2019 Wishlist & Slow Reading Experiment

slow reading

Happy New Year!

I’ve recently read many wonderful posts written on goals for 2019 – in particular, Umut’s confession really resonated with me. I started thinking about my own plans. I have been reflecting on what I learned during 2018 what I want to take away from it:

I’ve noticed that setting a concrete challenging reading goal for 2018 produced a few interesting outcomes:

  1. I read more – much more than I would normally read – I haven’t met my 100 books goal, but wasn’t that far away from it.
  2. Reading became a chore and I had to abandon my goal to preserve my sanity and to enjoy reading for what I want it to be – something I cherish but also something that I don’t want to do all the time.

I started this blog with the intention to write on a regular basis as well as to talk about books. That indeed was a success. I wrote a lot more in 2018 than I did in previous years. It was hard at times, but it also brought me a lot of joy. And as a lovely byproduct, I happened to discover this supportive and amazing community. I am so grateful for your love my friends, I feel so lucky to be part of it.

There have been many ups and downs in 2018 and I am so appreciative for my loved ones, that were there for me. To celebrate the great times together and to lend me their strong shoulders when I needed them to cry on them during those tough times.

Let’s look ahead.

I like to choose a theme for the upcoming year. I like to write it in my journal and use it as a beacon in the dark, whenever I feel like I’m losing my way. I’m currently toying with following words as contenders for 2019:

Notice / Listen / Tune In

I want to listen more this year and be more attentive in general – I’m striving to notice rather than to react. I want to give my full focus to others when they speak – no interruptions, no offer of an immediate advice. I also want to tune in inwards to hear my own voice – in order to observe my habits and my thinking… I’m leaning towards Notice so far but that may still change.

Based on my summary above, do you have any other suggestions please? I’m reaching out to all those creative souls out there.

I’ll be grateful for any other suggestions please. 🙂 Thanks! 

In terms of my goals for this year:

Big Goal:

Get certified as a Life Coach. I am starting Masters in Coaching later on this month. This will take a lot of my spare time as I still have a 40+ hours a week full-time job. I’ve gone through my compulsory reading list (nearly fainted a few times after I fully grasped its length 😉 ) and started cracking on with a few of those mandatory reads. They are super interesting! 🙂

Bookish / Creative:

Read fewer books and enjoy slow reading experience. This may go against many reading goals but I honestly want to read less this year. 😉 I started experimenting with it with my last book, The Winter of the Witch and it made me so happy.

I’ll be writing a separate discussion post about it as there’s a lot to talk about. Stay tuned for that one. 🙂

Read some of the books I already own but haven’t read yet. Perhaps many of you can relate to the process of buying books, looking at them lovingly, being excited about reading them…. and then forgetting all about them. I have many eBooks. I don’t even know what I own and haven’t read.

I’ve been compiling a spreadsheet (my inner organiser is loving it) of all books I own. My plan is to choose my reading material from this list on a regular basis. I won’t constrict myself entirely to it but will start reducing it.

Space Fleet adventure – my dear friend Alexandra invited me to take a part in her Fleet Space Adventure. I have a character that I’ll be writing about – her name is Ada Novák. I have learned so much about this creative writing process already – thank you Alexandra for all of your help, you are such a wonderful friend and I am so grateful I have met you.

Please come over to say hello – either to read along or to take part and to join our expanding crew. Ada may even coach you if you let her… 😉

Carry on writing blog posts but post less frequently – I’m currently thinking once a week or once every two weeks. Again, this may change but having a less of an internal pressure to ‘create content’ will help me focus on studying.

It will also hopefully enable me to enjoy blogging for what I want it to be – a hobby that will connect me with others and that will honour my value of creativity as well as my love for books.

