ll be back to reviews and other bookish stuff, promise. But my first post for 2010 was a review of my 2009 goals and setting my goals for 2010, and it seems like a good way to start 2011.

Looking back, I like the way that post was formatted, so I’m going to mimic it for this year.

I set six goals for 2010, which were a mixed success:

  • Review books in a timely manner. — This remains a big fail. At this moment, I have books from October that I haven’t finished reviewing yet. Shame! This will be another goal for 2011.
  • Continue to take notes while I read. — This has been hit and miss, still. I abandoned the red notebook I was using because I didn’t like carrying it everywhere and started using big post it notes at the back of each book. This works when I, 1) Remember to do it, and 2) Have a pen with me. Another thing to continue to improve on.
  • Acknowledge other bloggers. — I think I’m starting to do with with my Monday Tally link round up posts, although I could do more to include book bloggers rather than links from other news sources. I’ve also been trying to continue to include other blogger reviews with mine and reference other bloggers, but I think this is still ongoing.
  • Start my Nonfiction Five feature. — Accomplished!
  • Give myself permission to step away. — This is one I definitely accomplished. In looking back over old posts, I saw that officially unplugged for a bit in January, March, and again just a few weeks ago around Thanksgiving. And you know what, nothing terrible happened while I was gone. Lesson learned 🙂

Now, the more fun part — what do I want to accomplish in 2011?

Catch up on review copies. I’ve gotten into the unfortunate habit of accepting review copies, then letting them sit on my shelf for a really, really long time. This year, I want to be more efficient reading and reviewing these books, or deciding they aren’t for me and passing them on to another reader. I have about 25 unread review copies now, which I hope to reduce to 5 to 10 by April 1, 2011.

To help that along, I decided to sign up for The TBR Dare, which is hosted by Ready When You Are, CB. The idea is to make a pledge about how long you are planning to read from your TBR pile. My goal is all the way through the challenge (April 1, 2011). I will have some exceptions for books for my book club and library books that are currently on hold. There might be more, we’ll see how it goes!

My first goal might be conflict with my second goal, which is to balance personal, review, and borrowed books. In 2010, I wanted to read 50 percent personal, 25 percent review, and 25 percent borrowed books. I didn’t quite make that, but that’s ok; goals are ongoing projects. I’m also modifying my percentages a bit for 2011: 40 percent personal, 60 percent review or borrowed.

Give the blog a redesign. I love my South Park character, so that’s definitely going to stay, but the rest of the blog needs a bit of a face lift. I’m not sure I want to do this myself though — any aspiring and low cost designers interested in working on the site?

Be more consistent about blog features. I’m talking mostly about Narrative Nonfiction 5 lists, but overall I think blogging consistency is a challenge for me. I’m a very mood-centric blogger for features, which means they come mostly when inspiration strikes. I could be better about this.

Write two reviews per week. When I was in school, my goal was one review a week. Now that I’m out, I think two is a more than reasonable goal. I think setting this goal will help me review things in a more timely manner. I’m also going to use more mini reviews and comparative reviews to keep up.

Vary up my post types. I tend to get in a rut of 700ish word posts ALL. THE. TIME. For 2011, I’d like to do more types of posts — lists, vlogs, short posts, pictures, or anything else.

Give myself a break. I realized that over the last month or so I’ve started out just about every post with some version of, “I meant to do X, but then that didn’t happen. I’m not good at Y.” That’s just lame because no one reading this cares what I meant to do or needs me to keep complaining about myself. So in 2011 I’m going to try to give myself (and all of you) a break from the pressure I put on myself.

So that’s what I’ve got. Let me know your thoughts, and welcome to 2011 everyone!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) January 2, 2011, 10:48 am

    Great goals – we should all give ourselves a break. Happy New Year!

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 10:55 pm

      bermudaonion: That’s the one I think I have the hardest time with — I’m pretty self-critical by nature. So it perpetually gets added to my goals to see if I can get better every year.

