Challenges and Resolutions 2016

Challenges2016

In 2015, I did fairly well with my challenges and resolutions. I would have liked to complete/keep all of them, but I think we all know when we’re setting these that it’s a useless wish. So this year’s list of resolutions isn’t as different from the one I made last year – but I’m only keeping one challenge (the fairy tale one) and trying out two others. We’ll see how that goes!

My resolutions

  • I want to succeed at my reading challenges. Obviously.
  • I want to read more classics. This is also one of last year’s goals and since I failed miserably I now also found a challenge to go with that – hopefully, this will kick me into classics-reading mode. Hopefully.
  • I want to finish more series. Oh man. This is probably one of those never-ending resolutions that will always make it to my list because I’m horrible at this. But I’ll put it this way: I have to finish 3 series before I start a new one (this is where I sort of keep track of the series I’m reading). I’m counting a series as “finished” if I’ve read all published books so far (even if we’re still waiting for new parts – so basically I have to be up to date with a series for it to count).
  • I want to get better at using Instagram. I really like it (here’s my account) and I want to go from posting every once in a while to a more regular routine.
  • I want to read more non-English books. Again, a repeat from last year when I pretty much failed at it. I want to read at least 10 – either Slovenian or French originals or translated books from other languages.
  • I want to keep up-to-date with my ARCs. I did really well during the summer and then completely fell behind when I had my mini-hiatus in the fall. So here’s the rule: I have to review 3 ARCs before I request a new one.
  • I want to post more of my reviews to Goodreads. Especially with the ARCs, that’s so important.
  • I want to buy less books and read more of the ones I already own. Ugh. Let’s go with the 3 to 1 ratio again because both my physical and e-tbr lists are becoming unmanageable.
  • I want to post at least twice a week. I wrote “three times” last year and I did pretty well with that, but I can tell you now, 2016 is going to be one crazy, crazy year (I can’t share everything with you yet, but I start hyperventilating every time I think of what’s to come). So I’m keeping it down to two posts a week, maybe I’ll schedule ahead and see if that takes some pressure off things, I want this place to stay a sanctuary where I have fun and chat about great books with great people.

Aaand that’s it. I think. Now, for the challenges!

BackToTheClassics2016

This is the Back to the Classics Challenge, hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate. It has categories you have to fulfill – so books have to be specific and you can’t count a book in more that one category but I did a bit of thinking and I think it will work. I think I’m going to go with SIX books, which is the minimum, as far as I can tell, and if I reach that early on, I’ll see if I can read more, but let’s start small, shall we? Here’s one of my classics tbr lists – I’m fairly certain I can find six appropriate books here to fill the categories. I might even read a French classic or two for this, it’s been a while…

2016-Discussion-Challenge

I did really well with discussions last year, but I decided to participate in this challenge anyway – more to discover other cool discussions (they are the type of posts I like reading on other blogs, especially on blogs I just discovered). The 2016 Discussion Challenge is hosted by Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Starts at Midnight, two very lovely ladies. Since I wrote more than 12 discussions last year, I’m going for the second category, the Creative Conversationalist (13-24 discussions). We’ll see how that goes.

retelling-challenge-2016

And I’m participating in the Fairytale Retelling Challenge 2016 again. It is hosted by Mel at The Daily Prophecy. I completed it in 2015 (I was just lousy at linking up my reviews) and I’m going with the Goose Girl level (5-9 books), which I think is more than enough to start.

Apart from that, you all probably know by now that DJ and I are hosting The Bastard Read-along, so this is another challenge for me, as I have to finish re-reading the books on time. I don’t think this will be a problem because they’re freaking amazing, but I thought I should mention it here, too.

srcek

What are your resolutions and challenges for 2016?

Do you ever bite off more than you can chew? Does it bother you if you fail at resolutions and challenges? 

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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  • Jolien @ The Fictional Reader

    Good luck with your challenges and resolutions!

    I did a similar thing for the ARC-situation. For a while I went on a requesting ban so I could only request one after reading 3. It really helped! I’ve barely requested any since the summer (although I still have to read so many I requested before that).

    • Thanks, Jolien! :)

      I’m glad to hear you tried out this method and that it worked. I don’t have that many ARCs left to read, I mostly just have to write the reviews, I have no idea why it’s so hard. I even liked some of them! But yeah, I need to manage them better, it’s hard to resist requesting a title I really want to read but something has to change.

      Good luck with your own goals!

