“Setting Goals for Readers – 2024 Bookish Resolutions Guide” will give you the ultimate guide on how to achieve your reading goals so we bibliophiles can be proud of our reading achievements by the end of 2024 and come out VICTORIOUS against our ever increasing TBR-pile.
Bookish resolutions vs bookish goal
In this post, I use bookish resolutions and bookish goals interchangeably and whilst they are closely related they have their own nuance.
Bookish resolutions typically refer to a general statement or intention to achieve a certain objective which in this case is related to reading or books.
On the other hand, bookish goals are more specific and have measurable targets related to books or reading such as reading an “X” amount of books in a year rather than just a general statement of “I want to read more books in 2024”.
Both resolution and goal play an important role for an individual in terms of keeping them motivated and also be used as a guide.
Why are reading resolutions and goals important?
Setting reading resolutions and goals is important for several reasons:
- Focus: Having clear reading goals provides a sense of direction and purpose, helping you stay focused on the type of books you want to read and the knowledge you want to gain.
- Motivation: Goals can serve as motivation to pick up a book and keep reading, especially when faced with distractions or busyness.
- Measure of Progress: By setting specific reading targets, you can measure your progress and celebrate your accomplishments as you reach each goal.
- Broadening Horizons: Setting goals encourages you to diversify your reading, explore new genres, and gain a broader understanding of the world.
- Avoiding Distractions: When you have a set goal, it becomes easier to avoid getting sidetracked or losing sight of what you want to achieve with your reading.
By setting clear resolutions and goals for your reading, you can make the most of your reading time and ensure that you are continually growing and learning through the books you choose to engage with.
Now, personally, reading goals or bookish resolutions are an optional thing for bibliophiles. You most definitely do not need to do it if you don’t want to and it doesn’t make you less of a book lover.
Just do what makes you happy.
Reflecting on 2023
Before we start with our 2024 reading goals we must first reflect on our 2023 reading goals. The questions that needed to be asked are the following:
- Did you meet your 2023 bookish resolutions/goals?
- If you did not meet my goals, what caused it?
- How will you change your strategy and learn from past mistakes so you can improve and achieve your resolutions/goals for 2024?
Having these questions answered will help us create a realistic game plan so we can achieve our goal not only easily but also in a less stressful manner because at the end of the day bookish resolutions or goals are supposed to be fun and feeds into the soul not take away from it.
To make planning your 2024 bookish resolutions/goals easier, we shall use my own 2024 bookish resolutions and goals as an example.
In 2023 I made the humble goal to read 50 books as I knew that I was going to be busy and I wanted to make my reading journey for 2023 to be relaxing and be just about vibes, no thoughts just vibes, as they say.
Well, I took the no thoughts just vibes motto a bit too far because in 2023 I only read 17 books out of my 50 books a year goal which is 33 books less than what I wanted to achieve.
Not only did I not achieve my reading goal of reading 50 books but I also failed in terms of reading more diverse books be it from POC authors or reading different genres that are NOT historical romance.
My personal failures of which I am sharing with the world can be observed in the following donut charts and from these charts we can deduce the strengths and weaknesses of my reading habits.
Ability to read books in any format. In the book format donut chart, it can be seen that I have no problem in alternating in which formats I read books.
- Books read lack diversity and range. It is with great shame that I expose my lack of diversity in reading in both the book diversity and book genre pie chart, whereby it is so obvious that most of my books are written by Caucasian authors and a majority of the books read are in the Historical Romance genre (I was going through a tough breakup, I needed the distraction in the form of a devastatingly handsome brooding white man whose height is preferably taller than 6”)
- Unfortunately, the book format pie chart also exposes my other weakness in that I still prefer hardcopy books and Ebooks are read only when I am desperate but this is a huge problem as my main goal in 2024 is to bring my Netgalley TBR list down which are ALL Ebooks
- Mood reader. Enough said
- No consistency whatsoever in reading habits
- Didn’t make reading a priority
With a long list of weaknesses in my reading journey I would be more surprised if I actually did achieve my 2023 reading goals.
