Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Annual Goal

At the beginning of the year, it has been my tradition to set goals for myself. Finishing a writing project, programming something I need, losing weight, learning to skate, all kinds of personal development and accomplishments.

2004 was an overly hectic year, with the wedding, the new house and big adjustments.

2005 was no less hectic, with massive bouts of overtime, not enough sleep and, not least, a new baby.

2006 is the year I’ll be returning to my old ways, in somewhat the same way that I entered 2003.

The goal I have will be a dynamic goal, though. This way, I’ll hopefully keep things realistic. Each goal will have a mini-goal. If that mini-goal is reached, I’ll create a new mini-goal, and so on, until all of my mini-goals have been accomplished and the goal is, as well.

So, without much further ado, my goal for 2006 is to … read 50 books.

I know, I know, I already had that goal once. But I didn’t achieve it. And I think that’s because of a couple of factors and now, with a more stable life and lifestyle, I think that if I keep my mini-goals, and keep them realistic, I can make it through the year, 50 books behind me.

So, my first goal is the following books by the end of April.

A Feast For Crows – George R. R. Martin
Memories of Ice – Steven Erickson
Kushiel’s Dart – Jacqueline Carey
Kushiel’s Chosen – Jacqueline Carey
Kushiel’s Avatar – Jacqueline Carey
The Subtle Knife – Philip Pullman
The Amber Spyglass – Philip Pullman
The Magician’s Nephew – C. S. Lewis
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis
Queen of Demons – David Drake
Prentice Alvin – Orson Scott Card
Song of Susannah – Steven King
The Dark Tower – Steven King
Jackal of Nar – John Marco
The Grand Design – John Marco
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – Douglas Adams

I have already finished one book, Bloody Sunday by Mike Freeman, and this list will see me at 17, 1/3 of the way through the year. (and as we all know, 17 * 3 = 51, so I can take it easy on one of those 1/3s, reading only 16)

Now we come to the tricky part. Keeping a mini-goal realistic while still staying on pace. Also, finding the hours in the day to actually read all these books. Keeping to the scheduling, 16 books over 16 weeks and 5 days is going to require almost a book a week! I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not going to read all of these books on paper. I have audiobook versions of Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower and I plan on using that medium for those two books (as well as any others I can get my greedy hands on). And I will be reading the Chronicles of Narnia to Nicholas at bedtime and to pass time whenever. We’re already most of the way through The Magician’s Nephew, so we might even get into the third book by the time the end of April comes along. So, there are four books that I should easily meet without sacrificing family time. That leaves 12 books for lunch-hours, early mornings and evenings after Nicholas has gone to bed. Think I can do it? I don’t know either. Here’s the first mini-goal: A Feast for Crows by January 11. I know, I know, a lot of you out there could, and probably will have (or have) polished this book off in a couple of nights but I don’t work that way.

I will establish a new mini-goal once this one is reached. If I fail to read it by the 11th, it’ll probably be because I don’t care or can’t find the time, either one showing me that it’s not a priority. So we’ll see.


Goals are good.



domesticvixen said...

If you need any of the Stephen King books, I've got them in hardcover (and I actually know which box they are hiding in!)

Liam J. said...

Those Steven King books are audiobooks that I'll be listening to during the monotonous parts of my job (like tomorrow when I get to change one word in the descriptions of 137 drawing objects and 137 part objects - but hey, I'm the one with the access...

Baron Von Cliff said...

Wow...now THAT sounds thrilling.

Good luck with the reading endeavour, though. A fine goal.

I doubt I'll be plowing through A Feast For Crows within a matter of nights...curse you work, and my need to get sleep at night! I did, however, just read Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys. If you liked American Gods, you'll like this one.

Liam J. said...

I've been looking forward to Anansi Boys for awhile. I'll have to see if I can find it somewhere.

Baron Von Cliff said...

Well, so far as I know, Chapters is still having their big hardcover sale.

Liam J. said...

I was thinking of the audiobook, really. It's how I read American Gods.

Maybe the Millwoods library will have a copy of it...

Baron Von Cliff said...

Well, good luck with the search. It be worth it!

Myself, I'm now halfway through the Spin : 20 Years of Writing book that I picked up. They're not a spectacular magazine, but less pompous than Rolling Stone. Still, it's kind of interesting reading opinions of...say...Public Enemy when they first broke.

I haven't decided yet which book from my stack of 19 (I counted yesterday) shall be defeated next.