Discussion: Why I Lowered My Goodreads Reading Challenge Goal

100 books. That was my original goal at the beginning of this year. I hadn’t really been invested in my Goodreads account until last year, after I returned from Ireland and began to read avidly once more. I read so many books last August that my blog turned into a book blog and I began to leave reviews on Goodreads.

Because the year wasn’t over, I decided to join the Goodreads Reading challenge and set a goal of 50 books to read, starting September. I ended up reading 66!

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If I could do that in 4 months, think of what I could do in 12, I thought to myself. So, this January I joined the challenge again, but this time, 100 books was the goal. Easy peasy, right?

Not so much.

Class. Work. Internship. Homework. Community service. Social outings. Friends. Errands. Dance rehearsals. Sorority events. Fundraisers. Date nights with myself.

The result:

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I got busy, and the free time I could dedicate to hardcore reading turned more into free time I could use to take a nap, to watch Netflix, to catch up with friends, to blog, and to read when I was in the mood (which wasn’t very often, actually).

My goal of 100 books was looking pretty abysmal. I was sure it wasn’t going to happen. I pushed myself to try to read more but the more I tried to force myself, the more I remembered how many books I needed to read to stay on track which only added more stress.

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I was still reading, but mostly just the hyped-up books of the present month. Meaning, by the time I finished school and summer rolled around, I was a good 9-10 books behind schedule.

I didn’t want to zoom through a mountain of books just to reach a number. So, I did the next best thing and lowered my goal to 60 books. Turns out it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Here’s why:

Advantages of Smaller Goal-2

Caters to Limited Reading Availability

I was too busy to do a lot of reading while in school, and honestly, I am still too busy to do a lot of reading. I don’t have hours upon hours to read anymore. I have some time while on the train every other day to read and some time during the evening, but I occasionally use this free time to listen to music or to watch TV. Reading isn’t as frequent as it used to be just this past year for me. A huge reading goal just doesn’t make sense to me anymore. And frankly, I probably wouldn’t have the motivation or energy to complete it. A smaller goal is now the best fit for my lifestyle.

Reading once in a while, at least once a week, is an achievable task. Which leads into the next advantage…

Reduced Stress

By lowering my goal, I’m not constantly reminding myself of the exceedingly large number of books I would need to read within a week, within a month, to meet my 100+ goal. I don’t have to nag myself to pick up a book even though I’m not really in the mood to do so. I’m a voracious reader, so I will read regardless of the limited amount of time I have. But forcing myself to read when I don’t want to, only to meet a huge goal, is something dreadful and ridiculously stressful.

A smaller goal, like 50-60 books, is an easy amount for me to read within a year. No matter how packed my schedule is, I can at least read one book within a week, and make that little reading goal happen, no problem.

Room to Enjoy

A smaller reading goal encourages me to slow down and contemplate my reading experience. I can take the time to really read a book and to record my favorite quotes, to reread some sections, and to just evaluate how much I liked or disliked the book I spent some days reading. I don’t have to rush to move on to the next book and instead, I can take a few days to mull over a story without feeling pressured, leading on to my next point…

More Time to Review

While I haven’t exactly been on top of my reviews lately, theoretically speaking, a smaller reading goal allows me more time to think over a story, which in turn, helps me to develop a more in-depth, comprehensive review! This isn’t to say that my reviews from before – when I was reading 2-3 books a week – weren’t well written. They were, but I’m much happier with the reviews that I write now because I’ve given myself enough time to process, analyze, and pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of the books that I pick up (all in my own opinion, of course).

I don’t have to write a review immediatlely after concluding a book, although, allowing 2-7 days to pass after reading a book is a comfortable length of time to think things over and write an insightful review. That being said, I should probably stop waiting months to write a review……………………

Pleasant Surprises and Motivators

Yes, if you set a 100+ reading goal, you clearly have some motivation to read multiple books throughout the year. A smaller goal, however, works just the same. As before, I’m very motivated to reach my goal of 60 books. I don’t want to stop reading, no matter how busy my schedule turns out to be. And because I try to take whatever opportunity I can to read, I usually read more than anticipated. And seeing that I’m ahead of schedule is a winning feeling.

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Seeing that I’m ahead of the game either motivates me to read more and reset my goal to a higher number or it encourages me to slow down and take a week or two from reading to watch TV, draw, volunteer, blog/blog-hop, bake, and just do other things outside of the reading world.

