Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Goals and Resolutions.

With the new year fast approaching, I think it is time to make plans for 2012. I know that some people scoff at the idea of making resolutions-I mean, why wait until the new year, right? I happen to like the idea of starting fresh....with a clean slate in a brand new year. There is an optimism in the air in the beginning months of the year!

I make goals and resolutions every year, but it is new to share them openly. I did post my blog related goals last year, but I am also including some personal goals as well-more on that at the end of the post.

Everything is broken down by category. I have a lot of lofty goals for this year!

  • Continue project list-main goal is to hit book 200 by the beginning of 2013
  • 10 "fun" reads throughout the year (I strayed a LOT this past year from my project list. To clarify, a "fun" read is anything not considered a classic)
  • 30 minutes of reading/day minimum (This is an old habit I am reinstating. I used to read for 60 minutes every day in college, but sometimes I let a day or two go by without picking up a book. I want to be reading on a daily basis).
  • Continue to post a minimum of 3x a week
  • Sponsor 2 themed months (Shakespeare Reading Month is taking place in January. I am thinking of doing a Victorian Month in the summer...)
  • Include more personal posts (this is something I really want to do. While I know it may take me out of the realm of "book blogger," this is something I need to do for myself as an outlet)
  • Comment on blogs! Probably my biggest failure as a blogger is reading posts and not commenting.
  • Discover new-to-me book blogs!
  • Participate in the two Dewey's readathons in 2012-April and October
  • Participate in other "classic-minded" events during 2012 (Classics Circuit and Persephone Reading Weekend come to mind-these titles do not count as part of my 10 "fun reads")
  • Continue my presence on twitter...(@alliedanielson)
  • Continue maintaining my goodreads page and update with past books read and future books
Challenges (I went a little challenge happy this year...which I am regretting a bit):
  • I can quit any challenge by November 30, 2012 if I am not close to completing it without any guilt :)
  • Go to the gym 3x per week
  • Weight Loss goal: 50 lbs in 2012 (This would be a good start. And after Amanda did it, why can't I?)
  • Apply to grad school by May 1 and decide on a program to start in the fall
  • By the end of 2012, I should have a clearer goal in mind-either working in a permanent teaching position, or doing something else. I can't keep subbing.
  • 1 date night per month :)
  • Spend time on my other hobbies: crafting, scrapbooking, etc.
  • Cook 3x per week (I am not a bad cook, but sometimes it is hard to cook when I might be the only one home-Matt works a lot of nights. I also want to learn some new recipes and share a little bit of that here).
  • Develop a daily cleaning routine (I think my mental health will improve if I become a little neater-not that I'm a slob, but it would be a good habit to make sure all the dishes are washed before bed, trash is out, etc.)

I feel like 2012 has a lot of great things in store. In many ways, I feel like 2011 was a really hard year. While it certainly had its good moments, there were also a lot of negatives. I battled some serious depression in late summer/early fall that I am still recovering from. It was bad enough that I came home many, many days and cried for no good reason besides feeling worthless. I've gained even more weight after losing about 15 pounds earlier in the year. I'm struggling to maintain a healthy balance in my life. And while I know it won't all change at once in the new year, I am excited about turning over a new leaf. I am ready to put everything behind me and move forward.

How long can I really let the past bother me? I can't continue to let life pass me by. I can't continue to let forces outside of my own control dictate the kind of life I have and the kind of person I become. If I let that happen, I won't like the person I become.

So, you will definitely see more of me on the blog in the new year. I have held back some...and I felt that for awhile, I lost my passion for this project. It has come back after some tough conversations with various individuals, so I am bringing it back. I am excited and motivated once more. :)

Thank you all for your kind comments in 2011. I look forward to getting to know you all better in 2012!

Oh yeah, let's hope we all read some phenomenal books! :)


  1. Those are a lot of goals, good luck.

  2. I'm smiling for you and your goals, Allie! You can do each and every one of them, and I'll be here while you do. It's going to be a great 2012. :-)

  3. Oh Allie I am so excited about where you're taking your blog this next year!! I love reading personal posts and I love seeing more balance in blogs. As someone who is trying to balance her life more and isn't always interested in every single book review that gets posted, I love when there is more diversity on a blog. I love your goals and you can definitely do it!!

