February flew by. I know it’s only 28 days but it felt even shorter. It doesn’t help that this month was crazy hectic, add in a Texas Winter Storm and you’ve got a stressful month. Even though the storm reek havoc on the state, I actually got through most of my reading during that week.
If you’re new to Speaking Of…, I like to post a monthly wrap up of everything I read during the month. I link my reviews to what I read for easy access, talk about any books I did not finish (DNF), and pick out my favorite and least favorite reads for the month, In addition to covering what I read during the month, I also like to take a look back at the my yearly goals. More in part to keep myself accountable, I provide updates on these as well, though they’re not all book or reading related.
While my goal every month is to read 12 – 15 books, this month I finished up 10 books. Which considering it was such a sort month, I’ll take as a win. I ended up joining a ton of buddy reads this month and I highly overcommitted. I also read 3 romance books this month, which for me is way more than I normally get through.
January Reading Recap
- The Burning Girls: C.J. Tudor | ★★★★★ | Review
- Finlay Donovan is Killing It: Elle Cosimano | ★★★★ | REVIEW
- Get a Life, Chloe Brown: Talia Hibbert | ★★★★★ | REVIEW
- Take a Hint, Eve Brown: Talia Hibbert| ★★★★ | REVIEW
- Shiver: Allie Reynolds| ★★★ | REVIEW
- You Had Me at Hola Alexis Darias | ★★★★ | REVIEW
- Jar of Hearts: Jennifer Hillier | ★★★★ | REVIEW
- Homegoing: Yaa Gyasi | ★★★★| REVIEW
- The Nature of Fragile Things: Susan Meissner | ★★★★ | REVIEW
- The Babysitter: Liza Rodman | ★★★★★ | REVIEW
- The Shadow Rising: Robert Jordan – The 4th book in the Wheel of Time series ★★★★★
Books In Progress
Picking out my favorite reads for this month is almost impossible. From a romance perspective I absolutely loved reading all about The Brown sisters. In terms of mysteries and thrillers, I loved Finlay Donovan is Killing It and The Burning Girls. Non-fiction wise, The Babysitter, which comes out in March captivated me and read like a fiction book. Lastly, I’m very obsessed with The Wheel of Time series.
My least favorite read for the month was Shiver. It wasn’t bad but if you’ve read Lucy Foley’s The Hunting Party and/or Ruth Ware’s One by One, it’s bit too similar for my taste.
Did you read any of these this month? Share your thoughts and your favorite/least favorite reads this month with me in the comments. Or by going to my instagram @speakingof_books
2021 Goal Updates
While I mainly focus on what I read in these wraps up, I do like to jot down updates to my entire goal list for the year. Mainly because this keep me accountable and motivates me to keep going. You can see a full list of my 2021 goals, both for reading and non-reading, HERE.
- Read 125 Books: Currently I’m 2 books ahead of scheduled according to Goodreads. Which means the 21 books I’ve read so far in 2021 put me sitting at 17% of reaching my reading goal for the year.
- Book buying ban for 6 months: I actually forgot about this, and well I bought 2 books this month. Oops.
- Get my Netgalley rating up to 80%: I’m already getting behind on my reviews and while I have 4 Netgalley reviews to write up, I’ve dropped down to 19% on my Netgalley rating. Maybe if less interesting books were coming out this year, I wouldn’t have to request so many.
- Reach 10,000 Instagram Followers on Bookstagram: Started 2021 with 5300 followers, and I’m up to almost 5,750 which is a 200 increase for February. Not as much of an increase as I would like but we’re making slow progress.
- Reach 500 Blog Followers: I hit 300 followers this month! Slowly making my way to 500, if you haven’t already done so, make sure to sign up to follow me!
- Post 3 blog posts a week: Staying consistent with posting is a huge goal of mine. I’ve been fairly active in this space,but did not make my goal this month. Work and life have just kept me too busy.
- Write More: Not blog writing, but novel writing. This just did not happen this month at all. Unfortunately, writing takes time, which is not something I had in February.
- Read my Book of the Month backlist: I read 1 Book of the Month backlist I had, yay me! On the other hand I didn’t read any of my February Book of the Month picks so this one is a wash really.
- Read my 21 Backlist books of 2021: Get a Life, Chole was my only read off my 2021 Backlist . You can see a full list of the 21 backlist books I want to read in 2021 HERE.
WELLNESS & FITNESS GOALS
- Half Marathon pace down to 2 hours 10 minutes: I’m slowly getting back into my running training. I’ve been fairly consistent with my 3 runs a week and I’m slowly getting stronger. Nowhere near my goal pace but a little progress is better than no progress.
- Move every day. I use to be so good at working out and moving every day but 2020 got my laying on the couch all the time. I am killing it this year so far. On days I have not been working out, I’ve been making sure to at least stretch.
- Eat less takeout & more Whole foods. Last month I did a Whole30 and while I continued to eat healthy this month our take out increased! In March I’m aiming to stick back with a Whole30.
- Get more sleep: This goes without saying, I don’t get enough sleep. I need to get more sleep. I’m doing better about not being on my devices before bed, which is a step in the right direction when it comes to getting more sleep.
- Lose 35 lbs: This is a lofty goal but I would like to get back down to my college weight of 130 lbs. There isn’t any reason for this other than, I want to stay healthy and the extra weight really puts a strain on my back sometimes. I’m down 10lbs so far and while most of that was lost in January, I didn’t gain anything in February which is a huge plus for me. In March I’m looking to drop another 10lbs and then I’ll be over halfway to my goal.
- Get my PMI-Agile: As a project manager I already as my Project Management Professional Certification. I’m looking to expand on that into getting my Agile Certificate too. I was able to get my PMP renewed and I’m started studying for my PMI-Agile training in February!
- Pay off all debt: Not eating out this month has really helped up to focus on less spending. I’ve also been more diligent than before about when not to spend.
- Start saving more $: We’d like to build our dream house in the next decade and we’re looking to start a family in the next few years. In order to be prepared for this, or at least as prepared as can be, I’m really trying to save more money this year. We’d like to build a nice nest egg while we’re young!
- Spend more time being present: I’m the worst at being present. I am a planner, so I am constantly thinking of the future. My goal is simple to focus more on the now rather than tomorrow.
- Be kind: do I need to even expand on this?
- Enjoy every moment of 2021: 2020 was….well a hot mess. I’m going into 2021 with a positive attitude and even though I know it won’t be a regular year, as the world is still dealing with the pandemic. In February it was a lot harder to be optimistic but I’m trying to keep the positivity alive!
Thanks for helping me stay accountable with my 2021 goals. If you’d like to share your goals with me please comment below or visiting my Instagram page @speakingof_books. Make sure to follow both my blog and Instagram to see how I’m doing on my goals all year long!
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