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Discussion:

  • What’s your Goodreads goal? Are you close to reaching it? And if not, what are your plans?
  • Have you ever lowered your goal? Why? And how has it worked out for you?
  • Are you any less of a reader for not setting a huge reading goal?
  • What are some other advantages you see in having a smaller reading goal?
  • What’s the largest and smallest reading goal you’ve set for yourself?

I’d love to hear your guys’ thoughts on this! As always, thanks for stopping by you guys and I’ll see you soon! ❀

Azia Sig

40 thoughts on “Discussion: Why I Lowered My Goodreads Reading Challenge Goal

  1. I set my reading goal to 15 this year because of work & school
    I surpassed 15 books in June. I’m on my 25th book of the year now. I think setting realistic reading goals is better than having a huge number that you know you won’t be able to get to especially if you have other things going on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s always nice when you surpass a goal! At the beginning of this year I was certain I could reach 100 books, but I completely forgot that my life would change drastically after graduation LOL. Setting a realistic goal that’s compatible with your schedule and reading capability is a good way to go about it πŸ˜€

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    1. One per week almost always works for most readers, I think πŸ˜€ It’s mostly doable, even with a busy schedule! Imo, if you just leave the goal as is but keep reading at your own pace, then you can still feel good about yourself without having to worry about a new goal and still read so many books! But it’s entirely up to you! If you think you can read many more books and want to set a higher goal, then I support! And if you just wanna chill, then I support that too πŸ˜€ You’ve already accomplished an amazing challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I relate so so much!! I lowered my goal earlier this year from 100 to 40 and it’s been a lot better. I’ve been so busy with life that I just don’t want to have the added stress of reading constantly. If I end up surpassing 40 books this year I will be happy but it’s ok if I don’t 😊.

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    1. It’s good to have a goal, as long as it doesn’t become the only thing that makes you read. Reading should be done when you have the time and are in the mood. It should be fun! Some people can read so many books within a year, and some just can’t. And it’s okay either way πŸ˜€

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  3. Good for you! There’s no point having a high goal which just puts you off reading, especially if it’s unachievable due to work etc. I put mine as 52 to average a book a week but really I’m just aiming to read more pages than last year and to read more classical books. When I had a higher book goal I just found myself putting up all the children’s books that I read with my class (which frankly, no one else is really interested in) just so I could get close to my goal.

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    1. Yeah, the stress was getting to me. I enjoyed reading when I finally managed the time but there was always that nagging feeling in the back of my head that I needed to read more to reach the goal in time. Was too tired from all that stress, so lowering it has been such a relief. 52 is a good number. It’s cool that you have mini goals as well! I need to read more classics too. And you know what? Counting children’s books as part of your goal is pretty resourceful idea! I would have done the same lol

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  4. Oh good luck with your new Goodreads goal Azia. I think if you were feeling too pressured by your previous goal you did the right thing changing it. Reading is supposed to be fun, so is blogging and so is writing reviews. If you were risking being stressed and not enjoying reading it was more than the right thing changing your goal.
    My goal for this year is 100. It’s kind of the average for me each year but I manage to do more than it. I’m about sixteen books ahead of schedule so I’m going to meet mine before the year is up. Normally I try and see how many books I can read over but seeing as I know I can read 100 books a year it’s never really a challenge so I never get too stressed about it. Definitely the right move for me.
    Great post. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beth πŸ˜€ And yeah, I found I wasn’t enjoying my reading experience all that much. I loved a good number of the books I was reading, but there was still just too much stress in trying to read 2-3 books a week with an extremely busy schedule. Lowering it was the only way to go haha
      It’s so cool that you can read that many books within a year! I’m glad a manage to make that much time for that many books each year πŸ˜€ If you know you can reach 100 books, then a 100+ goal is the way to go!
      Thanks again! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right, and yeah if you’re not enjoying reading best to do something to try and change that. Especially if you’re already busy because then you’ll find yourself rushing books and enjoying them even less. πŸ™‚
        I have a long commute to and from work which helps a lot when it comes to how much I read.
        That’s all right! πŸ˜€ ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That is so smart πŸ™‚ I will be significantly lowering my reading goal next year. I had it on 80 books this year and while I am meeting it with no problem I found it stressful to have that number on my mind all the time.
    I found myself reading smaller books so I can read more of them, and skipping on some good but hefty ones. Next year I am going half of that number. Im not going to read any less , but I will definitely be less stressed

