My Goals and Challenges for the New Year

Hi everyone, it’s Sabrina!  I know the year has well and truly started by this point, but today I want to talk about some goals and challenges I want to complete by the end of it.  I’ll start with my own personal goals (mostly to do with reading, but there’s a few others in there too) and then move on to specific challenges I’m planning on completing!  I think I’ve kept everything possible whilst still being challenging, which is quite important to me. Now let’s get into it 🙂


🌸  be more lenient about giving out 5 stars 🌸

Last year, I only gave out eight 5 star ratings out of 104 books read.  If you stretch that to include 4.5 star ratings, the number only increases to thirteen.  But I know I gave some of my favourite books of the year only 4 stars!  There is a voice in my head that often says to me “if a book had flaws, if you were bored for even an instant, you can’t give it a 5”, but it’s not there all the time because I can look back at almost all my 5 stars from last year and tell you a reason why they weren’t perfect.  So, I guess I want to get better at rating with my heart over my head.

🌸  read at least 5 books where sci-fi is the primary genre 🌸

I’ve always said that I am a fan of sci-fi, but a lot of what I read tends to lean more on the lighter side – like The Weight of the Stars or The A.I. Who Loved Me, where the primary genre is something else.  This year, I want to make an active effort to read some sci-fi that is more sci-fi than it is anything else.  And hopefully I’ll find that I still enjoy it!

🌸  pick up at least one book about genetics 🌸

I’m planning on reading some more nonfiction this year (see the Out of Your Comfort Zone challenge section below), but I specifically want to read at least one full book about genetics.  I am always interested in learning about this topic and I’m hoping I can find an engaging book on it.  That said, and I know this is a long shot but, please, if you have any recommendations, let me know!

🌸  read at least five books that you already own 🌸

Last year I thought I’d be able to get through 30 and that did not turn out.  I think five is a very reasonable number, and considering I have worked some of these books into other challenges I want to complete, I should have sufficient motivation to do this.  

Please Sabrina, if you’re reading this back later in the year… read your owned books.  You’ll feel a weight off your shoulders.

🌸  stay on top of comments 🌸

I’m ridiculously bad at this, and I am hoping that by putting this as a goal in writing and making some specific rules, I will be able to keep myself on track.  I want to reply to comments within five days of receiving them, and comment back within ten days.  And this should help me with other things, such as staying on top of Twitter and Pinterest, because I won’t feel so guilty.

🌸  pin a tweet with my updated social media information 🌸

I love how some people have a pinned tweet on Twitter with all their social media platforms linked in one easily accessible place.  I’ve been saying to myself that I should do one for months.  This is an easy goal, because it’s a one-and-done sort of thing and really I should have done it already.  Keep an eye out for it 😛

🌸  make time for writing 🌸

For as long as I can remember, I have written stories.  I’ve also never finished a single one – except for maybe when I was a child.  I have more stories that I want to write, but I never make time for it and now, I’ve decided I have to.  My goal this year is to start with at least one hour a week, on a Thursday.  Of course, I’m hoping I’ll write more than that, but that will be my minimum.  I’m also not going to be too fussed about sticking to Thursday, but I know if I say “once a week” it won’t be specific enough and I won’t end up doing it.

🌸  reach a 100 day streak on Duolingo 🌸

I have been really enjoying learning French on Duolingo for the past few months.  However, I went on holiday in late December and lost my streak.  This year, I want to really work on learning more of the language and reaching a 100 day streak will hopefully mean that I’ve done that.


The first challenge I want to complete is my sequels challenge that I laid out in this post last year.  I want to read 25 specific sequels (though my definition of “sequel” is pretty loose) by my 25th birthday in December.  I decided to do this challenge because I’ve become worse at completing series over time, even when I love a first book, because I guess I just want to keep moving on to the next new thing.  Hopefully, this will be a step toward changing that!

Next, I’m participating in the Out of Your Comfort Zone Reading Challenge again!  It’s hosted by the lovely Caro @ BookCheshireCat – check out the announcement and sign-up post here.  Similar to last year, I have picked a few genres/categories that I want to read more from that are outside of what I usually gravitate toward and a minimum number I want to read from each:

–  10 nonfiction books
–  5 historical mysteries
–  5 middle grades
–  5 translated novels

From last year, I have expanded my nonfiction reading goal from 5 to 10 books and I’ve narrowed down the type of historical fiction I want to read more of.  I know ‘translated work’ and ‘middle grade’ are very broad categories, but I never find myself actively seeking out these books and I want to change that.  I’m also really excited about the addition of the bingo board this year, and I’ll hopefully be completing that! Keep an eye on my Twitter for updates throughout the year 😀

Finally, I am joining BooksandLala’s Buzzword Reading Challenge this year!  It’s pretty open to interpretation, and to be honest, I’m probably going to be bending the rules even more than suggested, lol.  There is a prompt for each month of the year and the way I am doing it is that I am planning to read one book a month that matches the prompt.  Where the rule-bending comes in is that I’m almost certain I won’t be able to read one book a month because roadblocks will probably show up over the year – for example, I know I usually hit a slump around August/September.  So, I am going to stick to one-a-month as much as I can, but I may skip ahead or fall behind every now and then.  Basically, as long as I complete each prompt over the course of the year, I will consider the challenge done!  I’ve already selected which specific books I want to read for a lot of the prompts and I’ve marked them down on The Storygraph – I don’t think you can see the books I chose through that link, but you can see all the prompts.  Again, I’m hoping to update on Twitter as I go 🙂

What do you think?

