2020 TBR & Resolutions!

December 26, 2019

2020 feels like an exceptionally good year to focus on bringing about positive change in my life because not only is the beginning of a new decade something that feels incredibly symbolic to me, but — *knocks on wood* — I’m speaking it into the universe now: I have a lot of hope and optimism about this new year! 

In 2019, my biggest goal was to learn to take it easier on myself and practice more self-care. While I obviously still have room to grow, I would say I did a lot of that this year! I started focusing on loving on myself, not being so unkind to myself, and learning how to say “no” more instead of spreading myself so thin in my personal and work life. Even in my blogging life, I learned how to focus less on numbers and more on people, and how to stop berating myself every time I failed at a commitment or goal. I learned how to say “I’m sorry, but my mental health comes before your expectations”, and that alone felt huge. But, I digress! Moving on to what you’re all here for today:

As 2019 is drawing to a close, it’s time to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new…
These are my 2020 goals, both bookish and non-bookish!

Let’s start with the general “life” resolutions for the new year:

Much like “self-care” was the underlying phrase for everything I focused on in 2019, the phrase I’ve chosen for 2020 is “just do it!”

Shia LaBeouf yelling "Just do it!"

I just want to imagine Shia yelling this at me all year.

Seriously, though — I have a very major character flaw that I’ve never admitted even existed until the past few months: if I think I can’t do something right the first time, I just don’t do it. Whether it’s something professional, or blog-related, or in my craft, or even just in everyday hobbies, I refuse to put myself out there if it feels like there’s a legitimate risk of failure because I’ve spent my entire life telling myself it’s better to lose an opportunity altogether than to risk feeling like I did a poor job. And, uh, spoiler alert: THIS IS NOT OKAY! I’ve held myself back from so much in life because of this, and I’m not letting these fears of failure run my life anymore!

So, when I say my phrase of 2020 is “just do it!”, what I mean is that my biggest goal for 2020 is, every time I start to hold myself back from something due to fear of failure, to stop, look myself dead in the eye, and say, “No, screw this. Even if you fail the first time, you’ll never get better without trying. JUST DO IT!”

A few examples of things I want to “just do” in 2020:

  1. Practice art! I loved drawing and painting until I hit my preteens and convinced myself I would never get any better, and stopped doing it entirely. Even if I’m not good at it at first, 2020 is my year to start legitimately trying to make artwork again!
  2. Get in touch with my witchcraft more. If you’re not a witch, you probably wouldn’t think spirituality would be something that impostor syndrome could really affect, but you’d be wrong! A lot of witches — especially ones suffering from unpredictable mental or physical health struggles (*raises hand for both*) — struggle with feeling like their practicing isn’t “enough” or like they don’t know enough or aren’t good enough to get very involved with their witchcraft. This was actually never a problem for me until I became friends with other witches — and don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that’s anyone else’s fault! All I mean is that I’m terrible about comparing myself to friends, so when some of my friends who were newer than me to craft started having these incredible experiences and becoming super knowledgeable, I began to doubt myself. “If I’ve been doing this for so many years and they just started this year, why are they so much better at it than me? Is there something wrong with me?” I’ve had to realize two things lately: 1) It’s not a contest. 2) Much of why I don’t feel as “connected” as I used to is because of the comparisons.
  3. Form closer friendships in the book community! I hold myself back from talking to people so much because I’m terrified I’ll say something dumb or I’ll annoy someone or whatever. Again, fear of failure and not being enough comes into play a lot with my social interactions with people! I want to really reach out to people more in 2020 and put in more effort to these relationships.
  4. Finally, and this feels like the biggest and scariest one… I really want to give booktube a try. I know a year ago, I said I was starting one in 2019, and then I didn’t. I tried to, genuinely, but the fear of failure absolutely debilitated me. I was so scared that my videos would be boring or poorly produced, and nobody would like them, and I would end up with no interactions or followers at all, and it would hurt my feelings and feel like rejection and I would regret ever trying — so I just didn’t try at all. And honestly, that’s something that’s nagged at me all damn year. Even if I only do a few videos and find out it’s not for me, or even if I only upload one or two videos a month, at least I’m going to try.