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    1. 80 books is a pretty high goal, but yeah, I can see how that number could be a little daunting. And it’s okay to lower the goal, especially if you want to give yourself a bit more time to read those bigger books and to reduce stress! I’ll probably be keeping my number low for a while and maybe one day I might surprise myself by reading 100 books without even trying or stressing about it πŸ˜€

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      1. Ah yes, quality is always the best way to go! Nothing worse than reading a huge number of books, only for the majority of them to be disappointing reads 😦 Gotta make that reading experience worthwhile, you know? πŸ˜€

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  6. My goal is always 100 books for the year, but I’ve never actually hit that number! 100 has always been that magic number I try to meet πŸ™‚ I’m 2 books behind schedule right now, so I’m not doing too badly, we’ll see how it goes now that we’re getting into holidays and lots of activity going on.
    You make a great point about having more time to write reviews. Since I’m so determined to get to 100 this year, I have a backlog of reviews to write & post and it gets overwhelming sometimes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it might be my magic number too lol. Last year I might have completed it if I’d started sooner but now I don’t think I can. At least not yet. One day we’ll get there though! And nope, not doing badly at all! Good luck on reaching your goal. If you keep up, I’m sure you’ll make it this year πŸ˜€ I have so many reviews to write, as well. Backed up by 20, I think. But now that I’ve slowed down, I should be able to catch up on reviews by the end of the year! πŸ˜‚

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  7. I did the exact same thing earlier this year ! It was at 100, then I realized I will we way too busy and I didn’t want reading to become imposed on me because of that, so I lowered it to 70 and finished the challenge yesterday ! For the rest of the year I’ll be reading at my own pace ❀

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    1. Exactly! I mean 100 isn’t a bad goal. Sometimes it’s just not a compatible number for people with extremely busy or hectic schedules. But congrats on reaching your 70 goal! It’s kind of nice to have completed a challenge. Now you can just chill out and read whenever 😁

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      1. Yup! That’s a great way of going about it! πŸ˜€ I became a little too focused on the numbers earlier this year. It’s nice to take a step back from that and just enjoy reading a book, no matter the number πŸ™‚

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  8. Totally agree. No need to stress yourself over a goal you know you will never achieve. Plus, you won’t enjoy your reading much. I can relate! So I kept my goal of 60 books, which I knew would work because that’s what I’d done last year. It’s basically one book a week, and something I can accomplish. I’m pretty behind schedule but I’m keeping my faith xD
    Great post, Azia, and best of luck ❀ You're doing fabulously!

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  9. Since starting uni, reading has become secondary for me as well, especially because I study literature and get a bit sick of books after a while πŸ˜‚ I agree that a lower goal is better – being realistic about the amount of books you can read is much healthier. I’m not even sure if I can reach my goal of 50 at this point haha x

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    1. It’s great that you study lit! I considered it, but I was already a bit tired from studying it while I was in high school, so I studied writing instead. Still had to read, but not as much as I would have. Gave me a bit more free time for recreational reading! But at least you get to read all those classics and contemporary pieces! I haven’t ready that many, unfortunately 😦
      50 is actually quite a few books! Cheering you on in the background, though. *pom poms flaring* You can do it! πŸ˜€

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      1. Yeah uni is making me read a lot of classics, which I guess is quite useful! Analysing books is really fun as well πŸ˜ƒ
        Aww hahaha thank you! ❀

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      2. Yeah, I really enjoyed analyzing the books. Many of my peers had such wonderful ideas! Loved having those discussions πŸ˜€

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      3. Most of my peers are quite trash at analysing actually πŸ˜‚ Very few original or interesting ideas. But I love analysing by myself hahaha

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      4. LOL. Well, that’s alarming. But I imagine it must also be pretty entertaining when they open their mouths during discussion XD But yeah, solo-analyzation can be very fun and rewarding, especially when you’re putting in the effort to really understand and interpret the text!

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    1. It seems quite a few bloggers are a bit more busy this year and are lowering their goal. I don’t feel so alone haha πŸ™‚ I can only manage about a book a week now, which is twice as long as it usually takes me, too 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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