Are you participating in any challenges this year? Do you have any goals? What is the one you are most looking forward to completing? Let me know!

38 thoughts on “My Goals and Challenges for the New Year

  1. Good luck on all your goals for this year!! I too also keep telling myself that I’ll prioritize the books I already own, but I just keep borrowing books 😅 5 books sounds really manageable


  2. These are such great goals! I don’t have any specific goals but this year I want to read more books! I do have one goal and that is to blog hop a lot and interact with other blogs here on WordPress! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like to think I’m lenient about giving out five stars, but I actually think I could improve, like you! I just gave a book four stars but I enjoyed it so much, so idk why we’re so scared of saying we read a five star read lol.

    Good luck with your goals, Sabrina!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Best of luck on all your goals. I really like seeing what you are hoping to achieve. I have definitely noticed being really strict on five star reads as well, it is like I think they have to be perfect but no book really is so I want to rate them based more on my feelings.
    I would also love to check out more sci-fi because I haven’t read that many but the ones I have I did enjoy. I hope you are able to find lots of good ones this year.
    Best of luck with your writing, it can be really hard to make time for writing. I really struggle with it but I hope you are able to work on it. I really liked that you’ve set a time goal for a week as that sounds like it is going to be helpful, I may copy you haha.
    I hope 2021 is a great year for you and you find lots of great books too. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sophie!! I think you’re right there about no book really being perfect.
      I hope you get to try some more sci-fi this year as well as me 😀
      I’ve already failed at my writing goal omg :’) But I’m going to keep trying lol. Let me know if you try it and it works for you haha.
      Thanks again, I hope you have a great year and read great books as well 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s funny because I just recently noticed that I don’t read much sci-fi, even though I tend to enjoy the sci-fi books I pick up. It’s something I definitely want to change, just maybe not this year, since I know school is going to overwhelm me, so I plan on sticking to my comfort genres!

    As for a book about genetics, while I haven’t read it, I have seen The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee around a fair bit. So maybe look into that one?

    And I’m definitely trying to read some of the books I own, particularly the ones I acquired before 2021. Out of the 40 books I had on my self on December 31st, 2020, I want to have read 20 of those by December 31st, 2021. Ideally I read even more, and of course I hope to also read many of the books I acquire this year as well! Honestly, it’s a much more ambitious goal than I realized, but that’s what makes it a challenge!

    I might also participate in Buzzwordathon this year! If I manage to read a book with the word “dream” in it in January, then I’ll definitely try to keep up with all the rest of the prompts each month! I guess we’ll just have to see what I end up reading this month!

    I hope that you manage to achieve all of your goals that you set for yourself, and that you enjoy yourself in the process of completing them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is funny that we have both had this realisation! But yeah, definitely understand sticking to your comfort genres when you’re having a busy time!! Or just any time!

      Thanks for your suggestion! I actually read your comment when you posted it and since then I have put the book on hold at the library and it’s now in my hands so I’ll be reading it really soon!

      That sounds like a good goal in terms of your books you own! Good luck with the challenge!!

      Ooh I hope you end up participating in the Buzzwordathon! It would be fun to see what books you pick every month. No pressure though 😛

      Thanks Malka!! I hope you have a great year 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good luck with your goals and challenges! I’m really bad at keeping on top of replying to comments too so I hope to keep up with that 🙂 I’m not taking part in any challenges this year but all of the ones I’ve seen look fun so I’m a little tempted 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good luck with your goals!! Hope you reach them all <3.
    I've also set a goal based on ratings this year but mine's actually the opposite haha – I feel like I'm way too lenient with five stars so I'm trying to be more critical with my ratings now and deliberate on them more!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Best of luck for all of these goals! I always feel like I’m a little… tough with my 5 stars reads and I’ve been trying to make more of an effort with them, too. Sometimes I want to rate a book 5 stars, but I end up giving it a 4,5 stars because it’s missing a little something. Sometimes, I don’t even know what and… it’s frustrating 😂
    Staying on top of comments is such a good goal to have. I want to do that,too, but I’ll settle for trying 😂😂
    Best of luck with them all!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Marie!
      Lol, I totally relate to rating books 4.5 instead of 5 – especially when it comes to not knowing exactly what was missing.
      Haha, staying on top of comments is just a lot harder than I feel like it should be :’) I guess trying is all we can do!!
      Thanks again! ❤


  9. Good luck with your goals for 2021, Sabrina! ❤ I also plan on reading more of my owned books this year, my ambitious goal is to read 1-2 books per month, let’s see how this works out 😄 I hope to make some time for writing as well and write for me as an act of self-care instead of thinking about what others would think 🙏 (I’ve been meaning to refresh my French for ages, maybe I should join Duolingo 😱)

    Also thank you so much for joining my challenge, I’m so excited!! 💗 I like the challenge of reading translated books because I definitely don’t do that enough!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Caro!! ❤
      Ooh 1-2 owned books a month is a decent goal!! I hope it works out well for you 😀 And that is very clever to use writing as self-care.
      I definitely recommend Duolingo!! If you give it a go, you should add me as a friend 😛
      Thank *you* for creating it! I would never have read outside my comfort zone in such a way if it hadn’t been for your challenge. And I’m excited to expand my reading again this year 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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