Posts filed under ‘goals’
Are you competitive?
I am. I am even competitive in my reading. Therefore reading challenges spur me on to read more consistently. Last year my goal was to read 57 books.
Did I make that goal? YES! And I did so with 30 books to spare!!!
This year, (starting in my birth month) I want to read 58 books. I will use various “techniques” to get there. One such technique is using BINGO.
In past years I have used other people’s BINGO lists. This year I came up with one of my own. I picked categories because I like to read a bunch of books from the same author, from a series, etc. In other words, I LIKE to batch read from categories.
Below are the 5 categories I finally settled on
- 5 Books by the Author Charles Dickens
- 5 Books I’ve Never Finished
- 5 Books from the Gilmore Girls Books List
- 5 Books from the The Mitford Series by Jan Karon
- 5 Books That Have Been Recommended
- . My list of books is at the very end of this post.
You can go here to fill out and then print your own BINGO Reading List card.
Each time I make a BINGO, I will allow myself a treat. As I am not so good in the reward department, I am not sure what that will be. I would like it to be book related.
- I don’t want to buy another book as there are TONS of choices on my Kindle and bookshelves and from the library.
- Maybe read a book not ON THE LIST?
- Give me some ideas, please!
- And when I get a BLACKOUT, at that time I will BUY a book from my Amazon Wish List. I have hundreds to choose from. Seriously.
Your Turn . . .
- Are you competitive – even in reading?
- Do you ever do BINGO Reading Challenges? Why? And how do you reward yourself for completing a BINGO? A blackout?
- Have you ever made up your own BINGO list? If yes, how about linking it?
- If you were to design one similar to mine, what categories would you include?
- How many of the books on my list have you already read? The list is at the end of this post.
- It would be so fun if you’d read along with me. Let me know if you decide to.
Related Posts . . .
- Classic Book Reading Plan for 2015
- 10 Read Aloud Questions & Answers
- 13 Benefits of Reading
- Finding Laughter: What Does Norman Cousin’s Laughter (and book) Have to Do With Me?
- How Good Books Aid in a Child’s Growth
- I Read 87 Books in 2015
- Top Ten Books I Read in 2015
- Using an X-ACTO to Make a Kindle Cover from a Hardback Book
Below are the books in each category. Of course I reserve the right to make changes at any time!
5 Dickens Books
- Oliver Twist
- The Old Curiosity Shop
- Our Mutual Friend
- David Copperfield
- The Pickwick Papers
5 Unfinished Books
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
- Simply Christian by NT Wright
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis Unmapped Darkness by Thomas Finch 5 Gilmore Girls Books S is for Silence by Sue Grafton Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt Elle Minnow Pea by Atonement by Ian McEwan Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
5 Mitford Books These High, Green Hills Out to Canaan A New Song A Common Life: the Wedding Story
n This Mountain 5 Recommended Books The Passage by Justin Cronin (Barb) Chocolate Snowman Murders by Joanna Carl The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (Elizabeth) Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr The Lost Island by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (book 3/4)
One of my goals for my 57th year of life, was to read 57 books. To help me accomplish that goal I signed up for reading challenges. I am competitive and I even like to compete against myself!
I signed up for the following challenges . . .
- . . . Austen in August Reading Challenge. I read all her majour works.
- . . . #write31days where Finding Laughter was my topic. I read a bunch of books on this topic.
- . . . Back to the Classics Challenge. I read books from 10/12 categories.
- . . . Reading to Know Classics Book Club. I only read 6/12 of their suggestions.
The rest of the titles I read came from recommendations, gifts, and from my bookshelves.
I met my challenge of 57 books and raised it by 30!!!
Your Turn . . .
- Did you make a reading goal for 2015? Did you meet it?
- How do you motivate yourself to read?
- What are some books you’d recommend that I read?
- Have you read all 87 books on my list?
Below is the list of books I read in 2015.