So, those are my big life resolutions for 2020! I have a few other, smaller goals, like learning to focus on my long-term health more (not so much “weight loss” as “cutting back on sweets and artificial junk”), getting back into a daily yoga routine (I miss it so much!), and budgeting better, but the ones I listed above are the “scary” ones that feel biggest.

Next, on a lighter note… let’s talk about those bookish and blogging goals!

(Technically, the booktube thing probably should’ve gone here, but it felt big and dramatic so I wanted it in the first list…)

Of course I have a 2020 TBR, and we’ll get to that in a second, but first a few general goals I have for my blog and my reading life:

  1. Post more gaming content! I genuinely love video games and play them pretty often, and I already know a lot of you do, too, so I want to start posting more about that, even if it’s just monthly gaming wrap-ups or something. If the booktube thing goes okay, maybe I’ll give streaming on Twitch a try, too? Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, Destiny.
  2. More reviews, less memes! Y’all… you already know, but I fell back pretty hard on memes this year! For a while, I was doing 5 at once every week (TBR Lows & Highs, The Sunday Post, T10T, WWW, and Stacking the Shelves) They were easy and fun content to create, but more notably, they filled in the gaps so I didn’t have to actually write reviews. You know… on my book review blog. At one point, I think I went an entire month without posting a single full-length review — and that’s not okay, for me! If others want to skip posting reviews on their blogs, that’s totally fine and I think every blog has its niche, but mine used to be actual reviews, and I miss those days and want to get back to them.
  3. Reply to comments every single day. Yep, I know it may sound like a lot, but 1) replying takes no time at all if I do it once a day instead of letting them build up, 2) I can reply on my phone if I’m away from my computer all day, and 3) I MISS YOU GUYS. I miss talking to you every day like I did in the early days of my blog! 2017 and 2018 Destiny would never have dreamed of going 3 months between replying to comments, but 2019 Destiny did that 3 times this year. (Ow, that hurt to admit!)
  4. Read every single day. This is one of the biggest ones. I kept a reading tracker in 2018 where I marked off every day that I read for at least half an hour, and that chart was almost FULL. There were literally less than 10 days left unmarked by the end of 2018! If I had done the same tracker in 2019, I bet half of it would have been empty, and that makes me sad because I genuinely love reading every day, even if it’s just a couple of chapters before bed. This is actually one of the goals I’m most excited about!
  5. Clear my overdue review copy TBR. I’ve posted plenty about this and the ARC Apocalypse readathon I’m hosting, so I’ll just let you click that link if you want more info! I’ve even created an ARC TBR page you can check out here for updates throughout the year!
  6. Listen to more audiobooks! I know I could get through these overdue ARCs so much faster if I pick up a bunch of them in audiobooks from the library, so I want to make a concerted effort to get into the habit of listening to audiobooks whenever I’m in the car or cleaning around the house, or even gaming (when it’s not too intense of a game haha)!

I know these goals might sound ambitious, and a lot of people are going to be tempted to tell me not to challenge myself so much, and I know those people have only the best and sweetest intentions. Seriously, every time someone comments asking me to take it easy, I feel warm fuzzies because I know y’all are looking out for my well-being, and I love you all so much for that! But I’ve learned many times over throughout my life that I have the sort of brain that requires being kept busy and being challenged and inspired. I allowed myself to let go of that in 2019, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it was the worst mental health year I’ve had since I was a teenager. I mean, brutal — and I genuinely think a lot of it was due to the fact that I didn’t keep my silly brain stimulated enough to keep the demons at bay.

And finally, for my 2020 TBR list…

I’ve never really “themed” my yearly TBR around anything before, but I thought I’d give it a try this year! So, for my “20 in ’20” list, I decided to go with “second chance books”: books I’ve DNFed/set aside in the past and want to try again! Almost all of these are books I fully think I will love, but wasn’t in the right mindset for the last time I tried them. This post has been long enough, though, so I’m just going to dump the covers and titles below and wrap things up here!

