Lola’s Ramblings: How did I do with my goals for 2017 and 2018 goals

January 3, 2018 Lola's Ramblings 30

LolaRamblings

Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.

All in all 2017 was a great year for me. I did well on most of my goals, my business grew a lot and I got another assistant job toward the end of the year. I feel like I am finally where I want to be business wise and it’s awesome. I did struggle a bit with balancing review copies, as some months I overdid it a bit and read almost only review books. So that’s something I have to keep working on. Let’s have a look at how I did with my 2017 goals and I share some goals for 2018.

2017 goals

Bookish and blogging goals

  • Read more books by Tracy Krimmer, Tracey Alvarez and Veronica Scott. I did decent with this goal, but not as well as I had hoped. I read 2 books by Tracy Krimmer: In With the New and Landing Luck. I didn’t read any books by Tracey Alvarez this year sadly. I did read three books by Veroncia Scott: Mission to Mahjundar, Pets in Space 2 and Danger in the Stars.
  • Finish Alisa Woods her Wilding Pack Wolves series. Totally failed this goal. I read the first book in that series and that’s it and I read that in 2016 already. So I made no progress whatsoever. Maybe this year I’ll get to this series.
  • Stay up to date with the new releases from Kelley Armstrong, SJ Pajonas, Siobhan Davis, Jill Shalvis, HY Hanna and Craysa Locke. I did pretty well with this one, I stayed up to date with SJ Pajonas, Siobhan Davis, HY Hanna and Carysa Locke. Carysa Locke didn’t release any new books this year, but I am excited the next book in her series will be out soon. I still haven’t read book 2 in the City of the Lost series by Kelly Armstrong, but besides I do think I read all her new releases this year. I haven’t read Lost and Found Sisters book and the Christmas novella by Jill Shalvis and am not signing-up for more ARCs from her at this point as the last few books have been a bit meh or hit for me.
  • Try to keep up with ARC team books. I did pretty well with this! I dropped out of two ARC teams I lost interest in and I kept up with most of the others.
  • Try to get that netgalley percentage above 70% finally. Yes I succeeded! I actually made this goal pretty early on in the year and then managed to keep it around the 70% for most of the year. I am at 70% at the moment.
  • Keep reading cozy mysteries. I did great with this one. I read 16 cozy mysteries and 7 paranormal cozy mysteries, so a total of 23 this year. I am hoping next year to read more paranormal cozy mysteries as well as the two paranormal cozy mystery series I discovered this year were great.
  • Focus on newly acquired books first and on older ones later. I did great here as well, I read 77 new releases and a total of 117 books, so 40 older ones.

Personal goals

  • Don’t push myself too hard. I did pretty well with this one too. I felt like I slowly got into the habit of working less and relaxing more. And the best part is that while I work less I feel like I can work more efficient when I do work. I do have to make sure to keep focusing on this.
  • Keep trying new recipes. I mostly stuck with making recipes I already knew, but made some new ones too. So i did pretty well here. I listed a few that I remember, but I probably made a lot more that I forgot.
    1. Naan Bread with garlic – best naans I’ve eaten so far!
    2. Pumpkin Curry – was really good!
    3. Veggie Stock – didn’t turn out well, it tasted foul.
    4. Chocolate Coconut Treats – they were great!
    5. Coconut Cake – I halved the recipe and it turned out pretty well, I didn’t half the coconut parts and it had a rich coconut taste
    6. Mashed Potatoes with Onion and Carrot Casserole – this one was a hit and I’ll be making this again. Great way to eat this dish.
    7. Noodle Soup – really good
    8. Potatoes and Pumpkin mash – great!
  • Make two pies this year. I think I failed this one, can’t remember baking any pies this year.
  • Keep blogging fun. I mostly did okay with this, I removed a lot of pressure by only writing posts whenever I felt like it and I quit most weekly posts and meme, except for the Sunday post. I mostly stick to review posts, but that works well for me at the moment.
  • Visit other blogs besides commenting back. I didn’t do so well with this as most weeks I barely have time to do the comment backs, but I do follow some blogs on social media and sometimes stop by when I see a post there.
  • Play games. Yes I did this :). Not all months went well, but I did make some time to play games, if only for a little bit when I had some time.

