Monday, January 6, 2014

My Top 10 Goals for 2014

It's Tuesday, which means it's time for the weekly Top Ten Tuesday link-up at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's prompt is the top 10 goals or resolutions you have for the coming year, book-related or otherwise.


1. Read at least one of my own books every month.
I have several bookshelves and they're all stuffed with great books -- that I never seem to read! I've picked up lots of bargain books over the past several years (thrift stores, Borders' going-out-of-business sale) but they are always stuck in line behind library books. I have this silly rationale of giving library books first priority because I only have them for a short time, whereas I'll have access to my own books forever. But since I work at a library, that means I'm always bringing home way more books that I could ever read, and I never, ever, ever read the dozens (or more?) books gathering dust on my shelves. So my New Year's resolution this year is to read at least one book that I already own every month.
2. Write more personal blog posts.
I write lots of posts about books and knitting and food and sometimes clothes, but I feel like I hardly ever talk about myself. I guess I feel like nobody really cares about the things, big and small, going on in my day-to-day life, but I find that I enjoy reading those types of posts on other people's blogs. It makes them seem relatable and human and gives insight into who they really are. Once upon a time I had a feature on my blog called Monday Musings, in which I intended to just write about whatever random thoughts I was having at the time, and I'd like to bring that back with a focus on giving readers a bigger glimpse of my personality.
3. Stop letting reviews have such influence on my reading decisions.
Book blogs and Goodreads and the monthly BookPage a the library are all great resources and I have no plans to stop using them. But I've found that I've started letting other people's opinions guide me in my reading selections far more than ever before, and I don't think that's a good thing. I read several books this year that I never would have picked up had I not seen glowing reviews on other book blogs (i.e. "Anna and the French Kiss," "Just One Day") only to wish I had never wasted my time on them. And, lately, I've been checking Goodreads ratings whenever I find a book that looks promising in an effort to avoid reading so many disappointing books (2013 was not a great reading year for me) but I've probably missed out on books I may have loved just because they weren't to the liking of the general Goodreads populace.
4. Talk more about knitting on the blog.
I've been knitting for five years now (hard to believe five years ago we lived in San Angelo, Texas, and Jarrod was going through Air Force intel school!) and I'm always knitting at least one thing. I often post pictures of my FOs (finished objects, for you non-knitters), but I'd really like to make knitting a bigger part of the blog. Maybe I'll try posting a knitting update once every week or two, with pictures and details about whatever projects I've got going.
5. Explore new genres.
I was pretty nonplussed with a lot of the books I read this year, and it's become apparent that I've grown out of some of the authors and genres that used to be old standbys. I generally don't like young adult books (if I ever liked them to begin with), chick lit, cozy mysteries or James Patterson-style murder thrillers anymore. This year I want to try some new types of fiction, and I'm going to start by delving into the realm of fantasy and sci-fi. I plan to read Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Jim Butcher and Connie Willis. I'm also going try more memoirs and non-fiction. Maybe, just maybe, those are more my style these days.
1. Become a better conversationalist.
Well, as per goal #2, let's go ahead and get a little personal. Growing up I was outgoing and gregarious and had no trouble going up to a random kid and saying, "Hi, I'm Lindsay. Want to be friends?" But as an adult, I'm kind of socially awkward. I have some (occasionally lots of) social anxiety. I'm definitely an introvert and I dread large groups and situations where I have to meet lots of new people (and by lots I mean more than 3 or 4). Part of the problem is that I'm extremely inept at making "small talk" and asking the right getting-to-know-you questions. I dread that inevitable awkward moment in a conversation with someone new (or even my co-workers) when we've exhausted the topic at hand and we're both grasping at straws, trying to figure out how to keep the conversation going -- and I usually fill that dreaded pause by babbling about myself. I'd like to become better at listening instead of talking, of asking the right questions to discover more about the people around me, and to actually remember the information I do learn from every conversation (i.e. spouse's name, favorite restaurant, hometown).
2. Make fewer impulse bargain buys and go for quality over quantity.
This applies particularly to clothes. I can't even tell you how many times I've returned a shirt I grabbed on impulse walking through Target or Kohl's this year. Or how many things I've bought and never wear that fit almost right but not quite, or weren't as soft or well-made as they could be, or weren't the exact thing I was looking for. I'm beginning to see that it's better to have a few lovely, perfect-fitting, good-quality garments than a whole overstuffed closet of mediocre shirts you only bought because they were on sale for $6.
3. Find something that stimulates my mind.
I often lament the fact that I don't have a career, and that I'm nearing 30 and have no idea what I want to "be when I grow up." But then I remember that I work part-time for a reason -- so I can spend time with Jarrod and Conan (our beloved boxer dog) and so we have the freedom to travel and explore all the regions the Air Force sends us. That said, my last few jobs haven't been particularly challenging or mentally stimulating and I frequently complain to Jarrod that I feel like my brain is turning to mush from lack of use. I'm hoping 2014 will be the year where I finally find something to keep my mind working and active and stimulated. Maybe it will be taking master's classes, or writing a novel, or even a different job. Let's just hope the right inspiration comes along soon, or at this time next year I might be writing to you with bits of my rotting brain dribbling out my ear.
4. Be more confident, especially at work.
This goes hand-in-hand with my goal to be a better conversationalist. I don't know where my self-confidence has gone, but it has not been spotted in quite a while. And the place where this hits me the most is at work. I have to remember that when I'm sitting behind that library desk I am the person of authority. I should not let lying, defensive teenagers walk all over me or rude patrons talk to me like I'm an idiot (although I may be well on my way, as you read above). I'm still fairly new to this library, but I know that I ask for help or verification that I'm doing things right far too often. I need to just do it -- most of the time I will be right, and if I make a mistake I'll learn from it.
5. Explore Ohio and the surrounding states.
Most of the time, I love the military lifestyle. It can be tough to move so often, but the Air Force has given us a wonderful opportunity to see the country and the world, and to explore parts of the United States that we would never have seen on our own. After Hawaii, Ohio doesn't seem like the most scenic or interesting place, but it really does have a lot to offer and we're in a great location for travel. It's only five hours to Chicago, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail isn't far to the south, and Ohio boasts Cuyahoga National Park, tons of German restaurants and every fair or festival you could dream up. We can go to Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Tennessee. We did see some sights this past year, but we were also busy getting settled into our house and our jobs. At the end of 2014 I'd like to look back and say we really got to know Ohio and took advantage of our second year here.


  1. I tend to focus on books over personal life, too. Why not share a little personal life now and then? Let's try it!

    Here's my list of Book-ish Resolutions!

  2. Good luck with all of your goals!!

    I am from Ohio and just a heads up, I have lived here my entire life and I can't remember it ever being this cold. Winters aren't usually like this. The Labor Day fireworks in Cincinnati are some of the best I have ever seen. Most cities go all out for the 4th of July, but Cincinnati has a huge end of the summer spectacular. Also...The Dublin Irish Festival is one of the best Irish Festivals in the Country.

    Here is my TTT:

  3. I want to read more of my own books as I read so many review books last year. I need to find a better balance! :-)

  4. Awesome goals!
    I hope you complete every single one <3
    Good luck!
    Here's Our TTT
    Doris @ OABR

  5. Good luck with all your goals! I look forward to reading more about you and can't wait to hear about your 2014 reads!


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