Happy New Year, everyone!
While part of me doesn’t quite feel like it should already be 2020 (kind of still feel as if it’s 2015, anyone else agree?), another part of me is incredibly excited that it’s a new year. I have a good feeling about this year and about this decade in general- somehow, I think it’s going to be a year to remember.
On top of all the new year feels, I’m very excited to be doing a wrap-up post for 2019! This year has (mostly) been good to me, and I’m looking forward to taking a look back at what I read, what I blogged, and what’s happened in my life since we last did a full-on recap back in January of last (!!) year.
I also want to take the opportunity to acknowledge the goals that I set in last year’s recap and hold myself accountable for what I did and didn’t accomplish, as well as set new goals for 2020. Literally, this is crazy. Twenty. twenty. I’m also going to be thanking you all for being the most amazing, wonderful blogging friends that could ever have existed- but we’ll get to that later. 😉
For the first time in 2020, let’s get into the post!
I’m so happy with how this year went reading-wise! I may have dropped the ball on keeping up with reading once school started back up, but I still read enough during the summer to make up for it. I was able to discover a lot of new books (thank you, book blogging community), reread old favorites, and add to my ever-growing to be read stack.
I did complete my Goodreads challenge! I ended up going over my allotted amount by 11 books, so I was excited about that. This meant I read much more than I did last year, since I set 2019’s goal based on how much I read in 2018.
This is just a small snippet of my Year in Books (according to Goodreads)! I was looking back at my yearly recap post from last year and I think it’s funny that Order of the Phoenix is again the longest book I’ve read. I guess that’s what happens when you reread the same book every year.
I already talked a lot about my favorite books of the year a couple days ago in a post, but I’m going to put the top five here, just because they deserve all the love and appreciation and I really think you should all read them if you haven’t already.
Part of me also wants to expose the most disappointing books I read this year (because I didn’t hate any of them, I was just let down), but I feel as if I would feel too bad about doing that in a post. Maybe next year? Or maybe never.
I made reading goals for myself at the beginning of 2019, and to be quite honest, I haven’t referred back to them since. Let’s see how badly I failed? It’s possible I completed some of them by default, but I most definitely should have been more vigilant.
- Read 75 books. ✅ Yes! That was my original Goodreads challenge, which I later upped to 85 books, which I ended up exceeding by reading a total of 96 books.
- Keep track on Goodreads. ✅ Honestly, Goodreads is my best friend. I love it so much and it makes it so easy to keep track of the many books I’ve read and want to read!
- Utilize Goodreads for rating & reviewing books. ✅❌ I did start rating the books I read for the first time this year, so I get the check for that. However, I didn’t write any reviews on GR, which is sad.
- Continue to grow my bookstagram. ✅❌ Another check/X because while I did grow it, I should have done a lot more. That’s one of my main goals for the upcoming year though, and I’m planning to revive it and focus more on bookstagram!
- Read more fantasy. ✅ I’m branching out?? Little by little!!
- Read more outside my comfort zone. ❌ Yes, I read more fantasy, but it was all YA and I don’t think I extended myself the way I could have.
- Decide if I want to look into ARCs. ✅ I did decide not to get into ARCs. I actually wrote an entire post about why I’m not going to do this about six months ago, but I never published it because I got too scared. Maybe I’ll talk more about it in 2020?
I’m actually proud of what I was able to accomplish with my reading this year! That’s not to say there weren’t slumps, but overall, I’m happy with everything I read (and didn’t read). Here are my goals for 2020, which I’m hoping will be a big part of this year!
- Read 85 books
- Keep track on Goodreads (with ratings)
- Write reviews on Goodreads (at least 10)
- Get 600 followers on bookstagram and post regularly
- Read at least 5 classics
- Read at least 10 fantasy books
- Email my favorite authors
I need to start off this section by thanking you. Yes, you reading this. When I think about what I’m thankful for, one of the items near the top of the list is that I’m able to blog on this corner of the Internet and interact with such amazing people.
I’m so, so glad I get to share my passion for reading with people who share my love for books. I’m still not exactly sure why anyone cares enough to actually read my blog, but I’m so happy that people do?? My blog brings such joy into my life, and so do all the people I get to share it with- so from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
The amount of times I’ve used a Taylor Swift gif to say thank you…way too many. But will I ever stop? Probably not, because I love saying thank you (and y’all are so amazing that I know I will always be saying it) and I love Taylor Swift.
Besides me thanking you all (and actually sitting over here crying about how lucky I am to have this blog), the other way I wanted to acknowledge this year of blogging is by talking about the most popular posts of the year. In other words- the ones that y’all enjoyed the most!
It made me very happy to see that these six posts were my most popular of the year because I vividly remember loving them all! What I gather from this is that y’all enjoy my discussion posts? I will most definitely keep that in mind while writing content for 2020. 😉
Before I go on to my blogging goals from last year and for this year, a few of my blogging highlights this year included:
- Receiving the Best Small Book Blogger Award in the 2019 Book Blogger Awards was such an honor and even after a few months, I’m STILL crying!! Thank you again for this, because it meant the world and still does.💗
- I was able to do a lot of collabs with bloggers I admire this year! It was truly an honor to work with bloggers I adore to create content. (I know I just said honor. But I just genuinely feel honored, okay?)