Mental Health:

Less time online, more face to face interactions. Sadly, this will mean less blog hoping but I’ve noticed tremendous health benefits when I switched off my phone and went out for meals or walks with others or on my own. I’m currently setting up boundaries – I’m thinking no online time on weekends as well as some evenings. This may still change but that’s where I may be heading…


Running challenges – I’ve signed up for several 10-12km long trail races, one of them includes 600m elevation – I may have got carried away a bit with that one but hey, let’s embrace it… somehow …. 😉 Strangely, I started enjoying running during 2018 – miracles do happen my friends! Running longer distances still doesn’t come naturally to me (I’m an ex-sprinter, anything longer than 400m is looooong….). It is hard sometimes, especially on those cold and dark mornings. But it makes me happy afterwards – all those endorphins, that sense of achievement, that joy of watching sunrises and smiling at other runners I get to meet on trails… it all totally outweighs the initial discomfort I think.

Fun climbing challenge – my boyfriend and I created a friendly (a total lie he he!) climbing couple competition for 2019. I may even start climbing more often as I’m totally going to win this one. 😉

Over to you now:

  • Do you use a theme for the upcoming year?
  • Where’s your focus going to go this year?

Fancy sharing it with you? As always, I love hearing from you. 💗💗💗

40 thoughts on “2019 Wishlist & Slow Reading Experiment”

  1. I completely know what you mean about slow reading – sometimes it’s a luxury to really linger over a book. I’m a speed reader by habit, so it takes a lot of discipline for me to just put a book down and take some time to digest it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here Abbie, I tend to read quite quickly and usually just want to read something new as soon as I finish a book. Discipline is a great choice of the word, it’s something I’m working on. 🙂
      Thanks for your comment and for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a great idea to focus in on yourself more, and to take the time to achieve slower, more paced goals that are then, more achievable and less likely to stress as a result. I like to use the idea of being “organic” as in, I allow things to happen organically (yes, the harmony of the elements, within us and without).

    I had a huge life change in 2016 and since then, have been doing my ‘organic’ thing ever since. As in, no pressure to do something at a set time, or on a set day. Other than take my pills! 😀

    And yes, it’s about listening and observing, not just my health, but nature. I take more walks, am more observant about what’s going on around, though not necessarily humans, who can be a drain on our psyche.

    I hope you find what works for you, Sweetie. And of course, here’s to our adventure in space! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your “organic” idea Alexandra! It goes hand in hand with my yoga philosophy – letting things be and evolve can be much more powerful in the long run.

      I had a great coaching session with my coach and we explored a few more words for the theme and as I kept on going on about slowing down, I thought perhaps I could use a metaphor – “slow as …. a tortoise perhaps”? They are slow but steady and the one who chased the hare did win that race in the end as the hare was distracted a lot…. hmmm… I’m ‘thinking out loud’ here… 🙂

      I so agree with you about noticing what goes on during those walks in nature.

      Thank you for your kind words, your messages make me so happy! 🙂


  3. Is your theme always just a single word? Do you add quotes related to your theme? I love the quote “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” –Ernest Hemingway ❤ I like you goal of reading less so it doesn't become a chore. That is really smart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. ❤
      Great questions! I usually choose a word (Listen) or two (Tune In) for a theme – I do like your quote as another option though. It is a really great quote, I’m writing it down, thanks. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Goodreads goal would drive me crazy and turned it into a chore until I started setting it low so when I surpass it I can either raise it again or pat myself on the back and feel like I did something 🙂
    Excellent goals. There’s some things in here I really should think about myself. Good luck with all of them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s another great option – setting the GR goal to something very low, so we know we will definitely achieve and it won’t spoil our reading experience. I like it! 🙂

      And thank you for the wishes. 🙂 ❤


  5. Good luck with your goals! ❤
    Hope running goes well! For me that's an activity i could never get behind 😀 Like, i admire people who do it, and it seems like a cool thing, but when i try it it's just not so cool.

