Something to Talk About










This a Sunday feature here where we discuss specific topics related to books and the blogosphere.

Let’s talk about Reading Challenges as Resolutions!




We’re only two days away from 2019 and it’s the time when many make resolutions for the new year. A lot will include goals for health and well being (gym and weight loss center memberships skyrocket in the first quarter every year) as well as time management.




What is it about the turn into a new year that inspires people to make resolutions? Does it have something to do with so many things being measured by yearly time frames? Do we automatically reset our lives on January 1?




When I started participating in groups on Shelfari and subsequently Goodreads, my reading intensified and I began setting reading goals for the first time in my life. But, 2018 was the first time I participated in any challenge other than the Goodreads Reading Challenge and the Audiobook Listening Challenge. Now, in preparation for 2019, I’ve signed up for three more and I’ve lost count of how many I’m doing in my Goodreads groups.




I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago. It’s not that I don’t believe in them. I’m a firm believer in setting realistic goals for oneself that will inspire positive action. I just set them throughout the year in shorter timeframes and adjust them constantly. But, as I say that, it occurred to me that all of these annual reading challenges are a form of resolution that I’m committing to for the coming year! Are they really resolutions?




I’m holding Challenges a bit differently because of how I use them. I enter reading challenges that fit what I already plan to do. They’re not big stretches for me nor are they going to drive my behavior for the most part. I already know what I like and plan to read. But, the challenges keep me focused. Now, if I wanted to stretch or expand my reading focus, I’d join a challenge that would do that but so far, I haven’t done that. You can see my list of 2019 Blog Challenges here.

What do you think?

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?

Are you participating in any reading challenges? If so, which ones and why?

Do you consider reading challenges to be resolutions?

29 thoughts on “Something to Talk About”

  1. I make fewer and fewer New Year’s Resolutions every year because I always seem to fail at them. I do like to think of my reading/blog challenges as resolutions though just because I do usually succeed at them so it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. I also select my challenges the same way you do. I pick ones that fit in with what I hope to get read that year anyway and as you mentioned, the challenges keep me focused.

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  2. I’m like you. I choose challenges which reinforce what I already plan to do. The stretch challenges come for me in smaller time frames like COYER and its Read-athons, my Thrifty Thursday meme, the HoHoHoRAT and that sort of thing. I am looking to a Backlist / TBR type challenge. I need to fit in time to read all these books / audios which I purchased and don’t have an expiration date like ARCs and library books. That might help me to “focus” as you said on reading those as well. I’d encourage you to do a short one sometime or if you pick up freebies, link up to one of my Thrifty Thursday posts. Good luck!

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  3. My resolutions always seem to fall apart around the fourteenth of January, right when winter seems to set in. I know I am resolving to go to the gym more since I only went about six times in 2017! Perhaps I will succeed. I did sign onto a few reading challenges, but really am thinking about not setting up a number for the books I read on goodreads. It makes me feel like I am in some kind of contest and I really don’t like that.

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    1. Marialyce, that’s one of the reasons I stopped doing the resolutions. It was my recipe for failure. Good luck with the gym!

      I always set me Goodreads Reading Challenge goal realistically. This was the first year I finished so close. Normally I’m 15-20 books over. This year, it looks like maybe 3.


  4. I’m doing more reading challenges than usual this year. Some are easy because it’s stuff I’m already reading. Others are more challenging. My overall goal (resolution) is to drastically reduce the number of books on my TBR. I’m using challenges as a way to help me with that.

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  5. Resolutions? I do make resolutions but they don’t always have an on January 1…. I am turning 50 next year so I’d like to lose a little weight before then and I’m going to cut my hair and donate it, I am dying to cut my hair right now but I’m gonna let it grow a little longer so I can donate it on my 50th birthday, it is so ridiculously long especially for my current age and I wear it up most of the time.
    I’ve always worked in the fitness industry and it is absolutely crazy and January, with everyone making those resolutions, usually dies out by mid January, LOL! Reading challenges? I mod a couple reading challenge-based groups on Goodreads but I more run them then participate nowadays💜

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  6. I’ve given up on new year’s resolutions a while ago. I’m with you on the realistic goals throughout the year.

    But the gym thing… yes. In Jan / Feb there’s always a massive crowd in my gym, and then half the people disappear by April.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love coming up with new goals throughout the year. There much more achievable if you break them down in smaller bits. And, it’s quite the rush when you get there.

      Norrie, the best time to join a gym is ANY other time of the year. You get more attention and access to equipment. I applaud those who want to get fit, though. Just maybe do it before the holidays.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I like your plans, Jonetta. They are almost like “no plans” because they are fit with what you already do. I’m hoping to do some challenges in 2020. I need to make some changes in 2019, like learning moderation! Then, I’ll be ready for challenges. 😊

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  8. I’ve also always thought this idea (or perception) of automatically resetting our lives on January 1 is an odd one. I’ve never been big on resolutions for the year’s beginning, any time of year I feel motivated for a change is the right time to start. Good luck and have fun with your challenges, and wishing you a wonderful start to the next year! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been a slacker this year on resolutions… I’d like to think that I’m taking things one step at a time, so I don’t have to feel the guilt if I don’t get to them all and take pressure off of myself. My expectations tend to always be high, and as I’ve gotten older the letdown of not reaching all of my goals hurts a little more. I focus on the small successes more. I reached my Goodreads goal this year! I’ve had it at 100 the past two years and fell short by only a few each year. So this year I set it for 95 books and surpassed it. Kind of a no-brainer – haha! I don’t do many challenges, but I would like to find a few this year! Great topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, DG! You’re quite hard on yourself. Not meeting a resolution made me feel bad, too, so that’s one of the reasons I just stopped doing them. I also used to set them too high, always thinking real life wouldn’t show up. Abandoning the resolutions were freeing but I must admit I do think about the year in front of me with freshness.

      Good luck with your 2019 reading challenge!

      Liked by 1 person

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