What It’s Like to Actually Achieve a New Year’s Resolution

I did it. I finally did it. I set a goal for myself on New Year’s and I ACHIEVED it (well I achieved 2/2 resolutions but let’s just focus on one of them for now….).

Read 30 books without buying a NEW book.

My personal rules:

  • No buying new books (unless they’re gifts for other people)
  • No buying eBooks
  • Used and borrowed books only

Seems kind of difficult to read 30 new books and not buy one, right? Wrong. I discovered that Value Village (or any other thrift store for that matter) has any book you could have ever wanted – you just have to search a little more for it. My friend also gave me her old & unloved Kobo and after a trip to South East Asia, I scratched the screen and purchased my own. But how can I read on an eReader without buying eBooks? There’s this wonderful thing called Overdrive! Essentially it’s like the old school library you used to go to – except online. You can download eBooks directly to certain models of eReaders, or sync them through your computer.

Why did I set this goal for myself? I realized towards the end of 2016 that it wasn’t that I didn’t like to read, it was I didn’t know what I actually liked to read. I finally decided to make an attempt again at finishing the Harry Potter series (I’m terrible, I know… I’m done now and it was fantastic) and learned that I really enjoy memoirs or historical fiction novels. I don’t like novels with “flower-y” language and symbolism, and long sentences describing something simple like “a house.” And when the memoirs get really heavy…”chick-lit” is my guilty pleasure (Sophie Kinsella is my favourite).

If I started to read a book I couldn’t get through, I would just start another. A new job with tons of commute time also allowed me more downtime and excuses to read. I used Goodreads to keep track of the books I was reading through their Yearly Reading Challenge (you can check mine out here). I also used the website to find similar books to the ones I’d enjoy, or connect with friends to see what books they’d read recently.

Here are all of the books I read in 2017 (so far):

The best book I read this year was A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett. I highly suggest everyone read this book. I had the unique opportunity to see Amanda and her mother, Lorinda, speak at a book tour trip for Lorinda’s book, One Day Closer. It’s amazing how Amanda went through so much and still has such a positive outlook on life.

What I’m currently reading?

  • Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
  • Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” – Lena Dunham
  • Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape – Jenna Miscavige Hill

So what does it feel like to achieve a resolution? Pretty fucking great. Not only have I gained back my love of reading, but I’ve also learned a lot through the memoirs I read. I’ve found that I spend less time watching TV or Netflix. I’ve also saved A LOT of money. If I had bought every book new, at an average of $21.99/book, I would’ve spent $659.70 before taxes.

As the new year approaches, I have 246 books on my “to-read” list on Goodreads and a new goal to set for 2018. Let me know what books I should add to my “to-read” list for the upcoming year.

I can’t wait for the stories and adventures that lie on the pages ahead of me.


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