  • Kingdom of Ash
  • The Shadow of What Was Lost
  • The Name of the Wind
  • City of Heavenly Fire
  • DEV1AT3
  • The Devouring Gray
  • The Girl from the Well
  • Rosemary and Rue
  • This Mortal Coil
  • A Princess in Theory
  • Strange the Dreamer
  • Stormdancer
  • If We Were Villains
  • Rolling in the Deep
  • Alice
  • Shatter Me
  • Salvation Day
  • The Beast’s Heart
  • Other Words for Smoke
  • Small Spaces

That’s it! Those are my 2020 goals. Thanks for making it this far if you actually read this whole thing! ♥ Let me know in the comments what your goals are, if any of these books are on your 2020 TBR, or if you have any tips for how I can stick to my resolutions in the new year!



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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

    1. I feel your personal resolution. I also have a really hard time doing things I’m not immediately good at.
      We share a lot of 2020 goals! ?

    1. I’m supporting you on this ENTIRE list! <3 Also, I asjdkljasdlk might lkasjdlkasjd secretly be considering making a booktube channel asdlaskjd so maybe just maybe you should do it to & we can be booktubin' pals. <3

    1. Good luck with your goals! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more gaming content from you. 🙂

    1. I hope you will be able to achieve all your goals! But also enjoy life!


    1. You do have an ambitious set of resolutions, but I can almost *feel* your dedication in this post! Make 2020 yours ☺️

      Also, if you started a booktube channel, I would most definitely watch it!

    1. I actually started picking up my older ARCs on audio a few months ago and have been able to get through a lot more than I would have if I was trying to read them on my Kindle. Because I have such a long commute, I’m able to devote 2 hours uninterrupted listening time every week day! I rarely find that much uninterrupted time for traditional reading a day.

      1. That’s excellent! I used to have about that long of a commute and I wish I had listened to audiobooks more at the time! Now I only drive about 10 minutes each way to work. ? Not that I’m complaining!!

    1. I hope you are able to reach all of you 2020 goals while still being able to enjoy life. I have cut back significantly on my goals/challenges this year because in 2019 I had a lot planned and failed at most of them. I’m ok with not completing them I just realized that having so many goals/challenges isn’t for me. Also if you were to create a YouTube channel I would definitely subscribe to your channel.

    1. Omg, I hear you! I’m the exact same ??‍♀️ If I suck at something or don’t think I can do it, I just don’t do it! (Exemple: practicing drawing..)

      Thoses are all good resolutions, and « just do it » seems just perfect! I love the idea of new decade = new opportunities for good stuff. Didn’t gave that a thought like that, but you’re right!

      I’d absolutely adore to read some gaming from you!! ? thoses are always my favorite, even if it’s not my personal favorite games, I just get curious ? specially if the cover/name looks good. I also have the resolution to try atleast ONE audiobook — been saying that since I joined the blogosphere and eh, two years later I still didnt xd

      1. I’m glad I’m not alone, but I’m sorry you can relate haha! Oh art is such a big one for me. I hope we both make ourselves practice more this coming year! ?

        Ooooh yay, thank you! I’m the same way with gaming stuff, even if it’s not a game I am into, I just love gaming content haha! And good luck with your new venture into audiobooks, I have faith in you ?

    1. These are some great resolutions, both the personal and bookish ones. I like how you keep mentioning fear of failure, I believe it’s the major reason why most of us don’t achieve our goals. I recently started watching some videos and reading books about getting rid of it and things seem much easier now. Good luck, hope you have a wonderful 2020! ?

    1. Luck be with you! These are great goals!

      I sooo grok the ‘not doing something unless I can do an astounding job the first time’ mentality. I don’t like failing and I strongly dislike feeling humiliated, esp if these things seem so much easier for others. I’ve slowly gotten better about this. As I’ve gotten older, many things have become entrenched, but in other areas I’ve started to develop an ‘f*** it’ attitude.

      I follow a Rokkatru/druidic spiritual path, and Stoic philosophy. I was part of a community at one point, but I really prefer being solitary. Esp since one group my family and I provisionally joined was Asatru, and they were a group that feared my patron deity, rather than embracing the lessons and gifts said deity provides. Some, also, I dunno, were low self-esteem with it, and tried to say that experiences our family had weren’t real. Your spiritual path is subjective and personal, and follows the path best suited to you at any time. You’ll have astounding experiences, for sure. Might not be as frequent as others, but you will! If you ever need someone pagan to vent to or bounce things off of, I’m happy to listen.