  • Scheduling posts ahead definitely takes the pressure off me, even though I post at least once every day! Good luck with all your goals.

    • Thanks, Nikki! Yeah, I’m trying to write up some posts during the holidays to have a lighter load in January, I feel like all the laziness of the holidays always catches up with me and I need some time to figure things out before I can really begin the new year.

  • It’s great you are joining again :)! I hope you get to read many good books and that you keep enjoying the challenge.

    I love all your resolutions. It seems like you’ve set yourself some achievable goals. I’m also planning to stay up-to-date on my Instagram. I enjoy making photographs. I’m also keeping up with my eARC’s, buying less books and finish more series!

    • Yeah, I hope to get some good ones, too. I like that you switched from fairytale retelling to other retellings as well, it gives us more space to move. :)

      I HOPE my goals are achievable, I’m pretty competitive so I like to win (even against myself lol). I think I saw “finish more series” on most lists these past few weeks, I think it’s a common bookish problem! :)

  • Maraia

    I’m going to suggest this (http://itsallaboutbooks.de/2015/06/spreadsheet-series/) link to Crini’s awesome series spreadsheet. Maybe it will help motivate you to finish those series! ;)

    I love your Instagram, so I will be happy to see more posts. :D

    I’m not too worried about finishing challenges, EXCEPT the overall number of books I read, which got WAY out of hand this year. My goal for next year is to focus less on numbers and just have fun.

    • I’m just going to chime in and say that Crini’s spreadsheet looks awesome…and terrifying! I may need to try using it, once I can figure it all out haha. :)

      • Maraia

        As long as you keep up with it as you read, it’s pretty simple! Once you set up your initial configurations, you only enter info on the “read” tab, and everything else calculates automatically. But the statistics and filters are so much fun! I’ve spent a lot of time messing things up, so you can ask me if you have any questions. XD

        Oh, and here’s the updated link, the spreadsheet got changed again: http://itsallaboutbooks.de/2015/10/spreadsheet-books-2016/

        • Alright I’m replying to all these at once :D Thanks for recommending this (and linking again, omg) but I’m not going to use that spreadsheet, it’s scary! I considered it but figured I don’t really need to make a scientific project of my reading. I don’t know – I guess I’m not bothered by my messy Goodreads shelves and everything. I don’t even bother adding stuff like “released in 2016” or whatever to my shelves, it’s just a happy mess of books. Eh.

          I just feel that blogging is going to get even less time in 2016 than it did in 2015 for many, many reasons, so I’m trying to keep my activity to a bare minimum (meaning no additional stuff – I’m going to keep blogging like I did before). I hope I’ll manage! :)

          • Maraia

            Haha, that’s understandable. If it’s not fun, why bother? I LOVE looking at stats, so I enjoy it, and it doesn’t seem like extra work. My Goodreads shelves are not very thorough, though, like some people’s. I have a “released in 2016” shelf, but only for books I haven’t read yet, so I know which ones to look for at my library.

            Eep, good luck! I need to reply to your email soon so I can get your life updates. :D

  • I have similar goals for ARCs, buying less books/reading the ones I own AND finishing some series that I already started! The read more classics one is one that I’ve given myself every new year I think…I do ok some years but I didn’t this year. Hopefully 2016 will get me back in the swing :) Good luck with ALL of your goals and challenges Kaja and a very happy 2016 to you ♥

    • Thank you, Micheline, and good luck with your goals! :)

      Yeah, I read more classics some years but last year I only managed 2 or 3 which was a shame, so I want to kickstart this again.

  • I also want to read more classics this year. I didn’t join a challenge for it, but it’s one of my resolutions. I think I only read one classic book last year and it was a reread. Buying less books is always on the top of my list and I’m actually going to try really hard sticking to it. Good luck with all your challenges and goals for the coming year!

    • Thanks, Alicia! :)
      I had classics as a resolution last year but only managed tor read 2 or 3 so I’m doing a challenge this year because I’m really competitive and like to win things. *sigh* It’s childish that I have to motivate myself this way but there it is.
      Good luck to you, too!

  • Good luck with all your goals! I also need to read more ARCs – I’m so bad at keeping up with them!

    • I think we all are. :D They are just so pretty and shiny and I always end up requesting stuff. Oh, well.

