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Top Ten Tuesday: Let’s Talk 2014 Resolutions

top ten tuesday hosted by the broke and the bookish

Hey-lo! It’s Tuesday and time to talk about New Year’s Resolutions! Do you do this every year, do you follow them, do they change? Well thanks to Broke and Bookish’s meme this week we are spilling the good stuff. We can’t wait to hear what all of you are hoping for and striving to accomplish in the next 12 months!


  1. Take a break from electronics. I am obsessed with my phone and my computer and it just needs to end. Ya know, life happens when you are staring at a screen and I want to discipline myself better when it comes to all of those things. This also leads to managing my time better so I can keep up with my writing, my side projects, and such. But it also means focusing on hobbies I haven’t been able to give much attention to like crafting and baking. (I think I cheated and put a whole lot of resolutions in 1.) If anyone has suggestions about this, please help me. (My husband and I thank you.)
  2. Finally get my money situation under control. This has been the first full year of James going to school and me working. And it wasn’t until a few months ago that something snapped in my head and I realized just how difficult this was going to be. In the past few months, I’m significantly cut down on shopping (for clothes and for books) and also tried to manage when I was going out with my friends and when James and I would be going out. Things seem to be slowly but surely looking up and I want to have at least a tiny savings to show for it by the end of the year. (This will be the year I finally learn, right?)
  3. Read in a different way. Whether it be picking up books from my shelves, re-reading, reading a non-fiction book at the same time, I need to make use of the books I already own and read what I want. Again, toward the end of last year if I didn’t like something I stopped reading and found what I did like. Life is too precious to stick with something you don’t like. And there are so many amazing, touching books out there. I want to find those. (This also leads to me writing reviews for books where I actually have something to say. What’s the point otherwise?)
  4. Nurture friendships. I need to stop focusing on the negative and focus on those who are there for me during the bad AND the boring times. (I am going to sing Frozen’s “Let It Go” to remind myself of this.)
  5. I don’t know what to title this last one, but I keep picturing myself a year from now and I just want to know that I tried new things, connected with new people, my friendships are on track, my marriage is getting stronger and stronger, and that I just enjoyed myself. Whether that’s finally hanging up new pictures of us in our apartment, getting a new coffee table, traveling to Boston for the first time in forever, or moving forward in other ways … I’m not sure but I’m ready and I’m pumped! (I’m also already counting down the days until Christmas. I’m a sad sad person, I know.)


  1. Develop a System for Choosing What to Read Next: Very often I find myself questioning what to read next. I stare at my shelves and just have no idea what to grab because seeing everything is … overwhelming. One of my go-to things-to-do is to search through my Goodreads to-read list and select one of the best rated books. I’d say that often works in my favor and I end up reading a book I love, but this can lead to a) me buying a book I don’t already own or b) being disappointed because there was so much book hype and I didn’t agree with the ratings. I need to find a better way of choosing what to read next. Any suggestions? My one idea is to make a list as I see something on my shelves and think “I should read that soon.”
  2. I Need to Learn to Say I Need More “Me” Time: Estelle can confirm this, but Dustyn and I are always, always on the go. ALWAYS. It feels like there’s rarely time to sit and be lazy or enjoy quiet time. We’re busy people who love to spend time with our families and friends. That’s not something I’m upset about; I love spending time with people. But, guys… I’m worn out. And no, that’s not just the pregnancy talking. I mentioned in my Q&A with Estelle that I’d like to be more welcoming and have people over more often. Maybe these two concepts can work together? We stay at home more, AND have people come visit us.
  3. Stop Spending Money: I have a shopping problem. I’m quite addicted to Pick Your Plum and Jane these days. I’m a sucker for a good sale. Dustyn and I made a list of house things we’d like to fix up or accomplish over the next year or so. I should apply that to myself as well and make a list of things I’d like to buy eventually or suggest to Dustyn when he asks what I’d like for my birthday. I did a much better job with this in 2013 than in previous years, but there’s still so much room for improvement here.
  4. Embrace Snail Mail: Something I started *trying* to implement at the end of 2013 was mailing out random cards to friends that were on my heart. I didn’t do it much, but I really want to continue dropping notes in the mail this year. Over the last year, I’ve been very fortunate to have received several extremely thoughtful notes from friends when I was having very down days. I’ve kept them and have them sitting in a special place as a reminder that there are people out there rooting and praying for me. That was a huge, huge lesson for me as it can feel like so much of our lives is based on competition — for example: who has more comments or visitors, who has a more clever idea and receives more recognition, etc., etc., etc. That, my friends, is draining. I’d rather focus on raising someone up, even if they’re “competition” per se, and encourage them to keep going.
  5. Be Realistic About My Reading Goal for 2014: And last but not least, I have to be honest and say that I have no idea what to expect of myself for how many books to aim to read. None whatsoever. I’m going to be a new mom. I’m potentially going to see my foster daughter returned to her biological family. I’m going to be working through a lot of change. I suppose more than anything, I should be saying that I will allow myself to work through that change and not put so much pressure on myself to be so composed through all of it. I’m going to be elated and I’m going to cry tears (of joy and sorrow). I’m not going to expect myself to pick up a book if that’s just not what I can do that day. But I do resolve to keep reading as books have potentially been some of my best friends through some of my roughest times.

