New Years 2009: A Reading Goal & Resolutions

For 2009, I hope to read through one shelf of about 40 pre-selected books. Normally, I just grab and read whatever I want from whatever source on whatever topic is of interest at the moment. But this year, I've put together a collection of books from a variety of authors on a variety of topics... homeschooling, discipleship, marriage, Puritan classics, homemaking, sex, politics, gender differences, abortion, and more. I put them all on one shelf in our living room, and I'm going to (hopefully) work through the shelf as the year progresses. This way, I hope to be more intentional about the portions I'm "eating" in each area of interest as I read throughout the year.

As for other "resolutions", I have some personal goals I'm striving for (like losing the 15-20 extra pounds that always seems to hang on until I wean the baby, and finishing the novel I started writing in November)... but these really aren't related to the New Year as much as just the extra time I'll have after getting past the busy holidays and my parents' visit here (they're halfway through a 3-week long visit).

And I hope to continue doing my one-book-of-the-Bible-per-month reading plan. I've been doing this for two years now and I really enjoy knowing where I'm reading when I sit down with scripture, but not having to blaze through the Word at a crazy pace to stay on some pre-appointed "one-year" plan. This year, because we visited Ephesus (that picture is of me & our two oldest children in front of the library there last week), I'll start out with Ephesians in January. If you'd like to join me, e-mail me, or comment here, and I'll try to post more about Ephesians. If not, I might share my observations anyway. :)

I'm not one to make very strict resolutions-- at New Years or any other time. Maybe it's a lack of self-discipline; I just like to think of it as honest. :) I don't mean to shame others who do make goals and end up letting them slide over time... I just know before I even start that there are certain things that I just won't follow through on. So, generally, I don't make big sweeping commitments. No fault at all on those who do-- I think it's awesome when people set goals and really pursue them! And don't get me wrong; I do have goals in life that I'm shooting for... I just typically don't try to "start" doing something totally different than what we have been doing in life just because the calendar date changes.

What about you? What are you hoping to accomplish? Do you set goals at each new year?

Regardless, I hope you had a very delightful Christmas holiday, celebrating the miracle and wonder of Christ's birth, and that you have a Happy New Years Day!


Jessica said...

What are the 40 books?
I would love to know!

Karen (KayKay) said...

Happy New Year to you. We aren't quite there yet, have a few hours yet. You have made some wonderful resolutions. I do the book thing as well. I always pre-select certain books that I will definitely read during the year. Then I throw in whatever else strikes my fancy. I always make some resolutions, but they tend to be painted with a fairly broad brush. I usually keep them or at least make progress toward a goal.

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Congratulations; you've made it onto my Best Blogs of 2008 list! (see my latest post)


Dawn said...

Good things to think about, Jess.
I wonder if you would share your reading list? I need some good titles to read this year...need to be much more intentional about my reading.
Thanks a bunch in advance!
Happy New Year,
Dawnin SC

Ben and Tabby said...

Hi. I think this is the first time I have ever commented on your blog, but I really enjoy reading it. Thanks for everything you share through this blog. I share your feelings about those "read through the Bible in a year" plans, and I would love to follow along with your Bible study, so please, please, post away! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jess,
Will you post your whole list of 40 books to start the year?
Can you describe you Bible study time? What do you do with your month in a book of the bible?

Anne in Iowa

Megan Preedy said...

You don't want to list out those 40 books for us, do ya? :)

Anonymous said...

No New Year's resolutions for me. No goal setting at the beginning of each year either.

I have a perpetual "Bucket List" that I work from, providing me with lots of choices as to what I want to work on and accomplish. Like me, it's a work in progress.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you could help me out with 6 month old's sleeping habits are getting worse, and he is now waking every 1-2 hours throughout the night. Often he'll sleep an initial 3-4 hour stretch, and then it's up every 1-2 hours after that. I've always co-slept but he's a very restless sleeper and neither one of us seems to be getting much sleep. I'm about to try CIO but this is younger than I've ever done it in the past, and I wonder what it is that keeps waking him?? Do you think it's okay to let him CIO each time he wakes up in the night? :-( That breaks my heart but I don't know how to get him through this without us both becoming horribly sleep deprived. I'm already more moody and short during the day. Thanks for any advice.


Jess said...

LOL, yes I'll share my reading list as a separate post in a couple days.

And I'll do another post about my Bible reading too... if you want to join along, just try to take 30 minutes at some point in the next couple days and sit down and read Ephesians out loud. If you can't do it all in one setting, then do it in two separate sittings if possible.

Include your kids if you want to... you could each trade off reading a certain amount of verses (if they're old enough to read)... or if you're an auditory learner, purchase a portion of an audioBible from iTunes for anywhere from $2-4. I like the Bible Experience... but there are many good ones. Basically, try to get a big picture view of Ephesians-- what are the main ideas? Why was Paul writing? Etc.

