Saturday, January 4, 2014

My 2014 goals

Although the distinction may seem somewhat arbitrary, I prefer making New Year's goals rather than resolutions. For me, the best goals are both achievable and aspirational. Finding this balance is crucial. Some yeras, I've set goals that were too aspirational or too proscribed. As I reflected on the reader I was in 2013, I found a few opportunities for gradual change. My goals this year aren't exclusively about reading, however, as I continue to enjoy a variety of media. Ultimately, the purpose of these goals is to help me focus. In those moments when I contemplate how to spend my time, most often when I get home from work and Mr. Nomadreader is still at work, I want to keep returning to these goals in 2014. If I'm on track, great. I can be free to do what I most feel like doing. If I'm not on track with these goals, I hope I'll choose to spend my time working toward them. These are goals I made out of love; I truly enjoy all of these activities and want to spend more time enjoying them. There are, of course, other things I enjoy doing, but I don't seem to have trouble finding enough time to eat good food, drink wine, or watch television, so my goals aren't related to those activities...this year at least.

1. Read 104 books in 2014.
As I mentioned in my Vest Best of 2013 post, I only managed to read 94 books, which disappointed. While 100 is a nice, round number, 104 represents reading an average of two books a week for an entire year. This number isn't so large to be daunting, or even prevent me from tackling chunksters. There can easily be weeks when I read only one book, but I hope there are just as many in which I read three. My making my goal as much about the week as the year, I hope to track my progress weekly rather than monthly or semi-annually. Book reviews will most often appear on the blog on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Want to follow along with my progress? I track my reading on my Books Read 2010-present tab, on LibraryThing, and on GoodReads.

2. Watch 104 films in 2014.
I really like films, and I tend to go through phases of watching one a day for several weeks, followed by phases of watching none for months. I only watched 41 films in 2013, so clearly there is room for improvement. Film reviews will most often appear on the blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays (when I will also sometimes talk about tv.) Want to follow along with my progress? I track the films I watch on my IMDB account.
  • 2a. Watch 52 documentaries in 2014. As many of you know, I teach a documentary film course, and my past fascination with documentaries has given way to a near obsession. I aim to watch an average of one documentary a week in 2014.
  • 2b. Watch 52 fiction films in 2014. I don't follow contemporary film as closely as I used to, and I miss it. These days I prefer watching movies at home to the cost of the theater, and I hope to reinvigorate my film watching my watching an average of one fiction film each week in 2014.
3. Read all 47 issues of The New Yorker in 2014.
I've subscribed to The New Yorker for fifteen years, and I'm ashamed to admit I don't think I actually read more than a handful of issues last year. It's a time commitment, but it's one I enjoy. If I don't make this goal, I'll have to face the facts and finally cancel my subscription. The New Yorker publishes 47 issues each year, and while I won't hold myself to finishing each article if it doesn't hold my attention, I want to try each one. I also hope to spend some time talking about articles of note here on the blog, as well as continuing to most favorite articles and quotes to my Tumblr.

4. Participate in the #fmsphotoaday Instagram challenge most days.
I really enjoy instagram, and I sporadically participate in Fat Mum Slim's daily prompt challenge. Some days get away from me, and some days I cannot think of anything to satisfy the prompt in a fun, creative or meaningful way. So I won't hold myself to 365 photos, but I hope to come close. Want to follow along with my progress? My photos appear on my Instagram, which I cross-post to my Tumblr. I post some to Twitter too. To highlight my favorite photos, I may start participating in the Wordless Wednesday meme some Wednesdays too.

Now tell me: what are your goals for 2014?


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12 comments:

  1. Love your goal to read the New Yorker in 2014! I often find that reading articles or short stories falls by the wayside when I have a good book, so I think this is a very admirable goal.

    I'm not setting any specific goals for 2014 right now, though I do want to check off more titles on my Classics Club list this year. So I guess that's my main goal. We'll see...

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Rayna, I'm the same way! I feel like I can either focus on books or magazines, so I hope to fin the right balance this year. Good luck on your Classics quest (I need to do that one of these months or years!)

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  2. We used to go to the movies a lot, but it has just gotten so expensive and I don't enjoy the environment any more. My son has such a big tv that we can get almost as lost in the movie watching on that screen! I find myself getting so frustrated with documentaries these days; so many of them are so biased, "documenting" only one side of a story. Still, I suppose that would make them great for teaching! Good luck with your goals!

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  3. I am with you on the NewYorker reading. I started my subscription last year but I haven't been good at keeping up with it. I need to make time for it.

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    1. Ooh! We should definitely Twitter chat about articles and stories each week! I loved the Antonya Nelson story in this week's issue. You?

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    2. I'm totally with you on Twitter chatting! I'm sure that will make me read it more often. I haven't read the story yet though the mag is sitting on my desk now. I'm going to read it today!

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  4. Wow - I love your goals. They are definitely ambitious but I love how well-rounded they are. I will of course be following all of your book reviews. Do you review documentaries anywhere? I'd love to hear about what you're seeing.

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    1. Gayle, I'm planning to be better about actually reviewing (or talking about) films here this year. I speak a little differently about ones I intend to teach (for obvious reasons), but I'm looking forward to discussing documentaries more in 2014!

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  5. Happy New Year! Those are great goals, and ambitious ones, as all goals should be. I plan to read more translated literature and also read more in the original (not only in English but Portuguese, Spanish and French).

    Another objective is to get back on the blogging wagon, hopefully to pre-baby levels (a girl can dream!)

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    1. Alex, I love your translation goal! That's always one on my mind. Hope you can find your way back to blogging more too (although you have the best excuse there is!)

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  6. Wonderful goals! I hope you'll post on any great documentaries you find.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!