Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #21: (Mostly) Bookish Goals for 2014

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I haven't done a Top Ten Tuesday in a very long time, but this week's topic seemed like a good way to summarize all the things I've begun working on in the new year.

1. Stick to my Golden Rule of Book Buying

2. Get no more than 10 new cookbooks (these don't count in #1 because I don't *read* them -- more on this goal later)

3. Diversify my reading selections with the guidance of the (many) challenges I've joined.

4. Read more books for the Classics Club

5. Start reading some of the anthologies and collections on my Classics Club list. I am normally a one book at a time kind of girl, but I have some hefty (and not so hefty) collections of short stories, poetry, fairy tales, etc. that do not necessarily need to be read cover to cover before moving onto another book. So I'd like to start with one and dip in and out until the collection is complete. I think I'm going to start with Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary which I've been wanting to read more of ever since studying an excerpt for Ms. Sweeney's English class. After that, I have plenty of others to choose from!

6. Work on my time management and make time for reading every day. This does not mean I HAVE to read everyday -- if I'm between books and can't decide what to start next or I just don't feel like it, that's fine. What I want to avoid is what happened in 2013 where I would get drawn into a book, but then it could take me weeks to finish it simply because I could not find the time regardless of how much I wanted to read.

7. Go to bed earlier and get more sleep. I'm super lucky to work from home and make my own schedule, but with so much going on last year, I got in the bad habit of starting my work day later and then staying up on the computer until 2AM. So I've been shifting my schedule earlier and my goal is to keep it that way. Related to #6, I've been making time to read before bed which usually helps me fall asleep, and having a routine is really helpful when trying to establish new habits and patterns.

8. Try at least 50 new recipes. If I get back in the habit of cooking and baking more, I should easily surpass this goal. In the past, I've made 4 new recipes in one day (granted that was for a party, but still one new recipe a week is really a piece of cake.)

9. Choose one cookbook from my collection at a time and make several recipes from it. There are so many books I've browsed with my husband (usually right after I've bought them) asking him which things he'd be willing to try, and yet we so often fall back into the trap of tried-and-true. Not this year! Nick can be really picky, but he's gotten more adventurous with food lately, so I'm going to seize that opportunity.

10. No purchasing packaged sweets (cookies, ice cream, etc.). I have a well stocked pantry and enough recipes to last a lifetime so this one should be easy. I used to do this without even thinking about it because I baked and tried new recipes all the time when we lived in our apartment. But a year of house projects left me short on time and snatching packaged goodies off the shelves when grocery shopping. Homemade tastes so much better anyway, so this goal should be lots of fun. The one treat I'll still allow is real-deal 70%+ dark chocolate because I can't make that myself and dark chocolate has like antioxidants and stuff in it, right? As a side note, when I mentioned this resolution to my husband, he said he was all for it, but "Now I'll have to make it my resolution to not gain 100 pounds because of your resolution." The boy does love my baking :)

Here's to a productive and happy 2014! Good luck with your goals, whatever they may be :)

24 comments:

  1. Good luck with your goals! Trying new recipes is a good one - I should set this one for myself :)

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    1. Thanks Riv! New recipes are so much fun :)

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  2. Great goals - good luck! I think I ought to try the go to bed earlier one...Trouble is, I always read before bed and sometimes I just can't stop :)

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    1. Oh, I have done that as well! I'm usually good about closing the book when it's starting getting late, but if I'm almost finished and I'm dying to get to the ending, I definitely sometimes stay up past my bedtime, lol. All the more reason to get started as early as I can in the evening after work and other obligations are done :)

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  3. I love the cooking goal - a great way to make the most of all the recipe books one accumulates!!
    What time's dinner??
    :-)

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    1. Haha, yes! I will also need to make sure the new recipes I try aren't all desserts, so I actually will have more interesting dinners every once in a while :)

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  4. Wonderful goals, especially the not purchasing packaged goodies. I try to avoid the inner isles at the market. I love that you are going to try 50 new recipes. That is something I need to do, instead of cooking the same menu.

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    1. Thanks Kimba! I think it's so interesting how many people have commented on the recipe goals rather than the reading goals -- just goes to show it's good to mix things up once in a while :)

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  5. I love trying new recipes! I'm not big into cooking, I just got more in to it this past year once I was married and only working part-time while my husband works full time, making it my turn to cook dinner most nights. But I'm getting to enjoy it and since I'm a picky eater it seems to work best when I cook anyway. :)

    You have a lot of great goals on here! I wish you the best of luck with managing your sleep time and reading time and everything else. I know how it can be a challenge.

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    1. Thanks Kay! I really missed having time to cook this year, so I'm really excited to try new things.

      Sleep and time management are key to working everything else out, so here's hoping I can stick with it :)

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  6. I love your cooking goals! For a while there before all the holidays I was trying a new crock pot recipe every weekend. I loved it and my freezer was well stocked with ready made dinners. I have slacked on that! Thanks for the reminder that I love new recipes! Good luck on all your goals.
    ~Megan
    http://wp.me/zUn5

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    1. What a great idea! I would love to use my crock pot more. Will have to make sure to pick some of my new recipes from my slow cooker cook books :)

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  7. I find that a sleep schedule helps me function so much better. The problem is I do great with the sleep schedule at home, but when I go back to college I end up staying up late to spend time with my friends. I'm going to try to change that this semester and get more sleep. Good Luck with your goals.

    My TTT: http://rachaelc94.blogspot.com/2014/01/top-ten-goals-for-2014.html

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    1. Thanks Rachael! I've only been working on this for a week and it's already been helping a lot. College is definitely not a time I recall going to sleep early, so I can't blame you there!

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  8. I love your cooking goal! I have a small cookbook collection, but I hardly use them, because I get distracted by recipes on Pinterest. But I really want to use them more this year! Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Nicole! I like cooking recipes from the internet as well, but know I have so many good ones in my cookbooks, so definitely planning to mix things up a bit this year :)

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  9. I should apply goal #7 in my life LOL. Great list! And good luck on your goals :)
    My TTT

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    1. We all could use more sleep, right? Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Good luck with your goals Christine! You have some very good ones.
    I'm not much of a cooker (I make very basic food) but I do enjoy to bake so I particularly like your tenth goal.
    Once again, good luck!!
    :-)
    Bits & Bobs

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    1. Thanks Jade! Baking is so much fun! (and delicious!) I thought in the midst of so many people making healthy eating goals, it would be fun to have a bit of a decadent goal this year. I do try to eat healthy the rest of the time, but I definitely have a sweet tooth, so I'd rather enjoy some homemade treats than packaged junk :)

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  11. Hell yes to number 7 and say what to number 10!!!??

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    1. This girl definitely needs her sleep! And LOL I know I'm a little crazy, but every time I bake stuff, I remember how much better it tastes than store bought stuff, so that's my indulgent goal that I am hoping will save me some money too!

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I'd love to hear what you think :)