Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I'm Up For A Challenge (Or Two or Three or...)

The other day while surfing around on the web, I stumbled across a blog where the author was discussing the reading challenge she had joined. Googling revealed a large number of reading challenges out there. Most of them started January 1st and continue until the end of the year. I've had a large number of books stacked up that I've been meaning to read, so I'm throwing caution to the wind and jumping into several reading challenges. Fortunately, you can overlap some of them.

The first one is the 100+ Reading Challenge in which you read at least one hundred books before December 31st. I love this challenge because it includes all types of books, so all the ebooks I have stacking up on my computer will count as well.

The next one I found is the Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge. This one is all about reading library books. Lots of them. You actually have 4 levels to choose from but I am going for the Super Size Me challenge, checking out and reading at least 100 books.

Another fun, but much smaller challenge, is the Thriller & Suspense Challenge, in which you read 12 thriller or suspense books this year. They can be from any sub-genre of thrillers, so I will most likely be reading mysteries, probably from the library to help out on that challenge.

After I had signed up for all these, I found the Nancy Drew Reading Challenge. This one is all about reading the original 56 Nancy Drew Mysteries. These books are the ones you find in bookstores and libraries in hardcover sporting bright yellow spines. I'm hoping to score several of these from the library so I can count them for the library challenge as well.

I'm hoping these challenges will not only be a lot of fun, but will encourage me to catch up with reading some of the books stacked up on my shelves unread and ebooks stacking up on my hard drive unread. This is a step toward the productive year I'm hoping to have.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Has The "New" Worn Off Of Your Year?

Ah, the new year! Ripe with promise. Flush with hope. Groaning under the burden of all those wild-eyed expectations. We put so much pressure on January 1st, as if it's something magical, as if on that date you would suddenly have an urge to save instead of spend, fast instead of feast, exercise instead of watch TV, read classics instead of pulp fiction, and be nice to all those tacky people that usually annoy you. And so I have to ask...

Has the "new" worn off of your year yet? Are you still working toward those resolutions and goals or have you reverted to the way it was last year? If you've fallen off the resolution wagon , don't worry. It doesn't mean you're doomed to a life of failure and mediocrity. It just means that the turn of the calendar wasn't quite enough to carry you through .

I have more good news. Just as you looked at the new year as a clean slate and afresh launchpad, you can find others. How about the beginning of the month , or week, or how about tomorrow morning? The fact is, the decisions you made that caused you to be unsuccessful in your attempts probably didn't even happen on January 1st. They happened the 3rd when you didn't feel like exercising or the 6th when you overindulged at a party or maybe the 11th when you found that bargain you couldn't resist and blew the money you were going to save. Or maybe on the 17th, when you decided you had messed up so many times that you should just give up altogether.

This year whenever I blow it, I plan to dust myself off and just begin again... and again... and again if necessary. Because I can. Because I'm worth the effort. Because my goals are good goals that will enhance and enrich my life. Because, as Scarlett O'Hara so eloquently stated, "Tomorrow is another day." Will you join me? I hope so. because you're worth the effort too, you know.

Off the Rails

So far this year is not going according to plan. My plans are completely off track. I was determined to get back on track this month, but so far some unexpected events combined with getting sick have pretty much tanked any efforts so far. Right now hot tea and tissues are my constant companions. I am getting a little reading done and a lot of online research, so it's not a total loss, but I'm looking forward to being healthy again, so I can start my new exercise program and get back to work on my workroom rearrangement.