- Finally, in January of 2019, I created the Wonderstruck Book Tag, which is a tag that combines Taylor Swift songs with books! I never expected people to actually participate, but they DID, and it made my heart so happy to read all of the posts I got tagged in. The outpouring of love was amazing, and I am so grateful for that!
Now for the fun part, seeing how good or bad I did on my goals! (And setting new ones. That’s a little more fun than the looking-back-on-my-failures part.)
- Continue with blogging schedule for the most part. ✅ Did I take hiatuses? Of course, life is crazy. But I think I can give a check on this part because I didn’t expect myself to be perfect, I just expected myself to try my best, and I did.
- Reach 700 followers.❌ Close, but not there. But I’m very proud of the growth that did occur on my blog this year, I’m grateful for each and every one of you, and I am really okay with not meeting this goal!
- Reach 100 comments on a post twice.❌ Same spiel as for the one before. XD I’m very pleased with the comments I did get, and the number doesn’t matter to me as much as I think it did at the start of 2019.
- Get 450 views on a post. ❌ Once again, see above.
- Take hiatuses if I need to. ✅ I am disappointed that I had to take so many hiatuses this year- I missed out on a lot of potential blogging and I know I did stunt my growth. However, they were necessary and I’m proud of myself for knowing that I needed to take step back.
- Continue to interact. ✅❌ I was doing so well on this at the beginning of the year and in the summer, but it’s incredibly hard for me to do during the school year. I’d say I did okay at this.
- Be proud of all my posts. ✅ I took my hiatuses so that I could continue to be proud of my posts and put quality over quantity.
- Reply to all comments in a timely manner. ✅ Sometimes I could have been more timely. But I wouldn’t say I was ever…un-timely.
Maybe I didn’t do the best on my goals this year, but that just motivates me even more to set attainable goals for 2020 that still help me grow as a blogger!
- Keep my blogging schedule
- Freshen up my blog look
- Change my blog buttons page to more of a friends page
- Interact (set a schedule for when I’m interacting so I don’t fall behind)
- Reply to all comments within three weeks
- Take hiatuses if I need to
- Reach 1k followers
- Improve my stats (while remembering that stats aren’t everything)
I must say, 2019 was a good year. That doesn’t mean it was without its hard parts, because no year ever is, but when I look back on it I think I’m going to remember the good times over the bad, and it’s been much better than the last few years have been for me. All that to say, of course I’m looking forward to a new, fresh start.
That’s an accurate depiction of me dancing into the new year, even though I’m not even a huge Ariana Grande fan and it’s never, ever going to snow where I live. XD
As I usually do in my monthly recap posts, I’m going to mention a few of the best parts of my year! I’m probably going to miss a lot of the small moments that contributed to it being a wonderful year for me, but these are just the main ideas.
- Taylor Swift’s album Lover came out! I mean, is anything better than your favorite artist releasing new music? I can’t really say much more, except that I adore this album and the aesthetic surrounding it.
- I went to Nashville! I took a trip to Nashville, TN over the summer and it was such a lovely time. I had so much fun!
- My friends. This one is vague, but I’m truly so grateful for the friendships I have formed and strengthened this year. I don’t usually talk about things like this on my blog, since it’s a book blog, but I genuinely haven’t felt surrounded by this much love and friendship in a long time, and it’s given me a lot of peace.
- Dance! So…I never stop dancing. But I love it so much. This year has brought growth, new experiences, new teachers, new friends, new choreography, new dance styles, and lots of joy.
- I’ve discovered new shows I love. I’ve become very obsessed with Stranger Things and Riverdale this year, and reason why this makes my yearly highlights is because it’s allowed me become even closer with my very best friend, since we watched them together and get to share our obsession.
I’m very grateful for all my blessings this year, and I hope there will be new memories made in 2020 and when I write my recap post next year (hello, future self) I’ll have even more joy to share.
I surprised myself when I read the 2019 recap post and saw I made life goals for myself, because I didn’t think I had! I’m not going to be sharing more in-depth on the goals from last year because, honestly, I didn’t accomplish them in the way I wish I had, and I don’t want to be negative in this post.
However, I’m feel very inspired (as is easy at the start of a year) so I will be setting new goals that I hope I will be able to reflect on next year!
- Work on my self-confidence
- Do my one second every day for the entire year
- Work on my relationship with God
- Incorporate more self-care into my daily routine
That concludes my recap of 2019! I feel ready for the new year in a way I haven’t felt before. It seems almost magical? I’m not quite sure how to explain it. Even though I know this year is going to be difficult school-wise (and probably dance-wise, which will then make it harder to blog and read), I have very high hopes. After all, I get to choose my outlook every day, so I can put a positive twist on whatever comes my way.
I really, really, truly, and from the bottom of my heart hope you all have a phenomenal year! I believe in you, you got this, and you are amazing. Happiest of new years to all.✨
How was your year? Tell me about it! What are your goals, and are you feeling excited for the new year, too? I’d love to talk with you in the comments.