  • Best of luck with all your goals and challenges! Personally i loved doing the discussion post challenge last year, so I’ll definitely be doing that again this year, and I’d really love to read more classics and be more consistent with my Instagram account too.
    Happy New Year (a few days early, but whatever!)! :)

    • Happy New Year – belated but whatever. ;)

      I’m glad you’re participating in the discussion challenge again, I think we’ll discover lots of new blogs that way (at least I hope so!).

  • Nicole Hewitt

    These resolutions all sound very familiar – so many of them are on my list as well (I haven’t posted it yet, but it’s coming!) And I agree about series – I feel like that will be a perpetual goal. But I DID finish some this year, so I just need to keep it up!

    So glad you’re joining us for the Discussion Challenge! Can’t wait to discuss with you in 2016!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    • Well thanks for hosting the Discussion Challenge, it looks like a huge task, actually, so kudos for keeping it up! :)
      Yeah, I saw similar resolutions pop up on other blogs, I think these are problems most of book bloggers struggle with (reading books you already own, finishing series, managing arcs…).

  • I’m so excited to hear all about the crazy-exciting things that 2016 will be bringing for you, Kaja! It’s already amazing to me that you keep up with your blog so regularly with all that’s going on in your life, so you being even busier? Madness!

    Couldn’t agree more about finishing series. Unfortunately that’s a tough one for me because I read a lot of urban fantasy, and most of those series are already 8+ books long, with new ones being published each year. Catching up takes real dedication, haha! Good luck with all your challenges, especially the classics one. I’d love to hear your thoughts on some of those!

    • Well I have to wait for a month or so before I announce anything but in late August (by my calculations), our family life is going to get even busier. *hint hint* (I’m “telling” you about this in the comments because I assume that nobody reads other people’s comments, especially not on old posts) ;) Madness it is for sure, let me tell you that, but I’m excited about it (him? her? who knows) all the same.

      Don’t ask me how I’m going to manage everything because the answer is twofold: a) I have no idea and b) I probably won’t be able to do everything at once so I’m just pretending that it’ll all work out for now. (Fake it till you make it, you know…)

      Oh YES I feel for you. I started two or three such series (most recently the Fever books by Moning) and it’s SUCH an undertaking! Both financially and in terms of the time you have to commit to it.

      Have I ever asked you about your favourite classics? I’m assuming your education forced you to read quite a lot of those (mine did, too, but I mostly enjoyed them a lot!).

  • Some very good challenges here. I have decided to also do the discussion challenge because I’m hoping that it will help motivate me to actually post them. If I can get one up a month I will be happy.

    And two posts a week is a good aim to have, can’t wait to here more about your crazy year! I can barely manage twice a week and I have no excuse but working and being lazy. I am totally with you about finishing series, I have a terrible habit of buying a whole series and not finishing them. I just want to try and cut down my TBR piles though. I am to doing 5 to 1 because I have an extreme problem. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    • YAY for the discussion challenge! :) One a month is plenty, I think, it takes time and more thought to write discussion posts but I like writing them a lot.

      Well you work full time, I’d say that’s a pretty serious reason to NOT feel guilty about posting less! I have very flexible hours, being a freelance translator is pretty cool on this front (but it definitely has its downsides, let me tell you that).

      You know why my year will be crazy already, I’ll answer your e-mail soon and we’ll chat more ;)

      You buy a whole series? :D I never dare to do that. I have to finish a book to buy a sequel, something like this. But I have lots of unread sequels sitting on my shelves already.

      I’m just in SUCH a review writing slump right now, I have 10-20 books I’ve already read (some of those are arcs, some are REALLY GOOD ones like Carry On and Nimona) and I just haven’t found the energy to review them yet.

  • Good luck with all your challenges and I hope you have a fantastic new year :D

    I have to get better at using all of my non-Twitter social media account. Half the time I forget to update my GR or that I even own an Instagram — though now that I have a society6 store I might get back onto Instagram in the spirit of shameless self-promo XD

    • Thank you, Aentee, you too! I wish you all the best. :)

      Self promo is a good thing – how else would people know your store exists?! Oh, yes, I should have added something to do with GR to my list of resolutions – I always forget to post reviews there, even for arcs (yikes).

  • Good luck with all your challenges and resolutions! I finally set up my own :)
    Btw, I can’t recall, but were you in the Classics Club Challenge?

    • I’m not in the Classics Club Challenge but I did participate in two spins. I thought about participating in the challenge but it’s just too much for now – I don’t have the time (or the will, really) to read that many classics in such a short time. Are you participating?