Business Goals

  • Grow my tour hosts list. Done! It keeps slowly but steadily growing, which is great.
  • Grow my newsletter for authors. Done! Not a lot, but it keeps growing bit by bit.
  • Do more discounts. I did 4 different discounts this year. A all tours discount, blog tour discount, a book blitz discount and a review opportunity discount. I think this is part of the reason why my business did so well this year. I am hoping to do a few discounts again this year, but maybe a few less than last year.
  • Organize more tours than in 2016 and 2015. Done! I organized 54 tours this year!That’s the highest amount I ever organized in a year so far.
  • Keep evaluating and improving. Done! I did pretty good keeping an eye on things and making changes when necessary. I skipped one planned discount as I felt like it wasn’t the best timing and discount anymore for that moment, I made the decision to change cover reveals to paid this year, did a Christmas giveaway and a LBT 4 year anniversary giveaway.

2018 Goals

  • Read more paranormal cozy mysteries and romantic suspense. This are two genres I like that I want to read more of.
  • Only accept review copies/ ARC if I can either read them before release or within a month of that. If I accept a review copy I want to make sure I can review it within reasonably time frame. I will be less strict with these when it comes to review copies of book that are already released. But overall I want to make sure I don’t accept review copies if I can’t read them soon. That means sometimes passing up books that I do want to read, but simply can’t read it time. Which is the hardest part of this. And that books I really want to read get priority of accepting over books I less badly want to read. However in the long term I think this will cause me less stress about review copies.
  • Be even more critical about which review copies to accept. I love reviewing books and receiving review copies before the book is even out. But I noticed that sometimes I end up with too many review copies a month or too many in general and it can be stressing. This one ties closely in with the goal above this one.
  • Read more MM and RH romances. I want to read more different type of romance relationships this year like M/M, menage and reverse harem books. And maybe even try some FF or FFM. I already made a start with this in 2017 and so far like how these different type of romance lead to different interactions.
  • Keep doing well with my business and keep growing my tour host and author newsletter lists. This one speaks for itself, I hope to keep growing my newsletter lists and keep doing well with my business. Hopefully I can organize around 50 tours again this year.
  • Find a good balance between review and non-review copies. Even tough I review all books I read, I sometimes have trouble balancing the books I have to review and books I bought myself or got for free. Ideally I want this to balance out around 50/50.
  • Keep my Netgalley percentage around 70%. I finally got my Netgalley percentage around the 70% and I want to make sure it stays there, maybe even try and get it closer to the 80%.
  • Redesign my blog. I already took a small step towards it. Michelle from Limabean Designs will be designing a new header for me in 2018 and I already picked my new graphic for the banners. I might do a few small tweaks to my theme as well to fit the new banners once I have them. I decided I wanted something different than the pony after all these years. Although at the same time I hate change. But I am really curious how things will turn out and I think a fresh look will be nice.

Did you set any goals for 2017 and how did you do? What are your goals for 2018?

30 Responses to “Lola’s Ramblings: How did I do with my goals for 2017 and 2018 goals”

  1. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    Sounds like you did great with your bookish and business goals and pretty good with your personal ones, other than the pies πŸ˜›

    I’m also trying to be even more critical about review copies not because I can’t review them in time but because I’m trying to stop reading so many books that are just ok and instead try and find the books that I might really love. If you need MM sci-fi/fantasy recs, my blog is full of them! And ooh, a blog redesign, can’t wait to see it! Good luck with all your goals this year πŸ™‚
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Bookish Musings: My 2018 Bookish GoalsMy Profile

    • Lola

      Yeah I am happy how well I did with my goals, except for the pies, lol.

      That’s a good point too, I just commented about that on your goal post too. I often accept books that I know will be just okay and actually dropped out a few ARC teams this year to avoid that. If I accept the rpessure to read a book within a certain tiem frame, i want to make sure it’s a book i really want to read.

