Goals and plans, dreams and wishes: Being deliberate

Since I got back from Christmas (still just a week ago), I’ve been feeling stuck. I’m not sure if I’m overwhelmed by all the things that need doing, or all the grand ideas I have (but haven’t executed), or just trying to find a way back into rhythm, pattern, routine — while still hoping to improve on the past patterns, to avoid the traps, the time sucks I too easily fell into before.

It’s probably some combination of all these things, I know.

I’ve been through a few iterations of goals for 2010, and I’m still somewhat at a loss as to how to quantify or put into words what I want for this year. Last year, I had very concrete, measurable goals. This year, not so much.

My first written iteration of goals for this year was:
• spin every day
• read — lit fic, books that engage faith, mysteries; The Help, books for the Social Justice Challenge, Nebraska authors, and reread the Harry Potter series
• blog
• exercise

This didn’t seem very specific, though.

I did finally draft a short list of knitting goals:
• Knit a second and third sweater,
• toe-up socks,
• knit something (to completion) from my own handspun yarn, and
• make something from my own pattern (something successful).

As far as reading and blogging, though, I haven’t made much progress.

I knew months ago I wanted to be more deliberate in my reading choices — as was stated on twitter and then spread across the book blogosphere. Other than being careful in my choices, though, I don’t have a good set of criteria to make those choices based on, unfortunately.

I’ve also felt somewhat tied down in my blogging; so many posts to write, but still hardly ever really engaging or communicating. Have you ever felt this, or something similar?

To remedy this, I’m stepping back from my commitment to write full reviews of every book I read. I may still do so, but the requirement is starting to get heavy, and I fear it’s been keeping me from more meaningful discourse here. I’m not sure if I’ll do short, mini-reviews, or what. And I’ll certainly still review books here — just maybe not all of them.

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9 responses to “Goals and plans, dreams and wishes: Being deliberate

  1. Good luck with your goals. I hope you find the right balance to suit you.

  2. I know what you mean! This year I’ve given myself permission to abandon books if I am not feeling them. I hope I can follow through!

  3. “(S)o many posts to write, but still hardly ever really engaging or communicating.”

    I think I know that feeling, since my reader/subscriber numbers tell me one thing, but most of my comments come from the same relatively small group – and I REALLY appreciate them, but sometimes I wonder if I’m connecting with anyone else.

    I think everyone has their own criteria for applying the “reading deliberately” concept. As far as reviews go, I think in part it depends who you’re reviewing the books FOR. If it’s mostly for yourself, and you don’t feel like you need to record something about every book you read, take the pressure off!

    Well, there’s more input than you asked for, I’m sure :-). Good luck!

  4. Sounds like you are evaluating many things in your life right now. In terms of being specific, I think you are in your “spin every day” and your knitting goals. It seems to be the book side of your life you haven’t nailed down – as far as specifics – yet.

    I’m attempting to read deliberately too this year. For me, I looked at all the kinds of books I really like to read and choose some challenges around those. I’m going for a fun and enlightening year in reading. I don’t want a lot of pressure. If I don’t meet a challenge, that’s okay.

    In terms of what you and Florinda are both saying about real communication with others, I agree. It seems blogging communication is better when there is a common subject we all can talk about. It’s one of the reasons I joined the Social Justice Challenge. Most of the issues are things I care or are concerned about. I believe other like-minded people have joined and there will be a real discussion about the issues each month. At least that is my hope.

    Anyway, good luck in setting your goals.

  5. I’m so similar in a lot of ways. Right now, I’m not having the blogging blues (as a lot of people seem to be), but I have felt held back in a way. I make lists, tons of lists, and I’m usually pretty good about getting it done. But sometimes it can be too much and I need to be reigned in a bit.

    I think your goals for the coming year a very achievable. And I think stepping back from something you’re not feeling great about usually works out for the best. Sometimes it’s good to step back a bit. Maybe that way you’ll be able to better figure out what you’d like to focus on with reading/blogging.

    Good luck! And know that whatever you decide to write you still have tons of people (myself included) interested in what you will say.

  6. If/when you come up with reading criteria I would be interested in hearing about it. I think I have criteria but I have never really fleshed it out. I like to read about other people who are thinking about living more intentionally. It is encouraging!

  7. The New Year is not exactly off to a good start for me yet, either. I had better hopes for 2010 than are panning out…

  8. I think you’ve got some specific goals there. I’ve never tried spinning, but that certainly seems like a wortwhile one!
    I still write at 300-400 word reviews for each book I read, but that is the reason I started my blog and I don’t want to lose that. But I do enjoy the shorter ones other bloggers do too.
    I know what you mean about commenters. I did some research over the weekend and while I was surprised at how many different people stopped by, I do only have so many regular commenters. That’s okay, I guess, but I know what you mean my wanting it to be more of a discussion. I look forward to seeing what fun posts you come up with this year 🙂

  9. Good luck with your goals, and getting out of that stuck feeling.

    I know what you mean by the blogging blues – I finally got out of it last year when I decided I’d start posting about things I wanted to write about, even if it wasn’t related to books.

    I discovered, too, that I got far more enjoyment out of blogging about reading, rather than writing indepth reviews of books, so I really cut back on straight reviews. I find I’ve been having more fun blogging as a result, and I’m really thankful that people have stuck with me through all the changes, even if I’m not blogging as much about books anymore!

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