      Oh, I do hope you have Name of the Wind another go! It was an awesome read!

      1. Thank you!

        The dislike of failure and feeling humiliated, yeah, that’s such a relatable issue! Especially if it feels like it “should” be easier or I “should” be better at it than I am – that’s the worst!

        I love hearing about your spirituality, so any time you want to share more, please do so! I used to be more of a pantheist but over the last couple of years started feeling pulled more towards Hellenic spirituality and it feels overwhelming at times because there is SO MUCH information – and especially because so many people I’ve met disagree on core pieces of their beliefs and want to belittle anyone who feels differently (most notably, something I think it sounds like you can relate to, I work with Hades a fair bit and I’ve met several people who tell me that’s “wrong” or “dangerous” and that he’s not to be worked with, despite myself and SO MANY other people having nothing but wonderful experiences with him!). It’s… tough, and people who haven’t ever been in the world of paganism truly don’t “get it”, haha.

        I absolutely will, I’m excited about it! 😀

        1. Yea, I work with Loki, who also happens to be called Lord of Laughter. One of the best lessons I’ve learned is how to laugh at myself. Also, destruction leads to new growth. I’ve only had good experiences working with Loki.

          I’ve worked with Underworld deities too, in the past, and some of our pagan associated freaked over that as well. Along with working for a time with a kappa spirit guide.

          I rather think people like to belittle to cover up for their own fear of working with these beings, paired with jealousy at those who do. Because we aren’t afraid.

          1. That’s fantastic! It sounds like you’ve had a really good experience with your paganism, and I love hearing that. I agree 100% with you that people are masking their own fears, and that’s sad (and frustrating!).

    1. if I think I can’t do something right the first time, I just don’t do it

      well… this basically sums up why I am ‘content’ to just keep doing what I’m doing. Also why I have never tried baking bread (which is ridiculous because I am one of the best bakers that I know, even if that makes me sound incredibly arrogant…)
      2020 is the year I will get over my fear of yeast!!

      1. First, I’m sorry you can relate but at the same time I’m glad I’m not alone, if that makes sense? ? But you should definitely try making bread, I bet you’d be amazing at it in no time! My spouse makes bread and seriously… nothing beats a warm loaf of fresh bread. ? Especially when it’s cold out and we have soup or stew, haha. *drooling* You’ve got this! ♥

        1. Thanks love!! You have this too!! The art, witchcraft, booktube and friendships part, but also probably bread too if you gave it a go!! Just remember that you’ve got a built in network of subscribers already, and you can’t do anything wrong by us!! ??

    1. Your craft is your craft and it is perfect for your life. I had the same feeling a few years ago, but I realized that my spirituality/craft is what I need it to be and it is my personal journey no one else’s. Realizing this really made a big difference for me.

      Also, wishing you all the best in 2020 and with all of your goals.

      1. That’s so true! <3 I've been learning that mindset more lately and it helps. It's been odd (but a little comforting) how many people I've met who feel this way or have at some point about their spirituality/craft!

        Thank you, you too!

    1. I LOVED reading this post! Not only because we have similar goals for 2020, but turns out we have similar challenges too. Until a few years back, I wore perfectionism like a badge of honor. It’s only in the last couple of years that I realized that it was one of my biggest challenges, the thing that holds me back.

      Which is why it’s something I have worked on in 2019, and while it’s been a struggle to let go, I have been able to make progress, something that I couldn’t have even imagined possible before. So I know you’ll do it too!

      Oh and all the best with your booktube channel. I know it can be overwhelming, but honestly just do it. Start with the newbie tag, and just focus on getting that one video out. Small steps, short term goals, no overthinking – all things that helped me fight perfectionism. 🙂

      1. Thank you! Whoa, you just spoke STRAIGHT to my heart with what you said about perfectionism – I, too, have spent way too long being weirdly *proud* of my perfectionist tendencies, and have just recently realized, like you said, they’re actually a huge obstacle. It’s sad that society puts such a high social value on perfectionism in theory (like “oh that person always does everything right!”), yet doesn’t acknowledge how actively *harmful* that mindset is.