What’s on your agenda for 2014?

January 28, 2014 - 7:03 am

Judith - E, I can totally relate to what you said about taking a break from electronics. With blogging and social media and even uni work, I sometimes spend entire days behind my laptop, and it’s slightly driving me crazy. I also just don’t want to be that person always texting when hanging out with friends – that’s just rude. Speaking of that last part: nurturing friendships is so, so important. Last year, I wasn’t in a good place and I’ve really gotten to know who my friends are. Now it’s time for me to give back and be a better friend.

Magan, I especially like that you mentioned embracing snail mail, because that’s something I want to do as well. Some of my 2013 highlights included sweet notes and packages from friends, and this is something I really want to do as well (especially because blogging friends live too far away to actually hang out with for me). Nothing is better than returning home to find a lovely card from someone you love. 🙂

January 11, 2014 - 9:10 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - Excellent goals and all very attainable! 🙂
I totally need to watch my spending. I think I’m already doing better with it (not like I was bad but you know. BOOK BUYING.) now that I have a mortgage. We make our payment everything month and we’ve only had our house for a few months so NO principle (practically) is getting paid off! I’m a person who’s always paid things off quickly so it’s so weird to not see that number coming down. I really want to put our extra money towards that or towards fixing up the house instead of my personal indulgent habits!
I’m really trying to read for ME too. I feel bad DNFing books but honestly, I cannot force myself to finish a book if I’m not enjoying it. I never used to care before I had a blog so why should that change? I should be reading what I’m enjoying!
I have no advice on how to choose books, unfortunately! I’m such a mood reader that at least for this year, I’ve just been picking books that are the genre I feel like reading and trying to work through my ARCs (as long as that mood still applies)!

January 7, 2014 - 10:18 pm

Ellie - Estelle, you managed to PERFECTLY capture how I’m feeling about this new year with #5. Magan, love your number 5 too. I was way too ambitious last year!

January 7, 2014 - 4:02 pm

Alexa S. - You ladies have some amazing resolutions for 2014! As always, I love that you guys aren’t afraid to get extremely personal and share your feelings/life with us… even through this list of things you hope for or hope to accomplish in 2014.

E, I absolutely agree with your bid to take a break from electronics. As of the beginning of this year, I’m determined to make it so that I stop accessing my blog/email by 11pm each day. I’m working on slowly using Twitter less on my phone, but that one might take a lot longer! I also like the last two items on your resolutions list A LOT. Nurturing relationships – good, healthy, fulfilling ones – is something that I’m determined to do as well this year. I want my friends and family to know how much they mean to me! And I want to be able to look back at 2014 and know that I’ve lived and loved to the best of my abilities.