    Listening to others is certainly a skill that can be developed! It took me a while, but now i can manage to hold my mouth shut and just listen. It's interesting what people end up saying if we let them! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ❤

      Ha ha, I get it. I found out that running on a treadmill or on a road is defo not for me either… but I found a little trick that somehow convinced me I can run – I am lucky to live nearby some trails and I love being in nature. It still sucks in those early mornings to go out there but after 10 minutes, it works and I may even be enjoying it. But I have to be in nature, I can’t stand it otherwise… 🙂 By the way it’s absolutely OK that running is not everyone’s thing. I absolutely understand it. 🙂 It would be utterly boring if we all enjoyed the same things. 🙂 🙂

      And lol to that listening comment – so true! It is still a struggle sometimes for me as patience is something I am working on…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Vera! I love your plans for 2019, especially the slow-reading experiment. I’ve tried that out this past year, especially for classics that are meant to be slowly taken in and appreciated, and now I can’t imagine having a set number of books to read hanging over my shoulder. I found myself sometimes getting burned out by slowly reading classics, but that was an easy fix since I would just switch to reading a contemporary or YA fantasy to balance it out. I would love to hear more updates about your slow-reading experiment later on! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Zoie. ❤

      I like your idea of combining classics with other genres. I do something similar with nonfiction – I like to switch between nonfiction and fiction regularly to keep me engaged and present any boredom / burn out.

      I will definitely write more on my slow-reading experiment, which will include updates. Thanks. 🙂

      Happy slow reading! :)❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, Vera! It took me TOO LONG to get to this post! I really like that you have words that will shape your thinking for the year. I’ve never seen this before except as explained by the woman who changed the way people organize. She says that you should only keep items that “spark joy,” so that’s how I’ve been thinking about objects.

    “I want to give my full focus to others when they speak – no interruptions, no offer of an immediate advice.”==This was something my husband learned when he went through manager training, and I was so grateful. Oftentimes, when we talk, we don’t want solutions. It is very American to immediately try to fix everything; we have this idea that no one should be sad too long because it’s easy to fix sadness (HA. HA.).

    I look forwarding to continuing to follow your blog. I have another book blogger friend who posts once every few weeks, but that’s never stopped me from following her blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words Melanie. ❤️

      I love that ‘spark of joy’ idea! 👌😊 I’m taking notes. 😊

      I’m so happy your hubby got such a great lesson out of his training. I think interupting and offering solutions are quite common these days. All done with good intentions but not necessary for the benefit of the speaker / thinker. I am currently reading a nonfiction book called ‘Time to Think’ – it’s a powerful book that changed the way I think about my ‘listening’ skills and relatioships in general.

      And thank you for your support. 😍 Sometimes those ‘posting deadlines’ are only in our heads and once we free ourselves from them, life gets so much calmer. 😊❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s true. My other friend who only posts once every few weeks is finishing her PhD, so she doesn’t have the time to be online as often as other people, but I don’t think that means she should be ignored.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. You have a lot of amazing goals for this year and that’s awesome! So cool that you are going to be a Life Coach. Good luck on that venture. I think a lot of your post is really about slowing down and enjoying the moment, really. It’s such a great plan and goal for the year. Naturally, I’m a speed reader, so it’s hard for me to REALLY take my time with a book!! I hope that you have a wonderful 2019, Vera! <3<3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words Leslie. ❤️

      And you are right, a lot of those goals are about slowing down. I’m still thinking about that word, but feel I’m on the right path.

      There’s nothing wrong woith being a speed reader and reading many books. I know how much you enjoy them and that’s what matters in my books. 😊 Have a wonderful and joyful 2019 Leslie! 🥳💕

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I LOVE that you select specific words to guide you through the rest of the year! ❤ And I'm sure you'll knock all these goals out of the park. 😀

    I'm planning on keep a sketch journal this year to help with my mental health and confidence when it comes to art. So quick daily sketches/paintings of things I did/saw/read. Someone told me casual drawing is good for the soul, so I'll see how that goes. 🙂

    And OMG is Space Fleet adventure a space opera role-playing creative writing project?? AHHH that so exciting!!! I'm seriously tempted to join in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kathy! ❤️ I love your sketching idea. I find drawing really calming and can definitely see how it would help me as well. Drawing is definitely great for the soul. I would love to hear more about it when the time is right, it’s an awesome idea! 👌