    There are some really, really great things I discovered about health and mental health this year in losing weight and eating better. Other than one round of bronchitis in March/April, I didn't get since ONCE in 2011. I know this is because I was eating better food. I didn't even get the sniffles or a cold. My kids didn't either, not even when they first started school and EVERYONE gets sick. They don't get motion sickness in the car anymore, or stomach illnesses, or colds. I know it's because we're all eating healthier food. I also lost all heartburn, and my headaches and migraines have disappeared as I've had a lot more water (still drinking that 100 oz a day...). But the biggest thing I discovered was that sugar and junk causes depression. I was doing really well this summer, and then over the weekend of my family reunion, I ate a couple junky things including cookies, and I was swept up into a week-long severe depression. I only got out of it when I started eating fruits and vegetables again. I started doing some research and discovered there's a huge correlation. I wonder if my depression most of my life was caused by eating junk and not eating enough healthy foods. It's hard to start eating those healthier foods in the beginning, but seriously, I started 2011 hating every single vegetable that existed, and i now could more easily name the ones I dislike than the ones I like. A year can make a huge difference, and i know you can do it!!

    I highly recommend getting involved in Spark, even if you make a new account. It really, really helps to keep you on track. I realized this this other day: in the 15 months I was trying to lose weight without Spark, I lost 27 lbs. In the 10 months since I found Spark, I've lost 43. I am willing to answer any questions - I know it's confusing there for the first few weeks - and whether or not you decide to join, I'm here to support you in everythign! Feel free to email me as often as you like. Hannah (Wordlily) and I emailed each other nearly every day for months when she was going through her weight loss journey and it was so nice to have a friend to talk to about daily stuff like that.

    Sorry for the monster comment. I really am excited for you about all this!!

  4. Like you, I love setting goals for myself (particularly reading and blogging) and the new year is the time to do it. And I think it's great when bloggers include more of their personal life.

    Good luck in all your goals!

  5. I'm excited about a new start in 2012 as well! I have many of the same personal goals that you do, and I hope we can cheer for each other!!!

  6. I'm adding 30 minutes a day of personal reading to my list thanks to you, Allie :) I need the commitment to weight loss as blood pressure has been high lately for the first time in my life (my mother has uncontrollable blood pressure) which has to be directly related to me putting on 20+ pounds just in the last few months. I'm going to get serious about it too...I love my mom, but I don't want to become her.

  7. Allie I love your goals. I'm hoping to compile a list of my own in the next day or so. I've been dragging a bit.

    Also, I'm with you on the weight loss plan. Amanda is absolutely inspiring for sure and when I'm watching what I consume and drink I feel SO much better. I used to be curvy and now I just feel blobby. Haha, but not really. :)

    This has been an emotionally draining year and I know that I eat less desirable food. Plus, drinking beers for happy hour release needs to be a curbside attraction!

    So here's to an awesome 2012!

  8. Great goals, Allie! Good luck reaching them- I think reading fun books is a great goal :-)

  9. great goals, Allie. I like knowing that the blog will be a bit more personal -- I need to do that more, especially as reading time will probably disappear for me. And I've had SUCH a hard time commenting on blogs lately and Baby isn't here yet! great goals. I have much to think about.

  10. Thanks for sharing your goals! I would like to try to be more personal on my blog as well, and share more things that aren't just book reviews all the time. That way people can still connect even if they're not into whatever books you read that week. I agree with the commenter who said depression ties into eating - it's a vicious cycle! You're depressed so you eat junk, which makes you more depressed, so you eat more junk...I'm still working on getting healthier myself, but I do notice a big difference in my attitude and my allergies when I'm eating right and exercising. That makes it easier to do too, instead of just focusing on weight loss. Good luck!

  11. Wow, you are organized! I think a lot of people will be happy to say goodbye to 2011 and hope for better things in 2012.

  12. I love new year too, and your post has inspired me to finally get on with my own goal making for 2012! You definitely have a lot of goals, but I'm sure you can achieve all of them, and as somebody who really enjoys variety in blogs, i 'm excited about more personal posts and posts about other aspects of your life. While I obviuosly enjoy book reviews, often I enjoy posts which are only vaguely book related more, and get more from them. After all it's not just hearing a person tell you what they liked about a book that makes you want to read it, sometimes it's just general conversation about stuff you have in common with someone, which somehow ends up making its way back around to books...

  13. Those are good goals! You almost make me want to make resolutions but one resolution of mine is never to make resolutions (does that make sense?). To some going with the flow is better (with some key decisions such as volunteering to do something etc.)

    You should maintain a healthy lifestyle whether you lose weight or not (health>'ideal' weight anytime).

    Moving forward is awesome! Once you do it, you'll feel so liberated, it's amazing! I've learned that letting go of what's negative in your life (moving on) can really improve everything!