- 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (audio)
- A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz
- A Light in the Window (book 2) by Jan Karon
- A Man of Grit and Grace: Paul by Charles Swindoll
- A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
- A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
- An Acceptable Time by Madeline L’Engle
- An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louise May Alcott
- At Home in Mitford (book 1) by Jan Karon
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Choosing Gratitude: Learning to Love the Life you Have by James A Autry
- Christmas Day in the Morning By Pearl S Buck
- Dawn’s Light by Terri Blackstock
- Emma by Jane Austen
- Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World by Douglas Wood
- Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day by Sam Bennett and Keegan-Michael Key
- Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph ConraD
- I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
- I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam
- I’m Glad I’m a Mom: Inspirational Stories of Love, Laughter, and Everyday Life by Hearts at Home
- Inspiration Sandwich by SARK
- Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
- Laddie; a true blue story, by Gene Stratton Porter
- Last Light by Terri Blackstock
- Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent
- Let Magic Happen: Adventures in Healing with a Holistic Radiologist by Larry Burk
- Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant
- Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
- Miss Julia Lays Down the Law by Ann B. Ross
- MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche
- Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
- Night by Elie Wiesel
- Night Light by Terri Blackstock
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
- On The Outside Looking Indian by Rupinder Gill
- One Thousand White Women: The Journals of Mary Todd by Jim Fergus
- Persuasion by Jane Austen
- Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
- Prayer: Life’s Limitless Reach by Jack R Taylor
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
- Seasons in Rome: on twins, insomnia, and the biggest funeral in the history of the world by Anthony Doer
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
- Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon
- Skipping Christmas: A Novel by John Grisham
- Still Alice by Lisa Genova
- Still Life by Louise Penny
- The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion: A Novel by Fannie Flagg
- The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance by John Trent & Gary Smalley
- The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
- The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by
- The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds by Rip Esselstyn
- The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
- The Great Divorce by CS Lewis
- The History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein
- The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnson
- The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
- The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
- The Pursuit of God Paperback by A. W. Tozer
- The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
- The Registry (Book 1/3) by Shannon Stoker
- The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
- The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen
- The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge
- The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
- The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope
- The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Grove at Home and Work by Christine Carter
- The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction by Henry James
- The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill
- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
- Thrush Green by Miss Read
- Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
- Too Busy Not To Pray by Bill Hybels
- True Light by Terri Blackstock
- Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
- Walking the Road to Bethlehem: Your Journey to Christmas by Adam Hamilton
- We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson
- What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
- Wide My World Narrow My Bed: Living & Loving the Single Life By Luci Swindoll
- Writing is My Drink by Theo Pauline Nestor
- Zero Belly Diet: Lose Up to 16 lbs. in 14 Days! By David Zinczenko
Healthy laughter, especially regular and copious amounts of laughter, requires a cheerful heart. This book, I’d Rather Be Laughing: Finding Cheer in Every Circumstance by Marilyn Meberg, tells how to develop a cheerful heart.
I will list some of the points that Meberg makes about establishing a foundation of cheer. Be sure to read the book in order to get the back-stories and all of her ideas.
Recognize Life Is Not Meant To Be Perfect
“Of course we all know nothing is perfect-don’t we? Yet why do we continue to feel restless and on a quest for perfection? What makes us think it is attainable? And how can we find cheer when we’re muddling about looking for perfection?” ~ Marilyn Meberg
We look for this perfection in our marriages, children, and in fact in all relationships. We look for perfection in the service industry, in those we deal with at work (whether a co-worker, boss, client, or assistant). We look for perfection in ourselves: how we look, talk, and perform in all areas of life. We look for perfection from our machinery: cars, air conditioners, computers, and this list goes on and on. And when perfection is not attained we get depressed, angry, GROUCHY or feel picked upon.
But anyone can . . .
Develop A Habit Of Cheerfulness
By developing the HABIT of cheerfulness, we can live with an ATTITUDE of cheerfulness. We acquire certain behavior patterns [aka habits] by frequent repetition.” These frequent repetitions of behavior affect our thinking and feeling.  What do we need to repeat and repeat? Two things: what we think and recalling the past.
Make A Choice On How To Think
Our attitude is directly impacted by what we think. Taking a cue from Philippians 4:8, let’s think on these things throughout our days.
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” (Philippians 4:8, MSG)
Until I read this version of the verse (The Message) I would have said I was fine, that I have gracious thoughts and words. But this past weekend I was complaining (cursing really but without bad words) about service that we received at a famous coffee shop. I really do want to concentrate more on praising and stop with the complaining.
So I want to CHOOSE to think upon the “true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
Bring Up The Past
“I am convinced that one of life’s most easily accessible sources of cheer is to remember some of the off-the-wall, crazy things that happen to us. . . The original cheerful feeling will always remain attached to that memory. . . . Seeing and reliving those good memories can give me a giggle as well as a break from the circumstances that threaten to overwhelm me during a difficult time.” ~ Marilyn Meberg
I have already started a laughter journal because of this #write31days commitment. I am writing down things that made me laugh from my childhood, but that has been HARD to remember that far back. I think I need to include more current things like I did laugh at Retreat a LOT:
- A bathroom conversation where Bip misunderstood what I said
- Mary told stories that were startling and so were FUNNY
- Seeing LaRee so excited about singing Jabba the Hut
These are just a few things that will go into my journal. It is true, thinking about them now gives me a giggle.
There are more points from this book. I will share a couple more in a future post. But you’ll have to read the book to really know them. This book is WORTH the read.
Your Turn . . . Do you already have the habit of cheerfulness? . . . . Did you know another way we can develop this cheerful habit is by “indulging” in more fun. What do you do at home, work, or in the neighborhood that fosters the atmosphere of fun? I NEED ideas.
I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.
Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.
Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.
Fall starts this year September 23 and ends December 21. I haven’t done a Fall Bucket List in a while and so I am going to do one this year. This time I am going to put most of my list into one of the months. Maybe that way, I will get more done.