      YES!!! Please join us on that adventure. It will be awesome and Alexandra is super welcoming and supportive. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great goals! I love the idea of slow reading… I don’t have a theme for my year, but I have some intentions set. I do the same every month, set myself short term intentions – what do I want to achieve? How do I want to feel? What are some words I’d like to use to describe this month? And I have longer goals for the year, as well

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. 😊

      Monthly intentions and theming – what a great idea! I agree, it’s good to have both longer and shorter goals. I have finally settled (I think) on the word for 2019 – Stillness – but I could use all the other themes and embed them into monthly themes. I like it, thank you!


  11. I honestly think we may be the same person, I am also a former sprinter! I ran the 100, 4×1, and 4×4 (which was torture) back in high school but always wanted to be a distance runner! One of my main issues that I have is my body wants to go at a faster pace than can be sustained, so I have pacing issues to address.

    I love these goals and the thought that you put behind all of them. I also set a lot reading goal this year because I want to be less stressed/obligated to read and it’s nice. Slow reading is great when you find a book you want to treasure. I hope you have a year full of those magical reading experiences. Good luck this year and I support you all the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How cool is that! 🙂 My distance was 100m too. I completely dreaded 400m races… those were pure torture but 100m was so my idea of fun. 🙂 “my body wants to go at a faster pace than can be sustained, so I have pacing issues to address” Me too! It’s something I absolutely relate to… I’m also quite competitive and if I see a hiker or a jogger in the distance, I want to catch up with them… something I am working on…!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Thank you for the wishes. Good luck to you as well on all of your goals. Can’t wait to read more on your wonderful Scottish adventure as well as other endeavours. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. oh how awesome! The 400m was literally the worst as I hit my wall around 250-300m, but I ran anchor occasionally. I think the reason I love running so much is you can easily quantify progress and you really are competing with yourself. Once I start running again I am going to have to do a treadmill run every week for pacework.

        Thank you and good luck to you, too!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I hit the wall around 250m as well, 400m is absolutely relentless. 😊🙈

          Great idea about the speed work. I’m currently embracing slow trail running to build a solid base but I do want to add some pace work to my runs too, I’ll be definitely paying attention to what you’ll be doing, thanks!


  12. I think that’s really cool to have an overall theme for the year. That’s awesome you’re working towards your certification as a life coach. I think that actually makes a lot of sense to read less in a year- I’ve decided to take things slower before and enjoy reading more and I think it’s had a positive impact- reading is supposed to be fun after all! I’d like to hear your post about the experiment with winter of the witch for sure! I so relate about having loads of ebooks 😉 (and yeah my inner organiser has made a spreadsheet for it too 😉 ) And yeah I think it’s better to have less pressure on writing posts too 🙂 These look like some amazing goals- good luck with all of them! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As always, thank you for your lovely comment. I really appreciate you stopping by and writing all those lovely messages. ❤

      And I’m so happy you would like to hear more about my slow reading experiment, I’ll be definitely writing something on that soon. ❤❤❤


  13. The climbing and fitness challenge looks like a lot of fun.

    So agree about slowing down reading. I feel like seeing other bloggers read so many books does amp the pressure to read more, but they’re reading at the pace they can and enjoy doing and we should do what we can and enjoy. I set my goodreads reading challenge to 17 & like you, I’m going to start reading the ever growing pile of books I already have at home. Marie Kondo is right. Decluttering by reading what we have is much more stress relieving and productive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the encouragement! I unfortunately hurt my ankle but am still working towards those challenges. 😊💪

      Marie Kondo’s philosophy is lovely – enjoying what we have brings a lot of gratitude and can sometimes provide another perspective.

      I hope your reading challenge goes well and good luck with your own pile of books. It is satisfying going through them. 😊👌

      Liked by 1 person

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