Why I Set My Reading Goal “So Low” This Year

Featured photo by Sincerely Media | Retrieved from Unsplash

At the start of a new year, tons of readers are faced with a decision to make. How many books should they set their Goodreads goal for the year to?

How many books should they strive to read this year?

More than last year?

Or less?

My goal for 2021 was to read 20 books.

Weird, right? Someone with a book blog made a goal to read 20 books! Believe me, I feel a bit weird about it, too. This is the lowest goal I’ve seen since I started my Bookstagram.

The only reason: I was a different reader at the start of 2021.

I was in a reading RUT at the beginning of the year.

In case anyone doesn’t know what a reading rut is; it’s a very long break from reading because the person doesn’t feel like it or maybe there are a lot of things going on in their life.

It was a bit of both for me.

I read a few books during quarantine in 2020. Then things got really busy for me as I was coaching at OrangeTheory, running my own training business, and just feeling uninspired.

I was waking up super early for my job and sometimes I struggle to wind down at night… which is the perfect storm for always being tired and not wanting to do anything. Especially read.

When 2021 came around, I knew I wanted to start reading again. I’ve always been a reader since… well since I could read.

Therefore, I decided to set a doable goal. 20 books.

That equates to less than two books per month, so completely doable.

Then 2021 got weird.

My husband deployed and I suddenly had a lot of free time.

Some of my other friends’ husbands deployed as well so we decided that we wanted to start a book club. We’ll read one book per month and then have a themed get-together where we discuss the book and just catch up on life.

So there was one book per month towards my goal!

Also in my free time, I started watching Bridgerton on Netflix. When I realized there were Bridgerton books, I knew I had to read them! 

Amid the Bridgerton books, I suddenly left my job at OrangeTheory. This is NOT a bad thing! My mental health completely turned around. I got my energy, motivation, and happiness back. After I got through the Bridgerton series, I just felt like I needed to keep reading. I was over halfway to my goal at that point.

I started my Bookstagram account to share my reading adventures, which makes reading even more fun for me. I subscribed to Book of the Month which as someone who struggles to figure out what to read next has been very useful and fun!

I achieved my goal so now I’m going to try to double it.

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang was my twentieth book for 2021, which I finished on August 14. After I smashed this 20-book goal, I’ve set another goal for myself: read 20 more before December 31st.

There is nothing wrong with setting a small goal.

Goals are very much subjective to the individual setting them. What might be a small amount for one person is a large amount for another! This is why I never beat myself up or was ashamed that I initially set a goal of 20 books because I felt at that moment in time that was the amount I could manage for the year.

Life had other things in mind and I was able to achieve my goal way faster than I planned! This is why goals can always be flexible… you just never know what life is going to throw at you!

Next year, I plan on setting my goal a little bit higher than 20. Maybe 50? 😉

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