Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020

So. 2019 was fun, wasn't it? Kidding, obviously. Started with the loss of my baby, ended with the loss of my marriage. And that's 2019 recapped. I made goals for 2019, I even did a 33 before 33 list somewhere in there. I am ignoring both of those lists and not checking to see if I actually ticked anything off the list. Obviously, when 2019 started, I did not expect it to end the way it has. But, it has. It is what it is, onwards and upwards, moving on to 2020.

Can I just say... I hate saying 'twenty' and always say 'two thousand' as in, 'two thousand and nineteen'. I don't want to say 'twenty twenty' but does it sound stupid saying 'two thousand and twenty'? I don't care, that's what I'm gonna say.

That's actually not the point of the post. Goals! I love 'em. I kinda really suck at them, but I love them. I think I'm still going to do monthly goals but I wanted to write down everything I want for 2020. I'm really good at thinking of goals, but not about what I need to do daily or weekly to achieve them, you know? So I'm really going to try and think of what I need to do daily, weekly, monthly, to achieve all of these.

I have a lot of things I want to do in 2020. Here are my goals:

1. get rid of 1 thing each day. I did the get rid of 1 thing on day 1, 2 things on day 2, 3 things on day 3 etc etc one month last year (or was it in 2018?), and that was almost 500 things and it was really hard. I figure 1 thing per day is a lot more manageable for me.

2. record happy/thankful/positive things. I did this in November on instagram. I'm not sure if I'll continue to do it on instagram, or if I'll use one of my handy dandy gratitude journals (kmart australia/amazon), or a mix of both. I don't know if I'll do it every day, I'll certainly try.

3. stick to my budget. I have some lofty financial goals for 2020 and I know I can do it as long as I stick to my dang budget. This includes some no spend days/weeks/challenges.

4. make the appointments and go. I'm great about going to the dermatologist after a bit of a scare a few months ago, but I am well overdue for a pap, I haven't been to the eye doctor since 2011, my spine hates me and really wants to visit the chiro, I go to my orthodontist because I have to but ignore the dentist... Make the appointments and go

5. read books I already own - or get rid of them. According to my goodreads, I have just over 600 books I need to read - physical, ebooks and audio. This isn't too bad - I mean, it's insane, but I read a lot so it would be fine except that according to my reading log spreadsheet, reading books I own (whether already, or purchased right before reading) only makes up 20% of my reading. The majority of books I read are ARCs or library books. So. In 2020, I would like to make an effort to read books I already own, or get rid of them.

6. have more consistent wake up and bed times. I'm really bad about this. Sometimes I'll wake up at 7:45, other times 4:30. Sometimes I go to sleep at 9pm, other times 1am. I also really need to stop hitting snooze.

7. learn new skills. I don't know what skills, I don't know how many. I don't want to attempt too much, but I have some small ideas.

8. do scary things. I don't know how I will do scary things when I am scared of them, but it's a goal

9. volunteer. Honestly, this is one of the scary things, because it means going somewhere new potentially on my own and I don't want to. But I want to volunteer, so I'm making it a separate goal so I can't ignore it.

10. streamline my skincare. I love skincare. I love skincare products. I need to slow my roll and a) stop buying new products and b) stick to a routine. That entire top shelf is skincare, plus the spinner thing on the counter plus even more in the cabinets.

11. meditate + journal. I know both of these things will help me, I've done both of them here and there but give up easily or don't make an effort. 

12. drink more water at home. I do not need a goal to drink more water in general, I get plenty, I drink it all day at work and when I work out. Because I hit my water goals, I end up never drinking it at home and only drinking tea or soda. This is okay of an evening because I've had water all day at work.. but on the weekend, unless I work out, that is zero water besides the tea. I got a fun new water bottle for home, just need to actually use it.

13. reduce waste. Plastic bags, paper towels, Lysol wipes... I want to stop using them all. The only thing is, how do I clean the kitty litter? I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

14. one in, one out. I've thought about doing this for a couple of years but I kept putting it off because, well, lazy. But this is why my closet gets overrun, why I have so many books I have to check goodreads to see if I already own it before accidentally buying it again, why I have more skincare than I can possibly use on my one face... so, if something comes in, something needs to go out.

15. exercise 3 times per week. I feel fairly confident in my exercise baseline, but sometimes I am lazy. I'd like to exercise more than 3 times, but I feel good about 3 being the minimum.

16. connect with my family more. I will forever regret not talking to my nana more before she died. I want to call my mum and brothers and talk to my other family over social media.

17. reduce diet soda consumption. I honestly don't know if I want to give it up completely. But I know I want to drink drastically less.

18. eat breakfast. I go back and forth on this, if I'm not hungry why should I eat? But maybe I eat more at lunch or dinner because I skip breakfast, or maybe that's why I hit the vending machines a little too often.

19. blog a bit more. I still love blogging, I just feel like I have nothing to say lately (obviously not when it comes to goals). My life is pretty boring. But, I figure, to start, one post per month that isn't a link up or goals post.

20. Top secret goal. Ha! This is silly. I don't know why, but I'm not ready to share this goal. I'm not 100% sure if I even want to do it, but I am leaning towards it. Not trying to be vague. But if I decide to do it, it's something I want to do before the end of this year, which means I need to get started on it very soon. I will share if/when I do because I know everyone is dying to know. Wink.

It has nothing to do with food, I just wanted to share this delicious falafel bowl I had. Beetroot hummus you guys. Delish. Need to figure out how to make beetroot hummus.

