Do you set reading goals? You should! This year make the big goal to read at least one book a month for the entire year, a reality.
Last year my ridiculously, huge goal was to read 100 books. I probably could have done that had life not happened, but sometimes our best-laid plans and aspirations are just not realistic to real life expectations and responsibilities.
This year as I am focusing on grace based goals and adjusting my life to a newborn, a toddler and a preschooler, I am much more realistic in my approach to goal setting. The truth is that I probably will be living in survival mode for a few months as we work on getting into somewhat of a routine (just before it changes due to a new season!)
Even though I do have realistic expectations, I did want to set a reading goal for myself. A goal that is manageable, realistic and even attainable in this season of life.
A goal to simply read 12 books for the New Year, one book a month.
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For some even the thought of reading 12 books sounds like a lot but last year I read about 40 books even with everything going on. The year before that I read 91 books, and the year before that I read 69. Both of those years I had my two children who were babies, so if I was able to read that amount of books with babies, then I’m pretty sure I can read 12 books this year.
We shall see! 🙂
To help keep myself accountable, I decided to assign each month to a book, partially in random order but with some intention in the book selections. Back in 2012, I had a carefully mapped out reading list with about 6 books assigned to each month. For the most part, I was able to follow that reading guide pretty well with the exception of having to wait on a few library holds.
I haven’t been that detailed in my reading plans since then but I do remember how intentional I was about reading, despite being pregnant as well as chasing a toddler. Over the past two years, I have allowed myself to just choose different books on a whim, and while I did still read a lot I have wanted to go back to creating a more structured reading plan to guide me through this year.
Assigning myself one specific book to read each month still gives me the flexibility to read other books as they come up but it also helps me to be intentional with my reading selection. All 12 books below are books that have been carefully selected and books that I am eager to read. Some have been sitting on my shelf for far too long, others I will be using some of my fun money to purchase over the year.
So what books will I purposely be reading in 2015? Listed below are the 12 books that I have handpicked and placed in each month.
I have listened to several webinars and podcasts that she has participated in, as well as working through her Powersheets. I have been so encouraged and impressed by her vision and work ethic as a WAHM with a little one. Her discipline and aspirations are very inspiring, so what better book to start the new year with?
Can I confess something?
The last few months of the year …well to be honest, my entire pregnancy really… I have been terrible at being in the Word in a consistent and intentional way. Sure I have been reading my Bible and other devotionals but it has been more like a drive by reading. It’s time to get back to studying God’s Word again in a real way. I purposely put this book in February because it is still close to the start of the year and by then (hopefully) we will all be in a more consistent schedule with the baby.
Join the book club HERE
Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love by Sally Clarkson
I have enjoyed all the books I have ready by Sally Clarkson and am eagerly anticipating reading this one as well. I feel like this one will also be a good one to read closer to the start of the year to continue on with the theme of starting the year living with purpose and intention, as well as getting back into a daily routine and consistent Bible reading time.
Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest by Bonnie Gray
This has been on my shelf since last May and I have heard more than my share of good reviews on it. It’s time to pull it off the shelf, open it, read it and probably fill the margins with notes and go to town with my highlighter.
Anyone else feel like they have a lot of friends, yet at the same time feel like they hardly have any real ones? With social media making us somewhat lazy at connecting with people mixed in with the busy season (and isolation of being a SAHM) with littles, connecting with real friends can be a challenge. This is something I struggle with, so I’m eager to read this book. Plus it has gotten rave reviews too.
The title of the book is pretty much the story of my life currently! Looking forward to digging into the truths Gloria shares. Her previous book both challenged and encouraged me, and so many have told me I need to read this one as well.
Her other book made my top reads list for 2014 (plus she has a new book coming out in a few months that I’m sure will be just as good). I have been wanting to read her second book on marriage and since July is the month I celebrate my anniversary, I thought this would be the perfect season to enjoy her wit and humor.
What Women Fear: Walking in Faith that Transforms by Angie Smith
In a story for another day, I have long suffered from bouts of anxiety that sweep through me for no apparent reason. I was recommended this book during my last season of frequent attacks which I purchased and placed on my shelf forgetting as my panic attacks went away. While it’s been a while since I have experienced a season of anxiety I know it’s something that I have to stay on top of and be aware of my triggers. So that means filling my heart and mind with not only God’s Word but also the encouragement of other writers who have suffered through and come out all the wiser.
50 Women Every Christian Should Know: Learning from Heroines of the Faith by Michelle DeRusha
I am kind of a biography nerd and love to read about those who have gone before and laid a foundation of faith and inspiration. I first heard about this book last year on another blog and have been intrigued to read it. As a mom of a girl, I want to be able to share strong, brave, courageous Christian women to her in a way that ignites and excites her faith, mine too!
Another book that I keep hearing about and seeing reviewed on other blogs that have caused me to want to read it. Along with biographies, I also have a love for personal memoirs. I love how non-fiction and storytelling perfectly intertwine to share a great story. I am eager to read this one.
Another book that I have had sitting on my shelf for several months but haven’t opened it yet. I’ve also been reading really good reviews about this book too on other blogs, one blogger even said this was the best book she read in 2014.
I feel like this will be the perfect book to read during the month of December and in the midst of the crazy holiday season. A reminder to slow down, love my family and enjoy those everyday moments. A reminder to laugh often and to love my family with a purpose.
I realize that my list is void of any fiction books. I do have several fiction novels downloaded on my Kindle and on my “Save for Later” list at the library. The truth is that I can easily read a good fiction book in a few days whereas a non-fiction book that challenges me takes much more effort to read through.
I will probably read a lot of fiction this year but I knew that I needed to make reading non-fiction, particularly spiritual growth books, a priority this year to challenge and grow my heart during this busy season with little ones.