The book I finished yesterday really emphasized the idea that the best way to stop buying stuff is to stop wanting stuff, and that’s really stuck with me. Reducing the amount of money I spend is pretty damn hard when it feels like it’s me punishing myself and denying myself stuff I want. I’m really into this idea of addressing the underlying thoughts and emotions and behaviors that cause me want to want stuff, instead of just brute-force being like “no stuff for u.” It’s something I’ve come close to doing before, but there’s something about seeing this idea stated so plainly that’s really clicked with me.
“Who are you buying this for? The person you are, or the person you want to be?”
– Cait Flanders, The Year of Less
today’s audio book is a great choice. i really wish there was a way in Libby to sort the audiobooks i’m interested in by length.
currently listening: your heart is a muscle the size of your fist
sometimes goals can be easy if it’s 1. something i was probably gonna do anyways and 2. easy to track. like, i’m at 65 books read this year out of my goal of 52. i like reading, i was going to do it anyways, but it being really easy to track in goodreads made it fun. and i know that my reward at the end of the year will be seeing a little auto-generated summary on the site with facts about all the books.
fen-tober aka “make one thing every day and share it” went pretty damn well, until there was one day the last week i was sick or whatever and just couldn’t make anything. so because i’d broken the successful chain, i gave up and just stopped, and didn’t pick it up again the next day. doing something every day and tracking it works really well for me until i skip a day, and then i just give up because it’s ruined.
maybe instead i should think of it as “let’s make a chain of days as long as i can, and if i have to start over, let’s see if i can hit a new record for most days in a row.” but having to start over at zero is so demoralizing.
what worked well for me about this book reading challenge, then? some ideas:
- a very long and forgiving timeframe. like i can read three books in a day and then nothing for weeks, but that doesn’t matter, and it all still counts.
- it’s a count i can easily check, and goodreads will show me automatically “read X number of books per month for the rest of the year to achieve your goal”
- i can see a nice list of everything i read, when i read it, and what i rated it
- i know there’ll be a record at the end of the year with a summary of fun facts, like which month i read the most and how many pages i read, etc
- it’s not “read X pages every day” or “read Y books every month” it’s “how many books can you read in a year? i bet it’s at least 52!”
- the goal is derived from an average rate of one book per week. some weeks i read more, some i read less.
What would Fen-Tober have looked like if instead of “make something every day” it was “make 31 things this month”? There were some days I made several things, and some days I made nothing. I’m pretty sure that if I’d tracked it differently, I’d see that I made at least 31 things. On days where I made several things, I’d get disappointed and think “oh man, it’s too bad I made this second thing today, now it doesn’t count for tomorrow.”
Maybe counting “did I do X every day” is good if it’s a daily habit to build, like brushing my teeth. But like………… honestly what would it look like if my goal was “brush my teeth 31 times this month” instead of “brush my teeth every day”? I don’t think I’d give up if I skipped a day because I was sick. Okay brushing teeth is a bad weird example because I’m self-conscious about teeth and mouth things ANYWAYS
I think I want to try out a goal of like “make 31 things” for December, and see how that goes. And I’ll make another list of suggestions/ideas for things I could make, like I did for October, because that really helped bust me out of my comfort zone and was really fun.
And if this way of setting a goal goes well, then I’ll also set some goals for 2020 to go alongside my book reading goal.