M, I have been thinking about how I choose my next reads! My thoughts were geared towards turning it into a blog feature, but that’s still up in the air. I’d like to read a better variety of books as well as start the ones on my shelf too! I also really like the fact that you’ve put snail mail as a part of your resolutions list. It’s always nice to receive an unexpected note or card of encouragement in the mail from a friend; it just feels very thoughtful and sweet and boosts my spirits tremendously.

Ladies, I too am currently trying to be better about my finances. Thus, my book buying and clothes buying ban! I’m also like you, E, in that I’m parceling out the times I go out just so I don’t go over my own budget. Here’s to hoping we manage to wrangle control over our shopping habits and budgets!

Happy new year, ladies. I look forward to more bookish conversations, adventures and possible collaborations with you two <3

January 7, 2014 - 3:48 pm

Molly @ wrapped up in books - Those seem like very practical goals, Estelle! Let me know if you have any great ideas for how to decrease electronics time…I’m glued to my phone and use work as an excuse.

Magan, for choosing what to read next, why don’t you put the titles you own but haven’t read on slips of paper, store them in a jar, and draw one when you’re reading to move on? I saw a post on Pinterest/Book Riot for using that system…

I love the snail mail idea, too. Last year I did a “month of mail” which is a project sponsored by “more love letters” where I wrote a letter and mailed a card to a friend every day for a month. It was fun, and this year I hope to spread it out throughout the year rather than just in one fell swoop.

Happy new year to you both!

January 7, 2014 - 2:52 pm

Savannah - Wow! 🙂 Seeing the two of you spelling out such meaningful and significant goals is really inspiring. I hope you accomplish everything you aim to in 2014!

January 7, 2014 - 2:35 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - These are wonderful, and very practical resolutions. Estelle, I couldn’t agree more about life being too precious to waste it on reading books you aren’t enjoying. I mean, of course give the books a try, but after 50 pages, usually, if I’m not feeling a book, then I move on to something else. I may come back to that book later on, but I don’t worry about it.

Also, I should be singing Let it Go to my grumpiness revolving around friendships that didn’t work out. Focus on the positive, like you said 🙂

Magan, Snail mail is fun, isn’t it? There’s nothing quite like getting a letter or card in the mail, and it’s much more special than an email. I love email, but Snail Mail is special.

January 7, 2014 - 1:48 pm

Christina @ Allodoxophobia - Love both your lists! I definitely need to put down the technology. You know you have a problem when you have a phone in your hand at all times. Bad bad bad me. And I’m with you on the shopping. Sales are so tempting! I find if I unsubscribe fro deal emails, I’m a lot better.

January 7, 2014 - 1:11 pm

Lacie - “Life is too precious to stick with something you don’t like.” <—-I really liked this. The snail mail one made me laugh. Good luck with all of your goals, you have some great ones. Have a great week.

Lacie @ Rainy Dayz Reviewz

January 7, 2014 - 1:00 pm

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - E: I love “Read in a different way.” – I know that I read in weird ways compared to everyone else, I love it when people stretch themselves and try out new ways to read books. YOU ROCK THAT. Oh my gosh, I love it. I want to know how this works for you!! Discussion post!!! xo

M: Just this morning I saw a picture on Tumblr of a jar with a bunch of multicolored pieces of paper in it with titles of books on them for when people can’t decide what to read next. I thought OH MY WHAT A MARVELOUS IDEA because I don’t make lists and plan ahead and all of that. Maybe I need to hunt down that picture and send it to you because I found it VERY inspiring and it would look really cute on a shelf or table somewhere.

Also, I love sending out mail. I think it’s a dying thing and I’m trying to teach Layla Greta and Jack how important it is – they’re learning because they get really excited when they actually get an envelope in the mail. I’d love to drop you a line sometime if you’re up for it. xo

January 7, 2014 - 12:52 pm

Doris - Awesome goals!
I hope you complete every single one <3
Good luck!
Here's Our TTT
Doris @ OABR

January 7, 2014 - 12:49 pm

Jamie - Really love your resolutions, ladies!

