On (Not) Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

2015 was the year for me. Not that I’m much of a goal-keeper- I never have been- but I was determined to keep my New Year’s resolution of reading 50 books in a year, a challenge that I have been attempting to track using Goodreads for an embarrassing total of three years running.

Last year was the year I got fed up. When I was younger I was a voracious reader and I missed that feeling; I couldn’t remember the last time I had whiled away the hours of a rainy afternoon lost in a novel, sometimes two. Even the task of reading an entire book felt daunting, accomplished only by stealing hidden moments of time here and there. I wasn’t enjoying it. I longed for my old self.

Maybe that’s why I ended up being so disappointed when I only managed a grand total of 45. Falling short of my goal would surely mean that I had failed to reclaim that lost part of myself. I hadn’t returned to being a “bookworm”.

“That’s still a lot of books,” a friend reassures me over coffee. “I manage maybe one a year. And it better be a good one, too, or it turns me off of reading for ages.”

Maybe bookworm is a relative term- what counts a year’s worth of reading for some people would take others mere weeks or days to finish. My younger self would be surprised at how little I read, but she also had more free time and fewer responsibilities. She wouldn’t cherish reading time as the precious commodity the way her older self does today.

Statistically speaking, I’ve read more in the past year than I have in the two previous years combined, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. Forcing myself to sit down and relax with a book is a difficult task but it’s one I’ve managed to complete at least forty-five times. I may not have reached my goal but the effort it has made me put into my own self-care has meant so much more. I’d forgotten how much I loved it. I’d forgotten how much I loved to share that love.

So it’s 2016 and this year I’m trying to read 60. It’s a lofty goal, but I’m feeling really good about it. There’s a giant stack of new books on my bookshelf, full of dozens of new stories, and all of them are calling my name.


Inquiring minds want to know: what New Year’s resolutions have you broken and kept? And how do you manage just to read one book a year anyway? If you have the answers I’m looking for, comment below or drop me a line at keepingbusyb@gmail.com.

Love reading almost as much as I do? Track my progress on Goodreads, or read more about what I’m reading here. Having trouble starting off on the right foot this year? Here’s some advice I gave awhile back about procrastination. (And here’s the addendum.)