  • Miss Remmers January 2, 2011, 10:57 am

    I think these sound like GREAT goals! Happy New Year!

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 10:56 pm

      Miss Remmers: Thank you, and same to you!

  • Anastasia January 2, 2011, 12:38 pm

    Excellent goals! Also, I was thinking: for taking your notes what you could try is using a strip of blank paper as your bookmark. Then you can mark page numbers or whatever down on it, and it’s be right there and waiting and you wouldn’t have to flip to the back or anything. Although taking notes is dependant on a pen, haha!

    For your blog redesign: do you like the layout still? Because if you do, maybe all you really need to do is change the colors and fiddle with things in the sidebar. New colors always freshen a blog up, and moving sidebar widgets around always makes ME feel like I’m got a newer design. 😀

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 10:58 pm

      Anastasia: I like the idea of a blank paper bookmark, that could work except for the pen problem. As for the redesign, I paid for a theme like a year ago that has a lot of built in customization, so I could just try messing around with that and see if I can figure out something I like better. I haven’t done much html recently, so maybe it would be a good project for brushing up on it. And yes, moving widgets around is a great idea — mine haven’t changed in at least a year!

  • Amy January 2, 2011, 1:00 pm

    Congrats over the last year and all the best in 2011. Some great resolutions for sure. I have the same issue with notes – I hate when I don’t have a pen on me!

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 10:58 pm

      Amy: I lose pens all the time. I think it doesn’t help that my cat LOVES to bat pens around and so ends up knocking all of them underneath beds and couches and bookshelves.

  • Jenny January 2, 2011, 1:42 pm

    I neatened up my blog earlier this year, changing the masthead (finally!) and reorganizing some of the posts. It wasn’t a big change by any means, but it made me feel all fresh and new. 🙂

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 10:59 pm

      Jenny: That’s a good idea. Maybe just a different font in the header would make things feel refreshed. I’m sensing a Bloggiesta project or two 🙂

  • softdrink January 2, 2011, 2:50 pm

    I’m having fail issues myself with timely reviews. I still have books from October and November that I never posted about.

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:14 pm

      softdrink: I have October books that I want to write about but haven’t yet. I’ve been trying to knock those off this week so I can be mostly caught up soon. I really want to get better about that, since if you wait forever to write a review it’s hard to think of anything to say! But at least I’m not the only one 🙂

  • Jeane January 2, 2011, 3:22 pm

    I do exactly what Anastasia suggested- keep a blank scrap of paper as a bookmark. But them I’m always searching for a pen, or when I have one, loosing it in the couch cushions!

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:14 pm

      Jeane: Yes! Couch cushions are the other place I always lose pens. Maybe I need a pen necklace or something…

  • Bibliophile By the Sea January 2, 2011, 3:33 pm

    Sounds like some very realistic goals Kim; good luck

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:15 pm

      Bibliophile By the Sea: I hope they’re realistic. Sometimes even “easy” ones don’t get achieved, but we’ll see how the year goes 🙂

  • Florinda January 2, 2011, 3:35 pm

    I really like your Narrative Nonfiction 5 lists and will be glad to see them more often! And I enjoy your Monday Tally – even more since I’ve been slacking on my own link round-ups :-).

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:16 pm

      Florinda: Thanks — I’m glad you like both of those features! I enjoy working on them, they’re both just sort of time consuming so I sometimes avoid just sitting down to write them!

  • Jennifer January 2, 2011, 6:03 pm

    These are really great goals, some that I might consider adopting myself (like giving myself a break and varying my blog post types!). I know I’m definitely Looking forward to following your blog for another year!

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:17 pm

      Jennifer: I feel like I used to be better about varying my post types, but have gotten into sort of a rut lately. I’m not sure what exactly to do to get myself out of it, but I’m hoping that setting the goal will at least help!

  • Vasilly January 2, 2011, 6:51 pm

    Great goals. I really need to try using a notebook more. I have the really small post-its I use when I want to mark a great passage. Good luck and happy new year.

