Monthly Archives: January 2018

2018 Reading Goals

January 19, 2018

I read 75 books in 2017. I’m hoping to have a post up soon about my favorites from 2017, but if I wait to write that before I write this post, I could be waiting all year. The short version is that because I succeeded in reading 75 books last year, I decided to up my goal in 2018 – with a few extra twists. This is mainly because I love challenges and plans, and having some direction in my reading life is really great.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the diversity of voices in my life and the diversity of voices in my books specifically.

I’m going to read 100 books in 2018 – and 75 of them will be by women and people of color.

This means way less books by white guys. Rachel has a similar goal (but she’s reading way more books than I am!) and I asked her if I could borrow her words for the reason why behind this goal. She says it much better than I can:

“Let me give a little disclaimer here: I do not hate white males. I think they matter just as much as any other kind of person, and my goal to NOT read their books is not because I have some vendetta against white men. But. Here’s the thing: White males are in leadership almost everywhere I go, and their voices overwhelmingly fill my life/mind/bookshelves. This goal is a conscious effort to continue building on my efforts to increase the variety and diversity of voices I choose to listen to and learn from. More women, more people of color, more people of different sexualities, more people with disabilities, more people on different ends of the political spectrum, more people who look/act/think/believe/feel differently than I do.

I will still read books by white males this year, I just want to make sure that I’m consciously choosing diversity OFTEN, not just once every now and then. This will be a major shift in my reading, and I’m looking forward to all that I’ll learn from the voices I’ll be listening to!”

In accomplishing this goal, I’m hoping to bring more voices into my reading.

I’m also going to try to complete the Popsugar Reading Challenge and the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. A friend sent me this list of 46 Books by Women of Color to Read in 2018, and I’d love to read one a month. I’m allowing myself overlap – if I can make one book work for two challenges or even all three, that’s awesome. If not, no big deal. I’d also love to make a dent in the unread books on my shelf.

It’s definitely a lot. I may need to make some sort of spreadsheet to keep track of it all. I might not succeed, and that’s okay. I mainly care about reading the 100 books, with at least 75 of them by women and people of color.

As of writing this I’ve read 4 books so far, so it’s going well. Here’s to lots of happy reading in 2018!

2018 Goals and Word of the Year

January 16, 2018

I finally got a chance this weekend to sit down and write all my goals. I’ve been so busy over recent weeks and I kind of had to force myself to remember that January 1st doesn’t mean anything magical and it’s okay not to have everything set in stone on December 31st. I’m feeling good about all the things to come this year: turning 25, running a marathon, celebrating a year of living in Los Angeles, and a lot more.


I’ve chosen words of the year the past few years. In 2015 it was BOLD. 2016 was BRAVE. 2017 was FOCUS.

My word of 2018 is CONNECT. In all honesty, it’s not the word I wanted to pick. I was ready to choose COMMIT, and then my friend said that she doesn’t think I have much of a problem with commitment. In that ways that matter right now, she’s right; if I put my mind to doing something, I usually follow through.

This year I’m hoping to connect with myself, with others, and with my new community. I’m also hoping to disconnect in order to achieve those things: spend less time on my phone, and more time connecting with the present moment around me.

2018 GOALS

I used my Powersheets to help me identify my goals for the year, by figuring out what worked and didn’t work in the last year, and what I wanted to be different. A little history of my experience with Powersheets: I’ve bought them every year since 2014, I think, but never have I once completed a full set – I usually drop out some time in the spring. Last year my friend Rachel and I even bought them with the promise to ourselves that we would have monthly accountability with each other – and then I moved across the country and she had a baby, so that fell apart.

To prove to myself that I would actually use the workbook for a full year (and to be kind to my budget) I’m repurposing my 2017 workbook. No fun new stickers, but money stayed in my wallet.

