2019 Personal Goals & My Year of Less

Resolutions are hard to keep, but goals are much more manageable. I am moving towards my own personal Year of Less and I am making goals in my life to become much more aware of what I am purchasing and bring into my home. I am going to do a post about eco-friendly swaps I’ve made, things I no longer buy, and steps towards figuring out what I can do to feel like I have less things dictating my life.

I have three hobbies I love and they are going to be a big focus for me this year (outside of the sustainability goals). Here’s what I am planning to do about the following:

Tea

Those who know me well know I love tea. It’s probably my favourite beverage due to sheer variety (outside of beer). However, I started to realize my basket of tea was feeling somewhat out of control, so to show you all how bad it is, I took a photo. I am sure there are folks far worse than me, but I feel like this still too much to own. I love my reusable tins and my goal is to just have a few reusable tins. My other is to continue to support local businesses once in awhile, but I need to behave myself. Hopefully by the end of 2019 this will be a lot more tame.

Video Games

Backloggery Unfinished Games List

It is no surprise that I love gaming. Usually every year I can knock out at least twenty games from my backlog. I’ve slowdown a bit in favourite of reading, which is not a bad thing. However, having almost 200+ unfinished/unplayed games freaks me the hell out. It got to the point where I had to sit down in December and actually track my unplayed games and it was… not pretty.

This is the personal goal that is going to be a bit harder because games take a lot of time. I love them, and I love savouring them. However, if I finish something this year that I know my husband doesn’t want to play or I’m not going to loan it to a friend, I’m going to take it to my local used game store and get credit or cash with it, just so it’s less stuff. If I do buy games this year, I’m going to try and go digital more often as well. I think this is great in the long run and we’ll see how I do.

Books

This is my to be read shelf and pile. I have books on my floor. That gives me a heart attack.

I kept having this problem after I graduated university where I kept accumulating news books and then the piles would stack up. As many of you know, I work for a public library, so it’s very easy to bring home new books as well. I probably have about two hundred books, unread, in this photo. My goal in 2019 is to give this the ye old college try to read these books that I have. If I love them enough for a reread or I want to lend them to someone, they can stay, but if they are read and I don’t feel the same desire, I will be donating them to schools, or if they are more recent, get some cash for them.

I LOVE getting advance reader copies of things as well, but I actually now consistently donate my ARCs to my best friend who works for a school system. Her teens get a lot of joy from getting these ARCs (whether they are already released or not) and she’s noticed they are happier to be reading more when given the opportunity. This makes me feel amazing knowing that these books are not in the trash or being resold at used bookstores.

Reading goals are hard, but also valuable too. If I can cut this shelf and pile down to 75ish books by the end of 2019, I’d be really excited. I already have two totes full of books that I cannot wait to take to the used book store this coming weekend. My husband and I just don’t have the space for a massive library right now, and truthfully I like having some breathing room from my stuff. We’ll see how this goes.

Here are my basic reading goals for 2019 (outside of the downsizing of my TBR).

  • Read 1 book a month selected by my husband. For January he selected Red Country by Joe Abercrombie (a nice big fat fantasy novel by the King of Grimdark).
  • Read 200 books (I read 473 last year, but I include trade comics and graphic novels)
  • Finished the MPL Reading Challenge (I run system wide a staff wide reading challenge. It would be bad if I didn’t finish this!)
  • Try to participate in a reading challenge of some kind a month (I usually find this helps boost my need to read).
  • Be okay with the idea of not finishing a book if I am not enjoying it. If I am being honest, this will be the hardest challenge of all because I go down with a sinking ship for EVERYTHING.
  • Stop buying books all together and continue to use my local library (and request they buy something I am interested in instead!). I will make exceptions to the rule if a friend publishes something or if it’s an author I already have the series physically for (such as The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire).

I think these goals are pretty modest.

Stuff in General

This year the goal is to spend less on stuff and use my money on experiences or things that make me happy. I love saving money, I’m a lot more thrifty than I once was as well. One of my goals here is to use up things that I have so that way I can then buy eco-friendly or reusable versions of the item, which in the long run, will save me money and help me decrease my personal carbon footprint. Here’s a few swaps I’ve made just to make life a easier (and as I said, I’ll do a full post soon enough).

  • Reusable Cotton Rounds – At this point in time I have a half bag of cotton rounds left, and once they are done, I am going to start using reusable rounds for cleaning my face. My reusable ones come with a little bag that can go in the washing machine and it makes my heart happy.
  • Razors – Once I am done with my small pile of disposable razors, I’m switching to a metal safety razor.
  • Mesh & Cloth Bags – Honestly, I’ve been doing this one for a long while. It just makes grocery shopping a hell of a lot easier and no more little bags when I buy produce. I have mesh ones that again can go in the washing machine when I am done.
  • Travel utensil set & metal straw – Another easy swap. It’s so easy when you get take out to use plastic utensils and straws. No more. I have a little set that stays in my backpack that I can bust out for those moments. Then I go to the bathroom and I clean them. Easy peasy.

Doing a lot of these little swaps (and more) has definitely made like with stuff more manageable. My goal is to pare down more of my physical things as well (see if they can be used other places, donated somewhere, swapped). It can be hard, but I know I can do it. I can’t make others do it (and it’s peace I’ve made), but I like the idea that I am doing good for the earth and my wallet too.

So these are some of the thoughts floating around my head for 2019. 2018 was a hot disaster of a year (though Japan and mini-adventures were swell). Here’s to better health and goals that can be achieved!

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