      I should go through some of your reviews again and see if I can find some MM sci-fi and fantasy reads to add to my wishlist. It’s just so hard to branch out into a new genre or romance type as the case might be. There are os many books and it’s hard to gauge what I enjoy.
      I am struggling with the RH books with that as well and haven’t found one yet that really fits what I want to read. And now I have had one 5 star MM read and just want to read more books like that, but no clue were to start. But at least I got a review copy of book 2 in that series and just heard I won book 3 in a giveaway, so i guess that is a good start :).

      • Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

        I might be dropping from an ARC team for the same reason. I opted out of the last book and am just going to buy a copy to see how much I like it. If it’s only ok, then I’ll just leave the group.

        I don’t have any RH recs. That’s awesome though that you’ve got the next two books in that MM series! If you want to know some MM books I’ve reviewed that you might be interested in, I’d rec Lovesick Gods by Amanda Meuwissen, Tales of the High Court for a series w/ diff MCs or Wriggle & Sparkle for a standalone by Megan Derr, Chaos Station, Bleeding Heart by Melissa Graves. I don’t think any were too dark, Megan Derr’s books especially are pretty fluffy and light, though I don’t quite remember how much graphic violence or things like that there might’ve been in some of these. I know TJ Klune has a super popular shifter book. Also Less Than Three Press puts a lot of books on NG, Riptide and NineStar Press are on there too, but idk what’s going on w/ NG and international bloggers now.
        Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Bookish Musings: My 2018 Bookish GoalsMy Profile

        • Lola

          I am trying to not only accept review copies when I really am excited about the books. It’s a shame when the books are just okay, as each review copy still feel a bit like an obligation. I also opt sometimes to buy a book instead of accepting the review copy as there’s less pressure that way.

          I did read one awesome RH in 2016 when I didn’t even realize it was RH, the sequel should be releasing soon. I joined a bunch of Facebook groups, were I am finishing lots of RH recommendations, but it’s still hard to find my way until I’ve read more of them.

          Thanks for those MM recommendations! I really appreciate your help and will check these out and add them to my wishlist if I think I would enjoy them. Good to know these weren’t too dark :). I’ll be keeping an eye on NG as well for some MM books.

          As for NG and international bloggers, from what I understand some publishers won’t have the option to request a copy or might not accept your review request if you’re an international blogger or we only get the wish for it option. But I can still request the books from Kensington and I got an auto approval widget from the author for last Harlequin book I wanted, so this far I haven’t noticed a lot of that yet.

  2. Natasha

    I am happy that you managed to achieve your 2017 goals and have a well thought out plan for 2018 too (note to self, be more like Lola) haha!

    My blogging resolutions for 2018 is for me to be more active in commenting & visiting other blogs and also to personalize my blog posts even more as I mostly did book blitz/blog tour posts last year. I am looking forward to include more personal-related and tutorial/Q&A type of posts in my blog, and your blog has always been one of my biggest inspiration! πŸ™‚

    Cheers to 2018!

    • Lola

      Oh wow thanks so much! That makes me happy to hear that my blog has always been one of your inspirations.

      That sounds like a good resolution for 2018, I also hope to do more commenting and visiting blogs. I just saw your new blog design and it looks great, good luck with your blog and personalizing it more.

  3. sjhigbee

    Congratulations – you really seem to be on top of your business goals and most of your personal goals. I can personally testify as to why your business is steadily growing – your service is efficient and professional and you are a pleasure to work with:).
    As for the issue with arcs – 70% is a solidly good percentage and I think we all struggle to keep our enthusiasm and excitement for a new book within boundaries – otherwise we wouldn’t be book addicts!
    Here’s hoping that 2018 is another successful, fulfilling year for you, Lola!

    • Lola

      Aww thanks so much! That makes me so happy to hear you say that about my business :). I hope 2018 is another great year for my business.

      I agree 70% is definitely a good percentage, although I hope to get it even higher, but for now I will settle for keeping it above the 70% for a year.

  4. Sophia Rose

    I love seeing all those ‘done’s in your 2017 goals list. It’s hard to make them all happen, but there is a new year to finish them. Way to go on your business and NetGalley percentages. I’ll cheer you on right to 75% this year and your goal to balance out your reading. πŸ™‚
    Looking forward to seeing your new blog design.