Here are the 10 major goals I have for the year:

  • CONNECT with myself by simplifying routines and doing less – committing to one night a week with no plans
  • CONNECT with others by developing community and keeping up with old friends – writing letters to people, committing to calling friends more often, hanging out with people in person
  • Develop heart healthy habits by treating myself well and being positive in my self-image
  • CONNECT with myself through fitness and activity
  • Manage my money well
  • CONNECT creatively through blogging, writing, and Project Life
  • Read 100 books in 2018
  • Finish novel draft
  • Live with less to CONNECT with my space
  • CONNECT with Los Angeles through exploration

Sure, some of them could probably be grouped under the same umbrella (finishing the novel draft could go under “Connect creatively”) and I couldn’t fit the word connect into all of them, but the heart of the goals is what I care about.  More posts about certain goals (especially reading and fitness, as well as maybe some thoughts about financial things) coming as soon as I find the time to write them!


The Powersheets encouraged me to create a vision board for 2018, so I hopped on Pinterest and did just that. Here it is:


So that’s where I’m at for 2018. I’m excited to see what this year brings!

December Books

January 9, 2018

I didn’t read as much as I’d hoped this month (just four books!) but I did complete my challenge to read 75 books in 2017, which is what I’m happiest about! The picture above has 3 because I was silly and let my mom take the last book home before I got a photo. Can’t win ’em all.

72. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue


Lib Wright is an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle – a girl said to have survived without food for months – and soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life.

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib, a veteran of Florence Nightingale’s Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl.

This one was weird. I held onto it for over a year before reading it (no particular reason, I just never got around to it) and I don’t think it was worth the wait. The writing is beautiful and the setting of the Midlands of Ireland in the 1800s is described so well, but I found it incredibly slow. The book dragged on for about 35% longer than it needed to. I did enjoy the moral issues raised and trying to figure out the mystery aspect of how on earth Anna would survive without food for months, plus the writing.

73. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman


Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. All this means that Eleanor has become a creature of habit (to say the least) and a bit of a loner. 

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

I loved this book! It felt slow at the beginning and I didn’t know what to expect, but I ended up loving Eleanor’s character. Bits of it were very unexpected, and I found her really charming. I loved the way the book dealt with counseling – her experience of going to therapy felt really real and authentic. Bits of this are sad and heartbreaking, and then you turn the page and you’re laughing. Definitely recommend this one – and it’s going to be on my top books of 2017 for sure.

74. Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin


How do we change?  Gretchen Rubin’s answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives. So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits? Better than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good.

This one was… fine? Nothing amazing (I much preferred The Happiness Project) and I feel like you can get most of what Rubin talks about from her weekly podcast (Happier with Gretchen Rubin). That said, it was a good non-fiction book that got me thinking about why I do the things I do and stopped me from getting as frustrated with others when they just can’t implement the habits they want to do already!

75. A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman


Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

This started off really sad but I ended up adoring it. Ove turned out to be super sweet and lovable, with a lot of struggles that made him grumpy and lonely. I wouldn’t say this one is funny, but it’s well told and well written. From a writing perspective, it’s a great example of “show don’t tell” and a group of diverse characters all with their own backstory.

Total number of books in December: four
Number of fiction books in December: three
Number of nonfiction books in December: one
Total number of books this year: seventy five!!

Currently || January 2018

January 3, 2018

It would appear that I am not super good at blogging “some of the time.” I am either good at doing it regularly, or very rarely. I’d like blogging to be in the first category in 2018, so we’ll see what happens.

I have posts about goals and books and vacations to share, but I’m going to start by linking up with Anne at In Residence for her ‘currently’ series.


starting | to ramp up marathon training. to document in a brand new bullet journal. to figure out how I want to approach One Little Word this year. to write out my 2018 powersheets goals.

hoping | that I can wake up early for my workout tomorrow. that I’ll get everything in my apartment cleaned and put away tomorrow evening after a whole bunch of days of it being a mess. that 2018 will bring good things.

scheduling | plans with friends. an appointment to get my eyebrows done. consistent workouts in my bullet journal.

readingWhite Fur by Jardine Libaire, which I just started.

playing | albums on my record player. a game with myself of “how much can I save this month?”

Anne will be hosting Currently again on  February 7, and we’ll be discussing what we’re currently finishingsubscribingwishlisting, watching, and hearting.