Book Talk: Setting Goals

Thursday 15 January 2015

I am a goal motivated person. If there's a total I need to hit, I'll try my best to hit it. If there's a prize or reward at the end of something, then you can bet I'll be trying my hardest to in it. I can't stand missing deadlines and I feel like I've let myself down when I don't meet targets.

I am constantly setting goals for myself within my reading.

Read 50 books in a year. Read 4 books in a week. Read 150 pages in a day. Read all the books you own. Read a long book.

Usually, I meet these goals. I read quickly, I read every day, I read when I could be spending my time doing other things. I push and push to meet the goals I set for myself, unable to accept failure or defeat. And I've started to notice something.

I'm not enjoying reading as much.

That's right, I said it: I'm not enjoying reading. Of course, I do still love all my books and the habit of losing myself in another world. Of course I do. But I'm turning it into a chore for myself. I already only review books when I feel like it, or if I have particularly strong feelings one way or another. Reviewing is not something I enjoy - I'll be honest - so I don't make myself do it very often. Why, in that case, do I set myself all these goals if all it's doing is taking the enjoyment out of something I love?

This blog is supposed to be a fun place for me to chat about the thing I enjoy most, but I feel like I'm ruining it for myself. I had a brief list of resolutions for myself - post more than once a week, read all your owned books before buying more, start reading longer books - but I don't think I'm able to face them. I don't want reading to become something I don't enjoy. I don't want my books to become things I look at with dread. I don't want to feel like this is a competition I can never be good enough for.

Which is why I've decided to cut back on my goals. If only read 30 books as opposed to 130, that's okay. If it takes me a week to read a book rather than two days, it's not the end of the world. I need to become a relaxed reader. 

I need to stop setting goals.


  1. I just stumbled upon your blog through Bloggers Commenting Back, and I first wanted to say that it's gorgeous! I love the pattern on the background and the simple-but-elegant header.

    As for the actual post, I agree with you 100%. Goals have the potential to be fun, but it's so easy to let them feel like a chore. The only goal I usually participate in is the Goodreads challenge, and even then I set the bar pretty low - that way, I can be satisfied watching my percentage go up, but I won't try to force myself to read a huge amount of books. Haha. Of course, there's not really a point to setting a goal if you're going to make it so low you can easily achieve it, which is why I, like you, am not one for bookish goal-setting.

    1. Thank you so much! I spent a lot of time searching for a background I liked, so I'm glad it looks nice. :')

      I participate in the the Goodreads challenge, too, but I always deliberately set my goal low. Like you, I enjoy watching the percentage reach higher and higher, but this can also have an adverse affect on me: I constantly want it to go higher. This year, I set it really low at 20, and I know I'll finish that really quickly, but in my head I'm only counting books 500+ pages because I really need to cut down on my 'big' books else I'll never get to them.


Got a thought or an opinion? I'd love to hear it.

design by amanda inez