    All in all, you’re doing better than good all around and are on track for doing great again in 2018.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Review: Heart On Fire by Amanda BouchetMy Profile

    • Lola

      It sure was nice to look back and see what I accomplished in 2017 :). I hope I can get to that 75% this year on netgalley, that would be great! And I hope I can do well with balancing my reading this year.

      The new blog design will mostly be a new logo and some slight style changes, but I am excited to see how it will turn out :).

  5. Sonnie

    Ohhh I can’t wait to see your new design Lola! I also included some new cooking into my resolutions this year as well. I’ll have to look at some of your recipes to try! Did you have any favorite Cozy PNR mysteries? I’ve been looking for some good ones!

    • Lola

      I am curious to see how the new design turns out :). Good luck with your cooking resolutions.

      I would recommend HY Hanna’s Bewitched by Chocolate series and Erin Johnson her Caramels and Spells series, both are great!

  6. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    Great job on your goals from last year! I think you did really well. I think I’m going to do monthly goal posts on my other blog – focus on things bit by bit, so we’ll see. I do want to focus more on the books that I already own and not accept as many review books. I love that you want to read more m/m and other types of romance! πŸ™‚

    -Lauren
    Let’s Get Beyond Tolerance recently posted…New Hand by L.A. WittMy Profile

    • Lola

      I also hope to read more books that I own and be more selective with review copies, it’s so easy to have them take over. I really hope to branch out in some other types of romances this year. I just started a m/m romance that Kirsten recommended and I hope to be finding more other type of romances to read this year.

  7. Berls

    Looks like you had a great 2017 Lola – you almost nailed all your goals. Woot!!! Major congrats on the business, I know that takes a lot of work. And you’re setup really well with your goals for 2018 too. I’m super excited to see what you and Michelle come up with for your blog redesign πŸ™‚
    Berls recently posted…#2017HW Reading Assignment EOY Report CardMy Profile

    • Lola

      Thanks Berls! It’s great to see how many of my goals I nailed. I put a lot of effort in my business this year and its great to see it pay off. Now let’s hope I can keep it up as well this year. I am really excited to see how Michelle designs the new banners for my blog :).

  8. Wattle

    I’ll be sort of sad to see your pony header go, but I’m also excited to see what you’ll replace it with! New layouts can be so refreshing πŸ™‚

    Congrats on reaching your business goals in particular, that’s great!

    I’d like to read some more paranormal cozies this year too, they’re pretty fun. I’ll have to keep an eye out for your reviews!
    Wattle recently posted…Book Review #17: Fright Court by Mindy KlaskyMy Profile

    • Lola

      I’ll also be sad to see the pony go, but I am also ready for something different. It’s a strange mix of emotions. And I know some new readers think I am a big my little pony fan, while I haven’t watched any of that.

      I am really happy reaching the business goals this year. I hope 2018 will be a great year too.

      I really like the paranormal cozies I read so far, I’ll have to find a few more series in that genre.

    • Lola

      I am happy I did so well with my 2017 goals.

      I already picked the new animal logo for my new design :). I am really excited to see how the new banners will turn out. I am definitely sticking with something green for my design, but I might make some minor changes to my theme or try a new theme, not sure yet. I’ll wait till I have the new banners first and then decide.

  9. Rachel @ Typed Truths

    These are some really fabulous goals! I definitely need to work on getting a better arc/non-arc ratio too. It is so hard to find a balance. I’m personally focusing on reading more of my physical TBR this year but next year – which is a little too far to plan ahead probably haha – is to work on getting my Netgalley and Edelweiss ratios up.
    Rachel @ Typed Truths recently posted…Introduction + 2018 GoalsMy Profile

    • Lola

      Thanks! It really is hard to find a balance at times and I hope to do better with it this year. I also hope to get to some of my older books eventually as that’s most of the books I still have on Netgalley.

    • Lola

      I agree it’s really important to find that work/ play balance, especially at I tend to bend toward work too much, but this year I finally felt like I found a better balance.

    • Lola

      I like to set a few goals, but if I don’t make them I don’t mind too much either. It’s more of an indication of what i want to focus on this year. I also set the Goodreads goal, but I always set that low as else I stress about it, so I do understand what you mean.

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