2018 was one for the books (insert cheesy laughter)…
My husband changed jobs.
I grew significantly in my career.
My youngest started school.
I lost 20 pounds. (Don’t be too impressed—this was after gaining 20 pounds the year prior.)
And I read 17 books.
Seventeen books was just shy of my goal of eighteen, but I’m not dismayed. This year I’ve set a larger, but still modest goal of 20 books.
I’ve always been a “natural reader” (whatever that means), but I’ve never made a plan for what I read. This year, I’m changing that.
Inspired by a friend who posted his reading list this week, I’ve pre-chosen the twenty books I will read over the coming twelve months.
Here they are:
Mentoring 101 – John Maxwell
Love Undocumented – Sarah Quezada
The Minimalist Budget – Simeon Lindstrom
It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way – Lysa Terkeurst
Love Lives Here – Maria Goff
The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships – Suzanne Stabile
Dare to Lead – Brene Brown
The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers – Maxwell King
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness – Austin Channing Brow
Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God Speaks – Priscilla Shirer
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King
I Am Malala: The Story of the girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban – Malala Yousafzai
Parenting Your Fifth Grader: A Guide to Making the Most of the “I’ve got this” Phase – Kristen Ivy
Mother and Son: The Respect Effect - Emerson Eggerichs
Start Here: A Groundbreaking, Science-Based Program for Emotional Fitness – Eric Langshur
We Were the Lucky Ones – Georgia Hunter
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela - Nelson Mandela
Boundaries - Henry Cloud and John Townsend
Love your Life Not Theirs – Rachel Cruze
Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional – Asheritah Ciuciu
What about you— what are you reading in 2019?
If picking books and planning a schedule seems daunting to you, here are a few questions to help get you started:
1. What kinds of books do you want to read more of this year? I’ve made a personal effort to read more books from authors who don’t look like me, or have the same background, to continually challenge and expand my worldview. I’ve also included more fiction books in my list this year, at the recommendation of a friend who keeps me grounded. As someone who previously read pretty much from the same category for ten years (Christian nonfiction), this represents growth!
2. In what areas are you wanting to grow this year? I’m a One on the enneagram, so it’s natural for me to come up with about 46 areas I want to improve, but I honed it down to just a few. This year I’m focusing on financial and emotional heath, personally. And as the mom of a ten year old boy, I’m facing parenting challenges I’ve never faced before—so I added a couple of books to glean some wisdom there. As a storytelling writer looking to grow in my craft I’ve added a few biographies and autobiographies for inspiration.
3.What is the rhythm of your year?
Though each year brings new surprises and challenges of its own, I’ve found the rhythm of each year is usually the same. For me, winter is a time of deep introspective growth. I do a lot of reading, praying, and planning. With the kids home during the summer, I am focused on parenting, and preparing for the new school year ahead. I also don’t have a lot of time to myself, so I have to keep that in mind. In the fall my world picks up speed, with family birthdays in September, two in November, and another right before Christmas. That mixed in with the holidays means limited time for much else other than family. That’s just the rhythm of my year. What’s yours? Consider it when planning this year’s reads.
4.What is your goal?
One of the best books I read in 2017 was “Finish,” by Jon Acuff. In it, he takes a seemingly counterintuitive approach to setting goals. He points out that the majority of people tend to supersize goals to make them sexier, or give us a bigger rush from imagining we’ll finish it. But often, after setting these larger than life goals, we fall short and give up. The truth is 92% of us fail because we are “foolishly optimistic.”
His suggestion? “Cut your goal in half.”
Think you can read 52 books this year? Cut that in half.
Why? Wrong-sized goals cause us to quit when the voice of perfectionism creeps in. I love the way Jon explains this idea:
“…if your goal was to lose ten pounds and you only lost eight, you would have failed by two pounds. Most of us believe the old adage, ‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars,’ but that’s not how life really works.
The all-or-nothing mentality of perfectionism tells us that close enough doesn’t count. The stars are not good enough. You now have an ocean of incentive to quit your goal.
But if you’d cut the goal in half to five pounds and then lost eight, you’d be a lot more likely to continue because of your initial victory. You would have lost the same amount of weight, but one approach would have almost guaranteed that you’d finish your initial goal and try another one.”
The truth is I’ll probably read more than twenty books this year. But twenty is a great goal. It is enough.
So what about you? What books will you read in 2019?
If you don’t already have a Goodreads account, it’s a great way to track the books you want to read, check out reviews, and follow what your friends are into. You can find me on Goodreads here.
Happy reading, friends!
Katie Gibson is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
A little about me...
Hi, I'm Katie!
Wife to Craig, mom of three, author, writer, Jesus-follower, Bible teacher, and coffee enthusiast.
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