        Thank you! Good luck in continuing to work towards your goals, too <3

        Thank you! I decided to do my 2020 TBR first just because I wanted to save the newbie tag for when my new lighting rig comes in, but that'll be here Friday and I am REALLY excited to film my second video ?

    1. i looked up The Shadow of What Was Lost and holy wow does that sound amazing! The cover is so beautiful. I added it to my TBR. I need to start creating my blog/reading goals and actually stick to them. I hope you knock your resolutions out of the park! you got this! i also hope you love all the books you read next year! 🙂

      Amber @ Escape Life in the Pages

      1. Isn’t it awesome?! I really love the covers and I love the hardbacks because the spines are brilliantly colored and just “pop” on your shelves. ? Thank you, Amber, I hope you do too!!

    1. Sounds like a good list! I haven’t taken the time to plan my next year. I’m not great at following through & then I just get stressed & overwhelmed. So I need to keep it simple.

    1. One of my goals for next year is that I want to learn more about witchcraft but then I see other witches practising and I worry I won’t have the time or energy and give up before I have begun so I totally understand the whole comparing yourself to others thing. it’s hard but it’s good to recognise that behaviour and work towards changing it!

      And I totally relied on weekly memes this year (hello 6 months of posting almost nothing but Down the TBR Hole) so you’re not alone in that either.

      I’m looking forward to seeing what you have in store for 2020 Destiny! And I’m super looking forward to your possible YouTube channel! <3

      1. Awww, well I hope you get the chance to dig into it a bit this coming year! Hopefully we can both learn not to compare ourselves to others and to just do what’s best for us. ?

        Thank you dear! I’m excited to see what you have in store for 2020, too! ? Sending you all the hugs and love!

    1. I totally understand the witch imposter syndrome. I’ve always felt it big time, and like I shouldn’t be tapping into any of it physically unless I have the mental knowledge all squared away, but this year, I just decided to say whatever and start being myself, and it’s been so fun. I’ve started tapping more into the green/kitchen witch side, and it just feels like a big relief, finally exploring my witchcraft for real instead of just building up a knowledge base to maybe use eventually.

      1. Oh my gosh, thank you so much for being open with me about this because it was SO HARD to speak out about my feelings on it, and to know that someone “gets it” so much – that means everything! <3 I love that because this is EXACTLY my problem - the waiting until I have "enough" knowledge - and I just... feel super valid right now haha! <3

        1. It is so good to know we’re not alone! All my witchy friends seem so secure in their practice that it’s such a relief to know there’s someone else out there feeling unsure about their own magic, despite how badass it obviously is. We got this! ?

    1. I love the goal of ‘just do it’! Right on! ? Forming closer friendships in the book community is also something I want to work on. It doesn’t come naturally to me but I hope I can make a few more friends~ For your bookish goals, #3 and #4 are ones I would also like to aim for. Doing something small every day doesn’t need to be such a hardship ^^;

      I’m cheering for you and The Devouring Gray! 😛 I’ve also tried Small Spaces twice and couldn’t get into it – I’m borrowing a copy right now so maybe third time’s the charm?? (I probably won’t have time to read it before I go back home though lol.)

      Here’s to success in 2020, in whatever form you wish! Happy New Year!

      1. Thank you! <3 Aw, I feel you, it doesn't come naturally to me either. I have a hard time reaching out or letting people in, but I hope to work on that in 2020!

        Good luck with your third try for Small Spaces if you're able to! I have really high hopes for my second attempt as long as I stay away from the audiobook, I wasn't enjoying the narrator at all! 🙁

        Thank you dear, good luck to you too and HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope 2020 brings us closer together! ???

    1. Good luck on your goals this year, Destiny! I definitely feel you on making them challenging and how some might see them as overwhelming or “too much,” but just the idea of being able to read more and become more involved on the blog is just too tempting to not at least attempt! I’ll be rooting for you this year and happy to support you in any way I can! Oh, and I’m totally here for more gaming content! 🙂

    1. I relate to a lot of this! Hope 2020 brings you everything you’re wishing for <3

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