Phew. 20 goals for 2020. I know it's a lot. Some are big, some are small. Some are 1 thing, some are going to be all year goals. The idea is to look back on this list when I make my monthly goal list, because breaking it down into 'what do I need to do right now/what do I need to do tomorrow or by the end of the month to achieve this goal' will (hopefully) make it easier.

Any goals for 2020? Hope everyone has a lovely NYE - it's already 2020 here! 

Monday, December 30, 2019

Link Up Reminder

Hello all! Just a quick reminder to anyone who wants to link up - this Thursday the 2nd is the next What's New With You link up if you want to join me! 

Grab button for What's New With You
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Friday, December 27, 2019

Books of 2019 - favourites + stats

I love these end of year posts - see 20162017 and 2018 here if you're so inclined - and I seriously started this one at the end of last year. Zero shame in my book + statistics loving game. Linking up with Steph and Jana!

Audiobooks, physical books and e-books
About the same as last year - ebooks are just super convenient. I am happy with how many physical books I read this year, it just doesn't look like a lot percentage wise.

Library, ARCs, purchased, kindle unlimited/scribd or free/gifted/borrowed
One of my goals this year was to read more of the books I already owned, which I didn't really succeed in. I only used kindle unlimited for about half of the year, but I discovered scribd thanks to Heather. I still went a bit nutty with ARCs and the library. Maybe 2020 will be the year of reading books I already own...

Non fiction vs fiction
Not surprised in the least. This will never change but it's still fun to see the comparison.

Male vs Female Authors
Zero percent surprised about this, but again, fun to see the comparison.

Month by Month Breakdown
I am certainly not laughing at what I went through this year, but I do find it a wee bit funny that you can clearly tell the tough months based on my reading, or lack thereof. Sometimes I use reading as a crutch, sometimes my emotions are just too much and I am too mentally exhausted to read. Thankfully, I got somewhat back to normal towards the end of the year.

Some books are really easy and others fall into several genres. This was the first year that I tracked genres and I am not really shocked at the outcome, ha. The only thing that annoys me is that I prefer pie charts but some of the genres were too small and didn't show up. So. Column chart it is.

Favourite Books
Most of the time, a book is a favourite to me if I had a good time reading it and can see myself either recommending it or re-reading it. Sometimes it's a book that I would never re-read and would hesitate to recommend, but it made me feel all the feelings or think all the thoughts. Some of them are 4 stars, some are 5 stars. In no particular order:

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (and the sequel) - so good!
Saga series - I still think about this series all the time and check to see if the hiatus is over
The Trials of Morrigan Crow (and the sequel) - loved these two so much
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - this was so good! I really recommend this one.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill - one of my favourite characters of all time. Such a good book!
First Grave on the Right - really enjoying this series, it's just so fun. I'm up to book 3.
Then She Was Gone - my first Lisa Jewell and so freaking good.
Last Christmas in Paris - gah, loved this one. So lovely.

Speak - this was a book club book I never would have picked up on my own. Really good.
Things You Save in a Fire - not my favourite Katherine Center but I still loved it.
A Study in Scarlet Women - this was so fun! Can't wait to continue the series.
The Lost Man - so creepy, so aussie, loved it.

Jar of Hearts - I read this in January and I still think about how messed up it was.
The Heart's Invisible Furies - finally finished this behemoth! Beautiful and sad.
 Ask Again, Yes - another book club one, it had flaws sure, but I really enjoyed reading it.
The Huntress - this was a slog and a half and I was relieved when I finished, but it's one of those books that seems to have gotten better in my mind as time goes on.

A Madness of Sunshine - hi, everyone read this now, thank you
 Anne of Green Gables - Heather made me do it. Ha!
 Harry's Trees - this was so freaking sad but beautifully written. 
 A Woman Is No Man - so hard to read, more than a little bit slow, but I still think about it.

Favourite Romance Books

Wild Aces series (first pictured, my fave)  // Before Girl //  The Widow of Rose House // Sin & Ink (+ the second one) 

I always make an effort to fit in re-reads. I want to re-read more, but you know, too many books, too little time. A few I re-read this year:

Happiness for Beginners // Edenbrooke / When Beauty Tamed the Beast (I know that cover is ridiculous, but this is seriously one of my all time favourite historicals) // The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

I re-read all of Jane Austen's except for Mansfield Park and left Pride & Prejudice for last // I re-read the first 5 Winston Brothers to prepare for the last two, Truth or Beard will always be my fave // VIP series // Her Best Worst Mistake

Disappointing Reads
I only have one that I can think of.... the last Winston Brothers book. I ended up rating it 4 stars but I think I was being a bit generous. I was seriously disappointed by it. I don't know if it was my expectations or it just wasn't as good as the others. Either way, I honestly can't see myself re-reading it, and I always want to re-read Penny. So I am sad.

Wish I hadn't read these
I have a few more, but these are the 3 that still kind of make me angry and like I wasted my time:

My main problem with DNFing is I keep going in the hope they will get better or I'll suddenly start enjoying them - but of course since I am forcing it, I end up hate reading it so the book is bound to fail in my eyes. Those are the ones I need to be better at DNFing (I should have DNF'd The Cactus and I absolutely would have DNF'd the Tattooist and Three Women if they weren't for book club). Anyway. Here are 3 I had high hopes for but accepted they weren't working for me so gave up:

There's always one book that stands out to me each year, I wouldn't call it my absolute favourite, but it just stands out in my mind, and 2019's is The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.

All in all, a pretty good year of reading! Here's to 2020!