Top Ten Tuesday | My 2021 goals


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!

This week’s theme is ‘Resolutions/Hopes for 2021 (bookish or not!)’, and I think we can all hope that 2021 is going to be a much better year than 2020.

That being said, I want to give myself some goals that will both push me out of my comfort zone but that also won’t make me feel bad if I don’t achieve them, because I think we all need to be a little kinder to ourselves.

Stop requesting books from NetGalley

The truth of the matter is I’m only going to get on top of my NetGalley reads if I stop requesting them and it’s simply not fair on all the authors whose books I’ve been incredibly lucky to receive a copy of when I don’t then review them close to the pub date. I don’t need to request books from NetGalley to create interesting content for my blog and, frankly, if I desperately want to read a book, then I either need to buy a copy or borow it from the library and support the author that way.

Make an effort to read more of the books on my shelves

I do read a lot of books that I buy, but a lot of the books I read are books I read on my kindle. There are so many books that have been patiently waiting on my shelves, that have survived every time I’ve culled my shelves which proves that I am interested in reading them, and I’d really like to read more of them in 2021 so that I can have shelves full of books I’ve read and loved or I can pass the books I end up not enjoying on to other people who’ll love them.

Buy no physical books from Amazon

Look Amazon already gets enough of my money from the ebooks I buy, so I don’t need to buy physical books from them as well. To be honest I rarely do this anyway – when lockdown saw small businesses struggling, I tried to buy from indie bookshops where I could and I bought a lot of books from Blackwell’s, who offer free delivery in the UK – but I am guilty of pre-ordering books from Amazon because I like that the money won’t leave my account until the book is released, so I can pre-order a bunch of books at once without spending a lot of money at once. I’ve cancelled all my pre-orders with Amazon, though, and instead I’ve been pre-ordering 2020 releases from Wordery, Waterstones and indie bookshops which has felt lovely.

Move out

In 2020 I was incredibly lucky to be able to leave my house share in Gloucestershire, where I lived and shared a kitchen with four other people in a busy city centre, and come to hide out in my parents’ house in the South Welsh countryside during lockdown. I was furloughed from April to July, and have been working from home since July so, to save money, I ended up giving my room up to move back in with my parents permanently.

I’d desperately like to find a new job and return to the north of England, where the majority of my friends are, and move into a flat of my own where I can have my own space and my parents can have theirs. I’m incredibly grateful I’ve had somewhere to escape to, where there’s so much more room outside to go for country walks and there’s a garden I got to sit and read in over the summer, but I need my own space.

Exercise regularly

I’m not the kind of person who enjoys going to the gym, but I am the kind of person who enjoys workout classes. Sadly 2020 saw us kiss goodbye to those for a long time so I haven’t been able to go trampolining or to go to zumba, and it’s something I’d like to start doing again because I feel unhealthy and I hate feeling so sluggish. I’d like to be kind to my body, and if I’m going to continue to enjoy food as much as I do then I need to give it some proper exercise.

If I can find a group that doesn’t intimidate me, I’d also love to join a Historical European Martial Arts group. The history nerd in me would love to learn how to swordfight.

Start a cookbook collection – and actually cook from them!

The kitchen intimidates the hell out of me. I love food, but cooking isn’t something I’ve ever enjoyed. To be honest I think some of that comes from having never had my own kitchen – I’ve used my parents’ kitchen and shared a kitchen with others at uni and in Gloucestershire – so I’ve never felt comfortable being able to experiment with food, but it’s a skill I really want to develop. I really enjoy baking, even though I haven’t baked in years, but cooking isn’t something I’ve ever enjoyed because I’m too impatient–I just want to eat the curry, dangit, not cook it!

Get to a 100 day streak on Duolingo

I’m rubbish at learning other languages, but ultimately practice makes perfect and I have found my Italian very, very slowly improving with Duolingo. I’ve never managed a 100 day streak, though, and it’s a little something I’d love to accomplish!

Learn to read music

Last year I started taking singing lessons for the very first time – I used to sing a lot when I was younger, and sang at a few school concerts, but it was always something I did for fun – but I didn’t sing in front of anyone for about a decade and I lost a lot of my confidence. I never learned to play an instrument, despite always being drawn to the piano as a child, but my parents very kindly got me a keyboard for Christmas and I’d really like to learn how to read music so I can play, and also to help me sing better!