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:29 pm

      Vasilly: I used to do lots of small post its, but then I’d forget why I marked passages and that annoyed me. The notebook or big post it helps with that problem, which I like.

  • Nicole January 2, 2011, 7:16 pm

    Happy New Year Kim. I am glad that you have decided to give yourself more of a break this year. Enjoy your reading and good luck with your goals.

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:30 pm

      Nicole: Thank you, and same to you! Giving myself a break is a perpetual goal for me 🙂

  • Amanda January 2, 2011, 8:24 pm

    Good luck with all of these! 🙂

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:30 pm

      Amanda: Thank you — I hope none of them are so difficult that I won’t be able to achieve them 🙂

  • Cass January 2, 2011, 10:38 pm

    Good luck with your goals this year! I wish I was better at taking notes while reading, but I only really do that when I can write IN the actual book…which I haven’t done since college. Maybe big post-its are the answer for me, too!

    Happy New Year! 🙂

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:32 pm

      Cass: I used to write in books a lot, but I’ve gotten more squeamish about it lately, and I never have enough space in the margins to take meaningful notes. Just having little smiley faces and exclamation points isn’t that helpful!

  • Lu January 3, 2011, 9:45 am

    Varying up blog posts is something I need to do, too. And I’m working on balancing how many library, review and personal books I read as well. Great goals! Happy New Year, Kim!

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:32 pm

      Lu: I think those two will be the most challenging for me. I have such a hard time balancing out what I read because I am tempted by so many books.

  • Trisha January 3, 2011, 9:59 am

    There are these flat pens which can double as bookmarks. I have no idea where to find them since I won mine on a blog contest like two years ago. Just an idea.

    I love your goals. I am still procrastinating on putting mine up!

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:37 pm

      Trisha: Oooo, that’s super cool. I am going to look for one of those!

  • Lisa January 3, 2011, 8:37 pm

    excellent goals all!

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:37 pm

      Lisa: Thanks!

  • Erin January 4, 2011, 9:05 pm

    Actually, I forgot to tell you about that terrible thing that happened when you unplugged around Thanksgiving… 😛 That’s a goal I need to work on, definitely!

    I really like that your goals don’t just focus on reading. You’ve inspired me to consider my own broader blogging goals for 2011!

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:38 pm

      Erin: Lol! Don’t freak me out like that 🙂

      I don’t usually make a lot of reading goals, actually. Those seem harder for me than blogging goals, for whatever reason. I did contemplate some reading projects that I want to start up this year, but was too busy to focus on them around the holidays.

  • Care January 5, 2011, 8:18 am

    CHEERS! You can do it! I love your blog. Love your reviews, love what kind of books you read… Happy 2011!!

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:39 pm

      Care: You have the most cheery comments, I love that 🙂 Happy 2011 to you too!

  • Gwen January 5, 2011, 6:50 pm

    Consistency is probably my biggest challenge, so I will be working on that one with you.

    If you do find an “aspiring and low cost designers” let me know. I tried to do it myself by buying a snazy Headway theme (like thesis) and it was still too tough for me to do myself.

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:40 pm

      Gwen: Consistency can be so hard — it’s easy to come up with an idea, much harder to sustain it. At least for me 🙂

      I love the Thesis theme, although I know I’m not doing nearly as much with it as I could be. I just need to mess around with it a bit and experiment some more, I think.

  • kay @ Infiniteshelf January 5, 2011, 9:39 pm

    Great list! I think it’s important to set goals, even if we don’t exactly meet them, it’s a way to give ourselves a clear direction. I’m definitely with you on the “Give myself a break” goal, but I also need to review books in a more timely manner!

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:40 pm

      Kay: Yes, that’s exactly it. I like having some idea of how to focus myself when there are so many possible things to be doing or trying to do.

  • Sheila (Bookjourney) January 5, 2011, 10:00 pm

    Awesome goals Kim!

    • Kim January 5, 2011, 11:40 pm

      Sheila: Thanks!