I’m going to save you some time, and just answer this question for you immediately. Did I achieve my 2021 goals? It depends. If it was a blogging goal, chances are I did pretty well! But if it was a reading or TBR goal, chances are that I failed miserably! So let’s go into all the little nitty gritty details of how I did with my goals in 2021!
The Reading and TBR Goals
Reading 100 Books
Ahhh, I failed at this one, as I only read 95 books. However! I probably could have made this goal if I really had tried, but I deliberately decided not to. I had about a week left to read 5 more books, and I had plenty of graphic novels and manga that I could have reached for in that time. However, I am at heart a mood reader, and part of that means that I need to be in the mood to read in general. On top of that, I wasn’t in the mood of reading the specific graphic novels and manga I had on hand. So I chose not to force myself to read, and just ended out the year continuing some reads of some larger novels. And while I am disappointed that I didn’t reach my reading goal, I mostly just feel proud that I didn’t force myself to read to meet some arbitrary goal!
Reading More Diversely
I set the goal that 75% of my reads should be diverse in some way. A broad, and lofty goal to reach, when I’ve only just started to take the steps necessary to make my reading more actively diverse. Honestly, where I went wrong here is I stopped keeping track of the diversity in the books I read. In some cases it was because I wasn’t able to easily find out if an author was from a diverse background even if the characters they wrote weren’t diverse, but even when I take that into consideration, I still would not have reached the 75% mark I set for myself.
Going through the books I read now, about 33% of them had BIPOC, LGBTQ, or religious diversity obviously on page. That’s a far cry from 75%, but it does give me a starting point to work from. I’m really disappointed by this number, but I think that now that I know my starting point, I can set a more reasonable goal for myself for 2022.
Using Jesse’s Deck of TBR
I had purchased a deck of cards with all sorts of diverse TBR prompts on them from Jesse @ Bowties & Books with the plan of using them in some way to guide my reading in 2021. Maybe where I went wrong was not specifying how I would use them. Maybe I went wrong by thinking that I would ever use anything related to a TBR being the mood reader I am. Whatever the case may be, I didn’t actively use them the way I had intended, although I did flip through the cards every once in a while for inspiration. It makes me sad to admit it, but I think I truly failed at this goal in the end.
Getting Rid of My Backlist TBR
I may have weirdly achieved this goal thanks to my aggressive unhauling at the end of the year. In my original goals post I said I wanted to read OR unhaul 20 out of the 40 books I had on my physical TBR at the start of 2021. I read and kept 7 of those books. I unhauled 25 of those books. So I only have 8 books that remain from before 2021. I’d consider that a pretty big win! It’s important to note that my goal was never to shrink my TBR, but rather to get older books off my TBR so that the titles on my TBR shelf would only be those I’m still interested. So I definitely accomplished both the letter and the spirit of this goal!
10 Books To Read in 2021
I posted a list last year with 10 books I wanted to read in 2021. This was quite silly of me. I need to just come to terms with the fact that I can’t keep a TBR. I thought I was being so smart saying that it would be a win if I even read half of them. Welp. I didn’t read half. I read one book from that list! Just one! But if that isn’t embarrassing enough, not only did I not read the remaining 9 books, I actually unhauled 8 of them! After starting or attempting to start reading many of the books on my list, I realized they weren’t for me after all and got rid of them. Normally this wouldn’t bother me, but seeing as they were on the TBR I set for myself, I felt a bit silly having a complete change of heart about so many of them. But maybe I’m just bad at making TBRs, and that’s why I don’t stick to them!
Blog Discussion Challenge
This goal was just to participate in Nicole and Shannon‘s Book Blogger Discussion Post Challenge, and I’m proud to say that this is one I definitely completed! I posted so many discussions that I’m very proud of this year! I would list my favorites, but honestly, I’m scrolling back through the posts, and I just want to list all of them! You all know by now that discussions are my favorite kind of post to write, and I genuinely will not post one without putting a great deal of time and thought into each one which makes me love each of them. Plus the discussions I get to have in the comments with everyone just makes me so very happy. Essentially, I love everything about this goal, I definitely completed it, and it’s definitely one I’ll be setting for 2022 as well!
More Bookshop Lists
Did I accomplish this goal? On the one hand I want to say yes, because of how well my list of where to start with graphic novels did. But on the other hand, I didn’t really make too many new lists this year. So yes, I technically made a few more, but I don’t feel like I achieved the spirit of this goal. And that’s okay! I’m still happy with how I promoted my lists and my overall experience being a Bookshop.org affiliate this year.
Emailing Publishers More Often
I actually did this one! Hurray! I emailed several publishers with requests for ARCs, and I actually received responses to some of them! I wouldn’t quite say I formed relationships with all the publishers I reached out to just yet, but I definitely have put more effort into reaching out and letting publishers know when there’s a book I’m interested in! This is something that I won’t be setting as a goal for 2022, but that I hope to continue doing regardless!
Me writing an email in hopes of getting an ARC of my most anticipated read of the year
Write and Post 12 Reviews
I succeeded in this goal and I couldn’t be prouder! I posted 16.5 reviews in 2021! (The half is my review for The Bad Boy Experiment, which was also half a discussion.) The aim of this goal was to make me more comfortable writing reviews and to help me find a method that works for me when reviewing, and I think that I definitely achieved that! Reviews still aren’t my favorite kind of post to write, but I definitely enjoy writing them more now that I actually have a method and a groove going with reviewing!
Honestly, reaching the end of this post, I’m quite proud of what I managed to achieve this year. Yes, it’s true that I didn’t manage to get accomplish all of my goals, but I learnt a lot about myself from both the goals I achieved and the ones I didn’t. And that will help me when setting my new goals for 2022, all of which I’ll hopefully manage to achieve this year!