I haven’t cosplayed in years, and whenever I have I’ve simply bought a costume online, but I’d love to go back to a comic con (if it’s safe to) and cosplay again, and I’d love the challenge of trying to find items to make up an outfit instead of simply buying a costume. My ultimate dream is to dress up as Evie Carnahan from The Mummy, who is one of my favourite heroines of all time.

Finish three short stories

I’m terrible at starting short stories and then leaving them unfinished, so I’d love to finish at least three of them and hopefully get them edited to a standard where I’m happy to send them off to magazines. The three I’d particularly like to work on are all historical fantasy stories called ‘Checkmate’, ‘The Little Death’ and ‘The Eternal City’, so feel free to yell at me until they’re done.

What are your goals for the new year?

32 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | My 2021 goals

  1. Leslie says:

    You have a lot of amazing goals here and I hope you reach them all. I don’t get approved for many ARC’s and I still think that I can make good content without it! It will make your life a lot easier too. I went a whole 7 months last year without requesting one and it was liberating. haha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Forever Lost in Literature says:

    This is a great list of goals! I’ve been doing Duolingo for a while and recently hit 600 days streak and I”m not sure if I’m proud or more embarrassed at how bad my language skills are, haha! Learning to read music would be so neat, I’ve tried briefly in the past and is just something that I struggle with a lot. Best of luck to you with all of these! ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Annemieke says:

    Fingers crossed you can find your own place this year. So important. I used to be able to read basic) music sheets but I think I forgot most by now. It was during my high school years and I’m 33 now haha.


  4. LitCounsellor says:

    These are all great goals! I had to stop requesting books on Netgalley a couple of years ago. I just couldn’t keep up. Also, reading music is a wonderful goal. I used to play clarinet but haven’t in many many years and it’s one of those skills that I regret losing. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hundreds&Thousands says:

    Great list! I need to work on getting my TBR down (theres definitely some thatโ€™s been there for more than two year! Oops.) and good luck with getting your arcs down, I love the gif haha! Iโ€™d already done this prompt in another post so I had a go at my top ten favourite albums lol. You seem like youโ€™d have good taste in music, what are yours? Here are mine ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  6. dinipandareads says:

    Wonderful goals, Jess! I’m totally on the same page as you about slowing down the ‘request roll’ from Netgalley and also tackling more of the books that I already own (because the unread pile is getting a lottle too crazy these days)! I also had the goal to keep physically active this year because I’m such a lazy bean haha. Also, Historical European Martial Arts sounds amazing–I would seriously love to try something like that as it sounds so freaking cool! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Good luck tackling these goals this year. You got this!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tammy says:

    NetGalley is my nemesis too! I continue to request way too many books even with so many unread ones staring me in the face. Good luck with all your goals, I’d love to get into an exercise routine this year as well๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

  8. FangirlFlax says:

    I love how broad your goals are! That kind of diversity is definitely a balance that could help us all. Good luck with them all! (And if you do learn how to sword fight, please blog it, because I think that would be fascinating!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jaime says:

    I too need to stop requesting from NetGalley and read more books on my shelves! I also stopped buying books from Amazon last year (when I could) because I don’t like how they make you think their books are cheaper than bookstore prices when it’s not fair to indie bookstores at all. I also found a really great indie bookstore that isn’t too far away to order from online!

    I like that you included other goals that aren’t book related. I hope you get a chance to cosplay in the near future! I’d like to do more cosplay as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nikki @Night Full of Books says:

    Reading more of the books I own is a goal for me too, especially the ones I’ve owned since 2016. I genuinely hope you’ll be able to find a lovely little place to live! I know from experience that even though you love your parents very much, it can definitely be a challenge to move back in with them once you are used to living on your own. Wishing you the best of luck with all of these goals! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Greg says:

    I hope these all go well for you! And that you find a place that you are happy with. Wales does sound nice but so does north England. Here in the States many of us would move to England- or anywhere- lol to get away!

    I need to read more of my owned books too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good luck with your writing as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. RS says:

    I definitely relate to your kitchen/cooking goal. I just got married and this is the first time I’ve had a kitchen of my own, as opposed to sharing w/ parents or mostly-strangers roommates. Cooking is definitely intimidating, but pressure-free experimenting is also kinda fun. (Husband had never had his own kitchen either, so we’re learning together.) Been getting a lot of cookbooks from the library so I can pick out the ones worth investing in my own copy of.

    So cool that you got a keyboard — that sounds like it will be fun to practice with.

    Liked by 1 person

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