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Reags' Blog

So This is the New Year...

Reagan Helms

We started this site shortly after getting married, but I've pretty much ignored it until now. Most of this has been due to the sheer busyness of being newlyweds, and the other parts have been work, the holidays, and projects that have taken precedent over writing a blog.

But I've decided that one of my resolutions for 2015 is to "blog more." I don't know what that necessarily entails though. With this post, I'm already almost blogging more than I did in 2014...

Most of my resolutions are set up this way. I like to make them as ambiguous, yet easy to accomplish as possible.

"I'm going to get fit." (one pound lost between January '14 and January '15 is technically "more fit," right?)

P.S. I failed that resolution anyway...

"I'm going to read more."

"I'm going to get better at _____" (You fill in the blank, I've tried it. Bed on time, eating better, working out, new trendy hobby of the year...)

I do this because I know that being a goal-oriented person instead of a task-oriented person. I like to cheat my own system.

It's not that I'm lazy, or that I forget, I just don't do well without a structured deadline. I'll work like a dog at something to get it done on time, but if I can put it off, I will. Needless to say, this makes for really bad resolution making.

However, last year I did decide to make one concrete resolution...

Read More Books!

In 2013 I read 25 books. Not too shabby, but I decided that in 2014 I was going to do more than that. I knew that if I was really serious about that, I needed to have a daily goal. Hence...

40 Minutes a day

When I first made that goal, I thought "wait, that's way too high," but then I realized that was only twenty and twenty if I split it up, and even in my busiest times, I have that kind of time. I'd set a timer every day for 40 minutes, and whatever I didn't make, rolled over into the next day. Anything that I read above that was extra.

40 + 243.3 hours a year.

I found that it was surprisingly easy to keep up with this goal. For the first six months of the year, I was golden. Then I got married, and things got a little crazy. I didn't ever fully catch up by the end of the year on my manual reading.


Just before I got married, I discovered Audible, and that changed everything! I realized that I spend at least 40 minutes of my day commuting to work, so Audible was able to fill in my gaps (even though I was still making it a goal to read 40 minutes a on top of the audio books).

I read about 187 hours this year.

But I heard 249 hours and 41 minutes (thanks Audible app)!

Goal (resolution) Crushed!!!


I only finished 29 books this year ("read more" as according to the resolution). I plan for that list to get even bigger this year...

I don't put much stock in resolutions. I think that it's good to start the year out right with proper goals for what you want to change, but not to the point of having to reinvent yourself every January 1st or overwhelm your life with a million changes at once. But I like some change.

If you would like to read more books in this coming year, I hope that you set a goal for yourself instead of just saying you will. I read a really good post by Jon Acuff on his year in reading, and I thought that his point on writing down the books that you *want* to read is a good one. He also links to this funny post on 33 thoughts on reading (language warning) that brings up the same point.

I think that this is my new addendum  to my reading resolution. I'm keeping the 40 minutes, and I'm keeping Audible, but I'm adding a shelf in my house (or collection on my Kindle) designated for the books that I want to read in 2015.

Both posts also bring up the point in "dating" a book. If you don't like it, you don't have to marry it. The OCD side of me does not like this idea, but I'm going to try to make it work for me this year as well. If it's a cruddy book, I'll be done with it!


In conclusion, my resolutions for this new year are:

  1. Continue my reading habits, but actively list the books that I want out of the year.
  2. Blog at least once a week.
  3. Stop biting my nails (my wife made this one for me).

We'll see how it goes...