#AMonthofFaves Challenges and Goals

December 26, 2019


THU. | Dec. 26 – #AMonthofFaves Challenges and Goals – Reading challenges, personal goals, resolutions – how did you do? Which was your favorite book read (and / or least favorite) for each challenge – or from all of them. Did you make New Years Resolutions? Did you get to all of them? Are you making any for next year … next month … next season?

My personal goals for 2019 were:

Goal #1: Work toward getting out of debt by (1) not accruing new debt in 2019 and (b) paying off one of my student loans.

How I did: (1) I have not accrued any new debt since June 1, 2019.
(2) I have not paid off that student loan, but the first one is such a big victory for me that I don’t even care. 

Goal #2: Focus on my health. More specifically, reorganize my life so it goes God > Health > Family > Work.

How I did: I may have done a little too well at this. The end of this last semester was a complete train wreck, in large part because I was so far behind on grading. Part of it was because of the slowdown during October’s depressive episode, but a large part of it was that my quest for a work/life balance may have skewed too far away from the work side during the semester which actually had an adverse effect on the life side when everything came due.

Goal #3: Get an agent and sell a script.

How I did: After attending a writing retreat this summer, I decided to stop pursuing screenwriting and to instead focus on teaching. I am happy with that decision.

My personal goals for 2020 are:

  • Continue taking steps to get out of debt, which includes building up an emergency fund.
  • Simplify my class structure and grading. Again, the end of this past semester has shown me that a lot has to change if I’m going to maintain my sanity.
  • Work on completing more items on my 20 Before 40 (Is Over) list.
  • Find more balance in my life with all of the different personal and work commitments and interests I have.

In fact, I’ve decided to have my word for 2020 be BALANCE. It fits everything I’m trying to accomplish next year.

2019 Reading Challenges

Challenge #1: As for reading challenges, I chose to participate in Carrie’s Must Read community again this year. I haven’t completed any books on my list since my fall check-in, and I doubt very seriously I’ll be reading any of the other books before the year is up, so I’m calling that one a wrap.

As a reminder, here are the books on my list, and how I did:

Must Read 2019 list

1. Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello

2. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

3. The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

4. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

5. The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

6. Ghost by Jason Reynolds

7. Archie, Vol. 2 by Mark Waid

8. Archie, Vol. 3 by Mark Waid

9. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

10. Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

11. What I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee

12. Breakout by Kate Messner

13. Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

14. Sadie by Courtney Summers

15. Becoming by Michelle Obama

So that’s five out of fifteen books read or attempted. I’ll take it.

Challenge #2: I also signed up to read 75 books for the Goodreads reading challenge.

Screen Shot 2019-12-27 at 12.00.25 AM

I am currently 8 books behind schedule and will probably not finish more than three books in the next few days because of holiday shenanigans, so I’m going to call that one a wash as well. I’ll have to think about what my goal for next year will be. Probably one more than I wind up finishing this year.

Reading Challenges 2020

As for next year, I will probably participate in Must Read again, if it’s happening. I’m also teaching children’s lit in the spring semester so plan to cobble together my own reading challenge for them (probably by cribbing from by getting inspiration from Read Harder, PopSugar, and Modern Mrs. Darcy) and also, possibly, having them create their own Must Read lists. I’ll post the challenge list once I create it, which will probably be soon because I’m supposed to be prepping for this winter course I’m teaching in January and will have to find productive ways to procrastinate from doing that.

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  1. The Widow Badass

    Great word. I think balance is incredibly difficult to achieve but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a focus for all of us!


  2. Bryan G. Robinson

    I like your third goal from last year that didn’t pan out, but then in the end you decided was the right decision for you. Sometimes it’s best to realize what our strengths are…or where we belong. I’m learning…slowly.

  3. Jinjer

    Wishing you the best with all your goals!

  4. carriegelson

    So many goals and so much progress! Honoured that you participated in the Must Read challenge. Best to you for 2020!

  5. cweichel

    Balance is a very good word. I just finished weeding my Goodreads list of almost 2000 books I have conceded I will never ever read. It was very therapeutic. Happy New Year!

    • Akilah

      Oh man, I need to do that! My Goodreads is out of control. Happy New Year!

  6. Chandra Lynn

    I’m determined this year to read and re-read some classics that have been on my TBR list for a while. I MUST finish writing a book this year, though, so I guess, some of the pleasure reading will have to take a back seat.


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