Ah it’s the time of the year to settle on a New Years Resolution. 2014 was the first year I chose a resolution and actually fulfilled it. I am not a very goal oriented person. So previous years I had never put much thought into any. There was working out, eating healthy, spending less money, listen to my parents more, etc. All of them I never finished. So this year I wanted to pick something I could fulfill.
For Christmas last year, my mom (Santa) bought me the Divergent series box set by Veronica Roth. Now, this wasn’t a gift that was on my list and I had maybe mentioned it to my mom once. But she’s amazing and got it for me. I did not identify myself as a reader back then. I had read willingly maybe 10 books in my life. So I was expecting it to take a while to get through these three fairly large books. I was wrong; it only took me three days to read three-500 page books. I inhaled them. I stayed up til 3 am and when I literally couldn’t hold my eyes open anymore I put them down. As soon as I woke up, I picked them back up to read. I even dreamed about reading them. This book series captured me. I was entranced by the world Veronica Roth had created. These books reminded me why I loved reading.
I didn’t want to stop reading. So I made my New Years resolution to read fifty books. When I told people this they told me it was too many, there’s not enough time, how can you read that many? I was determined. Fifty seemed reachable, considering I had just read three books in three days. So I didn’t let these people get me down. I am a aware that I am a very fast reader and buying a book for each day is way too pricey. I never had a library card before but the kids I nannied had one so I started checking books out at the library with their card. I would leave the library with books in fives and tens. Always making sure I had a book to read each day. People at school would ask me if I had a different book everyday, I did. I would sometimes finish a book at like 2:00 in the afternoon and read another in seven hours before I went to sleep. Then, I’d pick one out to start the next day. My reading wasn’t even about reaching fifty books anymore. I wasn’t reading just to make it closer to my goal, I was reading because I loved it. My hunger was never relieved (its still not). I needed more and more and more books.
Now I can’t remember what book was my fiftieth book & I’m very mad at myself for not marking it down. But I did mark my 100th, 150th, and 200th. I more than quadrupled my goal of fifty. By April 20th, I was at 100 books. By June, I read my 150th book, and by October I had read 200 books. (College slowed down my reading A LOT, I mean it took me a week to read one little book.)
I think about why I started reading every time I finish a book. Especially reflecting on the year and what all the books I’ve read have taught me. I always go back to the gift my mom got me. If she would have never gotten me that box set, I would’ve never made reading my New Years Resolution.
Don’t ever dismiss the little things in life. Sometimes the littlest things can bring the biggest changes to life. Books have more than changed my life. They’ve inspired me to be a writer. They’ve taught me life lessons. They’ve given me multiple (fictional) friends. They’ve shown me who I am as a person. I wouldn’t even have started this blog if it wasn’t for books. That one little gift that my mom got me, changed me completely.
So when trying to decide on a New Years Resolution this year, pick something that you’ll love to do. Something that will make you happy. These goals don’t have to be huge, catastrophic things. They could be learning how to say “no” more, spending more time alone, smiling more often, loving yourself, stop doubting yourself, or even showing your family more love. New Years Resolutions should only be about you and what is going to make you happy. I know in school teachers always used to make us write down our “academic” resolutions and I hated it. I hated being forced to set goals that I had no desire to achieve. So make your resolutions something you actually care about and want to do. That is the only way you’re going to fulfill it. Because every goal you fulfill, will be life changing even if it’s only in the slightest.
My goal stopped being a goal and became a lifestyle. I think that is what a New Years Resolution is about: Self Discovery and personal achievement. It feels amazing to tell people that I’ve read 217 books in twelve months (mostly bragging because, hey that’s a lot of books and I’m proud of myself). Take some time to really think of a goal that is achievable and will bring you joy. If you set a goal that is unattainable then you’ll only feel bad about yourself. Set something that will push you, but not in a way that will you bring you disappointment.
Don’t turn yourself into a failure, but into a success.
Hope you all are enjoying the holidays and good luck on picking your life changing goal.
4/27/14 I had no bookshelf so I had to improvise.
5/26/14 Finally bought myself a book shelf and clearly added some books to my collection.
7/11/14 After I received birthday and graduation money, I bought some more books.
11/26/14 I had to buy a new shelf before I went to college because, a) I was out of room on this shelf, b) I needed a shelf at school and, c) I needed a shelf at home to hold all the books I didn’t take to school with me. I never took a picture of the way I had the shelves before I left for school but these are all the book I left at home.
You can check out my Goodreads profile to see every book I’ve read this year!