call my representatives regularlyI’ve been trying to get better at this anxiety-inducing-but-necessary task ever since November 8, but I’m going to try even harder in 2017.
I don’t believe in the sentence “I don’t have time.” If something’s important, you make the time to get it done. So instead, I use the sentence “It’s not a priority.” And that means, if I don’t call my representatives, I’m telling myself and the world “It’s not a priority to fight for democracy, freedom of expression, the well-being of the planet, the human rights of people my country’s soon-to-be administration wants to oppress, and so many other values that are in danger of being destroyed.”
Which is harder: accepting that statement, or making a phone call? For me, the answer’s easy.
(If you’re a U.S. reader and would like to join me in standing up for our rights and democracy, you can find the contact information for your representative and your senators here and here, respectively. You can also sign up for Flippable and/or Daily Action, which send you regular action items to complete, making civic engagement easier. Finally, there are several articles out there explaining what to expect when you call your rep. Here’s one; it’s best to be mentally prepared when making the call.)
stop saying “I’m sorry” when I mean “thank you”Instead of “sorry for bothering you,” try “thanks for your help.” Instead of “sorry for unloading my problems,” try “thank you for listening.” It feels better to say, and it feels better to hear. Let’s make 2017 the year of “thank you.”
floss my teeth every nightThis is not hard. In fact, it’s really, really easy. Having someone to hold you accountable (shoutout to my roommates!) helps with laziness, too.
meet (or exceed) my Goodreads challenge goal of reading 50 booksThis may not seem like much to all of you super-readers out there, but I think 50 is a number I’ll be able to realistically read and enjoy.
read every night before bed (unless I’m out being social)I have a bad habit of staring at my computer or phone before going to sleep at night, and I’d love to replace that with a chapter or two of my current read. I’d sleep better and get more reading done. (Note: this goal doesn’t go into effect until I finish binge-watching Orange is the New Black.)
read more diverselyThere are so many amazing-sounding books by marginalized authors and/or about marginalized characters coming out this year (Ava of Bookishness and Tea put together a fantastic list), and I’m beyond ready to pick some of them up.
I also want to diversify my genre choices a bit—and by this, I mean I want to give a few fantasy books a shot. (I might as well add this resolution to my list because I’m pretty sure Aneeqah’s going to force me to read more fantasy either way.)
encourage my creativityIn 2017, I want to start being more creative with my online content rather than defaulting to reviews and Top Ten Tuesdays. I plan to schedule time dedicated to brainstorming and to be better about writing down any ideas that come to me. (P.S.—send me ideas for discussion posts you’d like to see me cover.)
work on projects apart from Forever LiteraryI’m looking forward to growing the audience of my podcast, A Novel Chat, and I’ve applied to join an epic-sounding YA lit e-magazine Hazel from Stay Bookish is starting.
engage more on social mediaAll too often, I find myself mindlessly scrolling through Twitter when I need to fill a few minutes of downtime. This isn’t productive at all. In 2017, I’m going to make a conscious effort to open up Twitter with the intent of engaging with authors and fellow bloggers and keeping up with news, not with the intent of killing time.
secure an internship for the summer of 2017This one may be a long shot, especially since I’m a freshman, but I figure I might as well try! I’m planning to apply for publishing industry internships, both in Indiana and on the East Coast, both academic and trade. Fingers crossed something works out!
(possibly) attend a book conventionDespite all the controversy surrounding Book Expo, there’s still a part of me that would really like to go. If not, ALA 2017 in Chicago is on the table. This goal may not happen either, but I’m absolutely going to try!
give myself more flexibility with my gradesIf you know me, you know that grades are one of my top priorities in life. But this year (and throughout the rest of my college career), I want to give myself the freedom to choose cool opportunities—like attending a professional development event or creating something on the internet—over cramming in that last study session for an exam. Even though I need to study hard to keep my scholarship, in the end, it will be unique experiences (not those extra two points on a test from sophomore year) that make me a better person and employee.
What are your goals for 2017? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.