E — I am SO WITH YOU on #1. I did better in the month of December because I really worked on it but I am WAY too obsessed. I can’t do anything without checking my phone for Twitter, email, FB, Instagram. First thing I look at when I wake up in the morning and before I go to sleep. I’m pretty good about not being on it when I’m OUT doing stuff with people but it’s always right there with me and if there is a lag in anything I’m doing I reach for my phone. And my computer..I’m just always on it. I need to get better about putting it away when I’m no longer productive. At least for now. I’m okay with mindlessly perusing sometimes but it’s gotten in the way of productivity of things I need to do and also, like you mentioned, keeps me away from OTHER things I like to do. LESS SCREEN TIME IN 2014. Let’s keep each other on this!

I struggle real hard with #4. We’ve talked a lot about friendship in 2013 together and I know we’ve both been hurt so hopefully we’ll be able to let that go and focus on the good!


If you can come up with a system to pick books by..please lend it to me. I’m so random. I posted a Vine awhile ago about wishing my book would just throw a book at me to read so I didn’t have to think. Let’s invent a bookshelf that does that yes? haha

SNAIL MAIL. okay so little known fact: I used to have like 20 penpals when I was a pre-teen and early teen. I was OBSESSED. It was kind of like how book blogging is where I’d be like SAD MAILBOX DAY when nothing came that day. I LOVE SNAIL MAIL. I like this resolution! I need to also do this more!

I really love #5 — you’ve got an amazing new life change happening and I think being realistic about what you can do is smart! Helps you not to feel guilty about it when you are off spending time with your lovely little family <3

January 7, 2014 - 11:45 am

Rachel - Estelle, I absolutely love your last resolution. That’s kind of how I’d like this year to be for me too. I can’t list specifics because I have no clue what this year is going to bring, but I just want to make sure I take advantage of every opportunity and live as much as I can. Magan, I love the snail mail one! I have a few friends who I write letters to and vice versa, and yeah we talk all the time, but it’s always fun to get something in the mail. It’s more personal and just different from any other form of communication.

January 7, 2014 - 11:34 am

Lisa is Busy Nerding - Nurture Friendships is SUCH a solid resolution, Estelle! It’s a personal goal of mine too.

And Magan, I love your goal of embracing snail mail! I try to do that as well. It’s not easy when the internet is there!

January 7, 2014 - 11:08 am

Sunny - I adore both of your goals. ADORE. Snail mail is such a good idea. I’d been thinking about writing my elderly relatives and I think it’s great to use the good ole pen and paper. Also, reading a different way, YES. I stare blankly at books I want to read, but just can’t decide or I don’t know what I’m in the mood for.

January 7, 2014 - 10:43 am

Tara - I can definitely relate to the money thing this year. I’d love to be able to stash away more money and have a buffer in case something goes wrong (and having two freelancers in the house, something *always* goes wrong). Here’s to having an amazing bookish and moneyish 2014 🙂

January 7, 2014 - 10:21 am

Stormy - I’m trying to take more breaks from electronics too. I LOVE the internet(it’s where I can talk to all my blogging friends), and twitter and such, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want days to pass me by when I could have DONE something. I can write, bake, go for a walk, etc. I’m trying to be realistic about my reading goal as well and read more for quality than quantity. I might read less books this year, but I hope I’m better at picking books I enjoy.

January 7, 2014 - 9:55 am

alice-jane - I know what you mean about having more “me” time! I’ve always been out and about lately and I have a tendency to fill up my schedule with things, leaving no time to myself. It’s great to have some quiet time and sip hot chocolate, with the looks of this weather! Also, embracing snail mail sounds like a good choice! I used to write more letters but I’ve fallen off the wagon and it’s definitely a good time to get back since my friends are all spread out now.

Taking a break from electronics is something I need to do as well since I’ve noticed myself to be *quite* attached to my phone and laptop.

For me, in 2014, I want to put more effort in staying in touch with old friends and keep my goals in mind throughout the year, not just at the beginning.

January 7, 2014 - 1:02 am

Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books - I totally get both of you about the money situation. I’m about to graduate college and I’m so stressed about money. I want to make financial plan and stick to it.

Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

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