In the next sections of the “Setting Goals for Readers – 2024 Bookish Resolutions Guide” post, I will share the game plan that is needed so we as a collective can conquer our 2024 bookish resolutions and reading goals!
How to set goals using SMART
What is SMART?
Since, the weaknesses and the strengths of my 2023 reading habits have been shared let us move onto the tactics that will be implemented so I can save avenge my pride this year.
The SMART goal system is a mnemonic acronym created by George T. Doran in 1981 to introduce to the populace that there are efficient and far better ways to organize our efforts around a goal and as stated in the infographic shared below SMART is an acronym for:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-bound
Specific – 30 ARC’s in a year
When setting goals you must be as specific as possible so there is no ambiguity on what you want to achieve.
For example, you can’t just say I want to reduce my Netgalley TBR-pile and leave it at that.
You have to narrow it down further so it is easier for you to track and measure your progress.
Instead, try to be more specific by stating that for my 2024 bookish resolution I want to decrease my Netgalley TBR-pile and my reading goals are that I want to read a minimum of 30 books from my Netgalley shelf so that my feedback ratio will increase from 39% to a respectable percentage of 53%.
As of right now I have 137 unread ARC’s in my Netgalley shelf. Yes, I know it is bad because it also means that I did not provide any feedback to publishers.
But, I am here now, trying to remedy the mistakes made all those years ago when I went absolutely ham in requesting books.
Measurable – Keeping track of progress
Keeping track of progress is crucial in bookish resolutions/goals for several reasons:
- Accountability: Tracking progress holds you accountable for your goals. It helps you stay committed and focused on achieving what you set out to accomplish.
- Motivation: By monitoring your progress, you can see how far you’ve come, which can be highly motivating. Celebrating small milestones can encourage you to keep going.
- Adjusting Goals: Tracking progress allows you to assess whether your initial goals are realistic and adjust them if necessary. It helps you refine your approach and set achievable targets.
- Identifying Patterns: By tracking your reading habits and progress, you can identify patterns in your behavior, such as peak reading times or genres that capture your interest. This understanding can inform future goals.
- Measuring Success: Without tracking progress, it’s challenging to measure the success of your bookish resolutions/goals. Tracking allows you to see what works and what doesn’t, helping you make more informed decisions in the future.
As I have shared why keeping track of your progress is important, now I will share with you the HOW I will keep track of my reading.
Reading Tracker Apps
The most convenient and effective way that you can keep track of your reading is by using an app.
In today’s society it is almost impossible to find somebody who wouldn’t have their phones perpetually glued to their hands.
I myself am writing this post using my phone.
Tracking your reading via an app is just more convenient as with reading tracker apps, it does the thinking for you in terms of tracking how many pages you have read, minutes spent listening to an audiobook or the location of your reading when using Kindle.
A reading tracker app allows you to access your reading list at the push of a button and best part yet is the fact that it is accessible anywhere as long as you have WiFi and are logged in into your account.
Also, reading tracker apps can help foster a sense of community as you are able to share your current reads, your progress as well as sharing recommendations, directly to social media without much hassle.
There are many reading tracker apps available but the app that I am currently using is the Read More app.
The Read More app does have a free and premium version and full disclosure I am using the premium Read More app.
I chose the premium version because it was one payment for a lifetime and I can’t be bothered to deal with ads.
Bullet Journal (Bujo)
Aside from an app, bullet journaling is also another way that you can track your reading.
Bullet journaling is less convenient than using an app but it is more cost effective and you have more creative freedom in how you decorate or create the reader tracker.
Personally, it just feels nice to be able to see and touch a notebook that shows your reading progress as opposed to seeing it only through a screen.
You can find a lot of inspiration on how to create your reading tracker by seeing bookish accounts on social media.
Above is my Bujo for reading. I said you can decorate it to your desire. I never said I was good at it.
Lastly, Google sheets/Excel is another easy way for you to track your reading progress.
In my case though I will use Google sheets/Excel mainly to track what books I have in my Netgalley TBR-pile as well as my own personal TBR-pile as opposed to the daily tracking.
