Setting Reasonable Goals (Don’t Do What I Did)

POSTED ON September 6, 2017 BY Austine IN Discussion

Hello friends.

This was a difficult post to write because, in short, I’m telling you all the ways I screwed up and essentially what NOT to do. It’s hard admitting that but I’m only human and I feel like there’s a lesson in here that can help at least some of y’all in the future.

You may (or may not) know that NovelKnight is currently hosting a year-long reading challenge focused on reading “backlist” books (published prior to 2017). I created the challenge based on a personal challenge I had for myself that others were interested and it grew from such a small thing to a MUCH larger monster.

  1. I didn’t plan for the amount of participants we ended up having (and new people are still joining!)
  2. I didn’t map out my time availability for the entire year. I was in a different place in my life at the beginning of 2017 compared to now.
  3. I didn’t get everything lined up in the event that I DID get busy (which happened way more than I expected)

This challenge’s main goal was supposed to be about reading “older” titles from you TBR. We added the Hogwarts Mini Challenge and it exploaded. Y’all who signed up for that seem to really like that aspect of it but keeping up with our points system and the Twitter chats and everything simply became too much. I didn’t want to push it onto my co-blogger because 1) that’s not fair to her and 2) she’s just as busy as I am right now.

I was too ambitious.

In another year, in another life, this challenge would have been great, I think. But this year, with my last year of grad school and student teaching and blogging and writing. . . you get the idea. There’s just TOO MUCH going on.

If there’s enough interest and we feel comfortable doing the challenge in 2018 again, there will be a LOT of changes to accommodate for this. This is our first big challenge and we can’t believe how many of y’all signed up so hopefully if we see that same level of interest we can do it again on a bit of a toned-down scale. I think the original purpose of this challenge was lost in the mini challenge with everyone trying to beat the other houses and get the most points and so on.

The points are imaginary but it’s amazing how many people got worked up and would spam our inbox about it. 🙁


Lessons to Take Away from This Tale

Don’t do what I did. That’s the simplest thing here. If you are a student, a busy person, whatever the case may be, make SMART goals.

Consider how much time you might have and decide if your goal is even feasible and if so, in what capacity. Make a plan. We didn’t plan for over 300 participants and it shows. Don’t let anything go to chance.

Finally I want to say that you should put yourself first. Normally this isn’t advice I would give in all situations but in this one, be conscious of your life and don’t let some challenge take over.


Do you have any advice for making reasonable goals?


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6 responses to “Setting Reasonable Goals (Don’t Do What I Did)

  1. After 28 short years of living, I’ve learned to ALWAYS put yourself first. And your family, but sometimes even then. It sounds and feels selfish, but I got burnt out from trying to be there for everyone and be “successful.”

  2. It is always okay to take a step back. I’m glad you are not discontinuing the challenge for this year. I have loved this challenge. I’m sure you will come up with great ideas for next year. I love focusing on backlist books as they are so often neglected and majority of my goodreads TBR is still backlisted books that I want to read eventually.

    Rachael Turns Pages recently posted: July and August Wrap Up and Sept-Nov TBR
    • Yes I’m excited to bring it back with some changes for 2018. I think it’s a challenge that’s applicable every year so the better I can make it the better for everyone else!

  3. I’m glad you’re considering ways to step it down without dissolving the challenge completely. I’ve found the mini-challenge (especially things like the scavenger hunt) a great way to figure out what of my backlist books to read next. To me it’s less about ‘beating’ another house, and more about a creative challenge- I think we all respond to some creative structure better than we do to another “should” on our list of things to do. I hope you’re able to find some balance before the end of the year!

    Beth W recently posted: September Goals
    • I’m glad you enjoyed the extra challenge in some form! I know every person responds to different kinds of motivation and I think I tried to capture everything in one big challenge and it got crazy but here’s to a simpler 2018 BTB!