photo of woman reading on a bench

One of my favorite young adults and bloggers is Hannah, who writes on Alimental about her daily life and healthy vegan food (the recipes and photos are amazing!). Recently, she reviewed her 2011 resolutions, listing them by category and assessing her progress. Here’s a sample:

Exercise every day.

  • Mix it up. Running is not the only thing out there.
  • Continue with strength training 2-3 times per week.
  • Schedule at least 2 “long” runs per week.
  • Big goal: run 3 miles in 27 minutes or under.
I’m doing pretty awesome with my exercise goals. I’m exercising 5-7 days per week, alternating between gym and outdoor exercise, spinning, running, walking, elliptical-ing, and strength training 2 times per week. I have also started to keep a workout log, which allows me to see how much I’ve accomplished and what I can improve on in the future.

Due to my bum knee, I am no longer trying to become a faster runner. Every time I try to improve my speed, my knee gets extremely pissed off. I’ve decided that this is not the right way to push myself at this time.

I am really impressed by both Hannah and her goals, in part because she’s so candidly ambitious (what a great trait for a woman to have!) and because she is able and willing to give herself a big, deserving pat on the back.

In that spirit, it’s a good time for me to review a goal I started in March: to read more deliberately. I’m not as interested in racking up “have read” titles as in getting to (and finishing) more of the books I want to read. These were the targets I considered:

  1. Read one book per week.
  2. Read one fiction book per week.
  3. Read one fiction and one non-fiction book per week.

I decided to try for #3, and here have been the results (clicking on the book jackets in the right sidebar will take to you more info about each book):

March Books:

  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, by Stieg Larsson
  • Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
  • Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely
  • Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
  • Stiltsville, by Susanna Daniel
  • The Role of Play in Human Development, by Anthony Pellegrini

April Books:

  • A Whole New Mind, by Daniel H. Pink
  • The Longevity Project, by Howard S. Friedman and Leslie Martin
  • The Bird Sisters, by Rebecca Rasmussen
  • A Friend of the Family, by Lauren Grodstein
  • Too Much Happiness, by Alice Munro

May Books:

  • Room, by Emma Donoghue
  • Solomon’s Oak, by Jo Ann Mapson
  • The Shallows, by Nicholas Carr
  • What the Dog Saw, by Malcolm Gladwell

I am happy with how it’s going. I usually curl up in our comfy chair with a book or my Kindle in the early evenings and weekends. Having habitual “reading times” to look forward to is very nice. During the school year, two books a week might be a stretch, but a more flexible year-round target of 4-8 books a month is a good one for me to keep.

Let the summer reading begin! First fiction stop, A Game of Thrones.