My favorite thing about starting a new year is getting a new planner. There’s something so hopeful about all those empty pages of unplanned activity. I like to sit down with my planner on January 1 and set my goals for the year.

I start pretty much every year with the same two resolutions – Write More and Stress Less. Last year I gave myself 16 goals for the year…I accomplished 2 of them. Not great, but considering the dumpster fire that was 2020, it’s better than nothing.

I do love that Goodreads gives a recap of your reading year. One goal that I did hit last year was to read 155 books. I actually exceeded that thanks to all the down time this past year.

So…my reading goal this year is 175 books. Don’t know if I will get there, but I’ll try. I’ve got lots of reading projects planned for the year.

My book club is reading our way through the 50 states – our first book this year is Come and Get Me by August Norman (set in Indiana). We’ll follow that up with a book set in Hawaii.

I am, of course, still working through the chronological Stephen King list – I’m up to 1979: The Long Walk and The Dead Zone. Both rereads, although it’s been years since I read The Dead Zone. If I remember correctly, it was my first Stephen King and I was somewhere around 12 years old.

While my book club tours the US, I’m diving into France on my own. I had been toying with the idea of learning French on the Duolingo app and accompanying it with a year of books set in France. So, I found this list of 100 books set in France on taleaway.com – and as it turned out 3 of the books listed are in my current TBR top 10, along with another book set in Paris that wasn’t on the list. (Synchronicity, for those of you who follow The Artist’s Way). I may not get to all 100 – to be honest, a couple of them are books I’ve already read and don’t want to read again (All the Light We Cannot See) and there are a few I read in high school or college that I may or may not get to (A Tale of Two Cities), but I’m going to give it my best effort.

If that’s not enough to keep me busy, there’s this blog and those handful of novels I’ve started. I’m really good at writing the first couple of chapters and then my characters start doing things I didn’t expect them to do and I never quite get to where I thought I was going. So one of my goals this year is to actually finish one of them. Not sure if it will be a Hallmark movie romance or a serial killer, but I’m getting through one. Maybe a Hallmark movie romance about a serial killer? Probably not, but you never know.

As for stressing less, well that’s easier said than done. But drinking more tea is always a start, and I’ve got plenty to keep me going there. I always save my vacation days for the time between Christmas and New Year’s – so I’ve had a week of relaxation and very little activity, besides reading, hanging out with my husband, and de-Christmasing our apartment.

Rather than make demanding resolutions about losing weight and drinking more water – which I never do – this year is about fun and interesting goals. What fun things are you looking forward to in 2021?

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