  14. These are great goals! I especially like the more personal posts. For the first time in forever, I set some goals for 2012 (the post goes up after the first, though), but mine don't relate to blogging or reading. I'm trying to diversify. :-D

    Good luck with everything!

  15. Those are great goals! Good luck! And I hear you re: cooking. Its been a lot easier lately since the boyfriend has been here more often - Its much easier cooking for two then one.

    My mom bought me a Campbell's soup cookbook for Christmas last year - all of the recipes are pretty easy and they all include some form of Campbell's soup. I love it!

    I also need to get back into reading every day, I miss it and have gotten super lazy about it.

  16. That's a lot to live up to...

    Good luck, and I hope you do well (and if you don't? It really doesn't matter!).

  17. A lot of goals, but a lot of achievable goals. I'd really like to meet some of these same goals, actually, such as reading 30 minutes a day. It sounds so easy, but I'm so easily distracted by everything else.

    I feel the same way about 2011. In some ways it was better for me than 2010 (stress levels way down, no longer in what had become a really bad work environment), but ultimately, I'm entering 2012 still without a job. It's possible I'll be returning to school in the fall as well, if I haven't found something. On the other hand, my mom has a theory that even numbered years are better than odd numbered years, so if that holds true, we all have a lot better things to look forward to!

    Good luck with all your goals and here is to a much, much better 2012!

  18. This is a fantastic list of goals. I have to say I need to do this for myself.

  19. Thanks for sharing your goals! I just discovered your blog this year but I'm really enjoying it. And I always enjoy when bloggers share personal stories in their posts as well. Here's to a great 2012!

  20. Those are some great goals! Thanks for sharing them!

    Personally, I love seeing personal posts on book blogs; it's nice to get to know the person behind the reviews.

    Best of luck to you!

  21. Great goals! Good luck with applying to grad school. I did that last spring - it's a scary step, but now I'm wondering what took me so long. I'm in the same boat by wanting to make sure I keep things neater. It's a goal every year - and I have gotten better every year. I have a feeling this is the one though!

  22. It sounds like you have some great resolutions in mind that in many ways mirror resolutions I've set for myself. If you ever want to talk about it, I'd love to make a new friend.

    100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know: Engagement Chicken and 99 Other Fabulous Dishes to Get You Everything You Want in Life, put out my Glamour magazine is a fantastic cookbook that can help get you started. I love cooking, but I sometimes blank on recipes to try. I "read" this cookbook the other night and made a long list of dishes from this book.

    Good luck with everything and I look forward to getting to know you better in 2012.

  23. Totally will join you on any Shakespeare challenge, I love the bard and yet feel that lately I am suffering from starting great books and then bookmarking them in favor of another classic, I'm only two plays into the four histories and need some motivation.

    I found your blog as I just started (or re-started) my own blog about tackling the Western Canon (as listed by Harold Bloom).

    Happy reading and happy New Year!

  24. Lots of good goals, good luck with meeting as many of them as possible. And my husband and I have started date nights recently, and it's been fun to set aside quality time together.

    Good luck with the grad school applications. I have a permanent teaching position (but I'm in the UK) and it is dramatically different from supply work, but so much better.

  25. I happy to see that you will be diversifying your blog (not that I didn't love it before:)). I am planning on doing the same. It isn't that I don't love reading and writing about books, but that isn't the only thing I'm interested in, so I want to bring in some other aspects of my life as well. We'll be on that journey together.

    Good luck with these other goals as well and happy New Year.

  26. Those are some really great resolutions. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you to accomplish all of them :)
    And oh, goodreads. I abandoned it this year. I'm almost afraid to go back and see the mess my shelves must look like.

  27. I love setting goals at the beginning of a year. Like you, I have quite a few personal goals as well, though I did not blog about them as I feel too many personal friends read my blog now.

    I hope you will have a wonderful 2012 and all the best on all your resolutions!

  28. We have a lot of similar goals!! Please keep us updated on how everything turns out.

  29. I like how you combined bookish and personal goals together because they really go hand-in-hand in many ways. I read a lot less last year but I accomplished something much more amazing that took a lot of time -- I lost 45 pounds! By leaving that off the blog, it just kind of came off like I was a slacker and it made me sad. This year I will be losing the last 25 pounds (hopefully) and that means less reading and more gym. Maybe I would be happier with the blog if I didn't just ignore this aspect of my life on there.

    Anyway, definitely get those date nights in there! Have a great year!

  30. Very challenging goals. Good luck. I love when bloggers add more of their personal life/touch to their blogs. It makes them more real.

    I substitute too. It can be great at times but very frustrating and annoying most of the time. Good luck figuring out what to do or in getting an education position.