This is because the book data must be manually entered and
But, Google sheets/Excel is a great way to track all the books that you own, borrowed from the library and have in your Kindle or in your PDF reader.
And having them all in one place would be interesting when you start crunching the numbers and producing all the charts to observe the trend.
The template I am currently using is from the Booktuber, Book Roast.
Attainable – The reading plan
Previously, I have shared on how you will track your reading progress now we shall move on to how we will execute the reading plan.
Establishing a reading routine
First and foremost, you must establish a reading routine.
If you’re an incredibly busy person then I advise to schedule reading time in your daily routine even if it is just 5-minutes.
The biggest mistake that I made in my 2023 reading journey was that I didn’t have a consistent reading routine.
I read whatever I wanted wherever I wanted. I am big mood reader if it wasn’t obvious before.
This habit is great when I am in my reading phase as I can read non-stop once I start but it becomes a big problem when I am not in the mood to read as it would lead to me to not read anything for months on end.
So, this time around I am making my reading routine simple. I am still giving myself that flexibility of reading anytime and anywhere I want but I MUST read a MINIMUM of 10 pages a day.
Selecting Reading Challenges
The hardest part in your journey to achieve your goal is the every day grind.
After awhile, the routine you have previously integrated in your life will start to bore you and you will start to feel stifled.
I know I would because I am terrible with set routines for a prolonged time and this is where reading challenges come into the picture.
Reading challenges can help keep the reading journey more fun, dynamic and most importantly add a little twist to your reading routine.
There are A LOT of reading challenges that are available online for free that can be done solo or done as a group.
The most important factor in choosing which reading challenge to do is to choose one that captures your interest and the one where you will have the most fun doing.
For my own 2024 bookish resolutions, the reading challenges that I will do is the:
Overcoming Reading Slumps
Reading slumps are the bane of a bibliophile’s existence and it is characterized as loss of interest in books, difficulty in concentrating on reading and a lack of motivation to start new books.
Although, reading slumps are the absolute worst, it is also a perfectly normal occurrence and it’s nothing to feel ashamed over.
If you feel like a reading slump is slowly creeping up on you I would advise you to do the following things and see how it goes:
- Take a small break from reading.
- Try a different activity preferably one that includes fitness/exercise. Get that blood pumping throughout your body
- Re-read a favorite book or a book from a favorite author
- Read something different like a manga/manhwa, or a light novel
- Read somewhere new. If previously you only read at home, try reading at a cafe you have always been curious about.
- Have a spa day
- Spend time with your family, friends and/or pets
Relevant/realistic – I get bragging rights (?)
Nothing much to say here except that when my Netgalley feedback ratio is at a respectable ratio, it’s over for all other book reviewers.
Also, when doing goals please keep the goals realistic. That way it is easy for you to achieve in a realistic manner so you won’t have to feel terrible about yourself.
For my 2024 reading resolutions/goals, I stated that I want to read 30 books in a year from my Netgalley TBR-pile.
30 books if you calculate it is just 2.5 books month which is very feasible even for an easily distracted bookworm such as I.
Time-bound – Importance of setting deadlines
Setting deadlines is the final step in completing this whole establishing your reading goal.
Deadlines are crucial because they create a sense of urgency to finish tasks and reach your goal within a set timeframe.
My deadline for my 2024 bookish resolution and goals is on:
31st December 2024
Although, the deadline is 31st December 2024, I will be doing a quarterly review of my SMART goal system so I can make necessary adjustments if needed.
See where I can improve and hopefully the improvements will also mean I can add more books to read without feeling like my brain will burst.
In “Setting Goals for Readers – 2024 Bookish Resolutions Guide” post, I shared how you can achieve your (and my own) reading goals by using the SMART goal system method.
I hope that this post will be beneficial for everybody and that it will help and encourage people to read more as I personally believe that reading can widen a person’s perspective and can also be a catalyst for personal growth.
If you have a bookish resolution/goal and you have advise on how to reach that goal that isn’t included in my post, feel free to share by leaving a comment below.