I'll share more about specifics of how I do things throughout each month soon.

Blessings all!

Jess said...

Hi Kristi...
It makes me wonder what his other eating habits are? Is he eating enough during the day? Have you started him on solids (and is he getting enough)? Is he going too long during the day and thus needing to "make up for it" at night?

I also wonder if he's teething or has an ear infection or something painful that's waking him? Have you tried giving oragel? Or a low dose of something like Tylenol or Ibuprofen?

If you've tried all of this and he is just having more frequent night waking, I personally don't have a problem with letting a 6 month old CIO, if they have previously displayed an ability to sleep longer and go longer between feedings. Usually, it will only take 2-3 nights, with each night's crying decreasing in length. This (to me) is preferable from having a child who night wakes for years on end and keeps everyone cranky and miserable. 2-3 nights worth of less than an hour of crying each by a child who has displayed an ability to sleep through the night isn't such a terrible thing. But that's my view. If you agree, then feel free... if not, don't let my words convince you to do something you don't feel good about.

I hope this helps. I'd be glad to e-mail more with you privately about this if you want.

Blessings & I hope you find a suitable solution.

Ruth said...

Like you, I make rather loose resolutions for the year.
I think the end of the year is a good time to evaluate the last months for many reasons. First, because we're in "evaluating mood" and because (at least for me) these days are lived at a more relaxed pace, giving more time to think and plan.

I've made a few resolutions for this year:

- learn how to make dolls and pick up my love of crafts which I abandoned this past year.

- do one nice thing for my husband every day. Intentionally. I find I so often forget to think whether he is happy, needs some help, would like me to do something for him...

- get a better grip of our finances.

- Read each child a bedtime story instead of one for all three together. Of course, we can all sit together, but I want to increase story time and have each choose a short bedtime story. I remember loving this as a child.

Easy, nothing drastic, just a result of evaluating last year.

Have a blessed 2009 and enjoy the visit with your parents!!!! (I wish mine could come and visit....)


Christine said...

I hesitantly make New Year"s resolutions, but I have more hope this year, about keeping them. Primarily, rather than making sweeping resolutions, which are totally incompatible with what I am currently doing, I am trying to make smaller, more feasible goals, which are an enhancement of what I am currently doing. I posted my goals on my blog. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

From Amy -

LOVE the idea of creating a list of books for the year!

As for New Year's goals.....I find that I start reflecting on the past year around September. This past year was filled with so many wonderful discoveries; newer, healthier ways of eating, creative outlets, inspiring new friendships...I hope to nurture each one in 2009 and see where they go!

Shyla said...

I too would love specifics on reading through one book of the Bible per month. I guess I'm just wondering how you pace yourself with longer books vs shorter books.

Anonymous said...

my goals for this year are to be more submissive to my husband and trusting God more for my needs. It's very difficult for me to do both

Melinda said...

I have a stack of books I plan to read as well, though I am not up to nearly 40! Happy New Year!

Leah said...

Happy New Year Jess - your blog has been a real blessing to me; just read 'a Mom just like me' that you mentioned in a post before Christmas and LOVED it. I like the idea of pre-selecting a shelf of a few picked out, definitly planning a reading year and a year of productivity through peace!

~Tami said...

I love your Bible reading plan. I may implement that myself.

I won’t be making big goals for the year 2009. (Last year I made 7 big goals, and reach none of them.) Instead, I will be making mini-goals that help me to redeem the time. Here's my blog post:

Sarah said...

Yay, I'm glad you're going to post your list of 40 books. I was going to ask if you could too. I want to be more intentional in my reading this year, but was looking for ideas. I was also wondering exactly how you do your Bible study... so I'm glad you're going to share. Thank you!

Anonymous said...


I've been to your blog before, but I think this is the first time I have posted anything.

At any rate, I try not to make New Years resolutions because they sound SO "cliche" to me and usually, I don't keep them as I liked to have planned.

However, the goals I would like to strive for this year is to become closer to Heavenly Father; by slowly "letting go" of the "WIll of the World," and adapt to God's Will for my life. I'd also like to try do more scripture study as well as finish the stack of books on various topics that are literally piling-up by my bedside (smiles). Finally, although this is a "vain" goal, but I'd like to continue my exercise program to maintain the weight I have lost over the pass year and a half.

Anyway, in regards to your plan to read about Ephesians this month, I'm game. Can you email me with particulars? My email address is:

Happy New Year, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Jessica said...

I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoy your blog and am a recent fan. I've also passed your blog on to some friends and have a link on my blog. You have really great insights and aren't afraid to brush over the Truth. I appreciate that about you and that is something I aspire to do more often. Thanks so much and I look forward to reading your stuff this year!! God bless!

Patti S. said...

I'm trying to learn to set goals. I'm trying it this year but going easy on myself and not over-doing it. We will see how it goes I guess. :)