Why do I write Bucket Lists? I want to live more intentionally . . I want to spend more FUN time with friends and family. And sometimes my experiences take me out of my comfort zone which always cause me to grow!
- Watch a movie with friends. I will watch Les Mis with the PEP group from church. This movie is part of our 5th Tuesday Movie Night series.
- Fall Drink – Have a pumpkin spiced latte with a friend. Or make this one at home.
- Decorate – Put up one Fall decoration in my home or office. I normally only decorate for Christmas. But I am trying something new this year. Maybe this burlap wreath? This felt flower wreath is also cute.
- Create – Make Bed Treats for Women’s Retreat. I will do this with the Women’s Ministry team.
- Read – As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
UPDATE – – – Fall Bucket List Update – September 2015
- Plan my weekend with Sofia. Her parents are gone one weekend and I get to have her.
- Autumn Field Trip. See if anyone wants to go to a corn maze, cemetery tour, or pumpkin patch with me.
- Refresh – Go to Women’s Retreat at Zephyr Point
- Create – a pumpkin masterpiece (carve, paint, glitter, or use stickers for a subway art pumpkin). Maybe create this sunflower mural with our Sunday School classes.
- Watch a movie with friends: He Named Me Malala. Here is the Official Trailer. This will be advertised as a women’s event for our church. Have you read the book?
- Read – a scary book: The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fictionby Henry James or The ghost stories of Edith Wharton. Here is a list of more scary books. Have you read any of these?
- Participate in Nester’s 31 Days of Writing. I am studying and writing about laughter. There are 100’s who do this every year. Why don’t you join us?
UPDATE – – – Fall Bucket List 2015 Update – October
- Read – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens before seeing the play.
- Field Trip – Go see A Christmas Carol: The Musical with the PEP group at Folsom Lake College.
- Another Bucket List – Write a Thanksgiving Bucket List and do at least a few of the items.
- Celebrate Thanksgiving in a new way – We probably won’t be going to the beach this year
- Make grown up Advent calendar. See this online Advent calendar. Here is an advent chain to make. Advent November 29 (ends December 24).
- Donate something extra. Operation Christmas Child is always something I do. Here are some posts about Operation Christmas Child . . . Everyone Can Help One Child . . . Grateful I am Able to Help . . . I Help Because I am a Parent, Auntie, and Missionary . . . Love in a Box . . . My Plan to Collect 55 OCC Boxes
UPDATE – – – Fall Bucket List Update – November
- Celebrate advent some more. Pick one/more of the following: wear purple, make a wreath, read an advent devotional, Read this. Or read this. This site has Advent ideas.
- Make snowman Christmas ornaments. I do this yearly with my nieces and daughter. Here are some past examples. Snowman Ornaments Made of Foam & Some Made with Eyeglasses . . . From Eyeglasses to Snowman Ornament (tutorial) . . . 4 Types of Home-Made Ornaments Using Decoupage, Dough, Clay, & Fabric
- Watch a movie with friends: The 33. Here is a trailer.
- More movies. I LOVE watching Christmas movies. Before Christmas, I want to watch 4 of them. Here are some posts I written about them. 3 Reasons to Watch Christmas Movies . . . Christmas Movies I Watched in 2011 . . . A Charlie Brown Christmas Quiz . . . The Nativity Filled Our Time and Minds
UPDATE – – –
- Write in notebook daily.
- Write at least 3 letters of gratitude.
- Read one book on gratitude: Living life as a thank you : the transformative power of daily gratitude by Nina Lesowitz
- Memorize 2 hymns
- Take gratitude photos (at least 7)
- Try 2 new pumpkin recipes. Pumpkin toffee tarts, anyone? Here is a pumpkin spice latte recipe. And here are 50 pumpkin recipes. Here are 45 paleo pumpkin recipes.
- Try 2 new apple recipes
- Make my first ever cake roll
- Make pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats
- Try 2 new soup recipes. How about this mushroom cheeseburger soup?
READ (at least 3 of these)
- Night (Elie Wiesel)
- The Godly Grandparent (Dennis Ellingson)
- War and Peace (
- The Imitation of Christ (Thomas a Kempis)
- 1984 (George Orwell)
- The Sherwood Ring (Elizabeth Marie Pope)
- Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales.
- The Magicians Nephew (CS Lewis)
- A Journal of the Plague Year (Daniel Defoe)
Your Turn . . . What things would you put on your Fall Bucket list? . . . Will you do any of the above mentioned things these next 3 months? . . . What is something I could do this Fall that would take me out of my comfort zone?
Related Posts . . .
- Fall Bucket List 2011 (Fruitful Words)
- Fall Bucket List 2012 (Fruitful Words)
- Bucket List Index (Fruitful Words)
- 56 Ideas For Your Fall Bucket List (Marelisa Fabrega from Daring to Live Fully)
“However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts,” John Calvin. This week is FULL of blessings that exceeded my expectations. Here are 5 of them.
ONE. Unexpected meeting with a long time friend. Elizabeth and I were shopping for some last minute things for a potluck at church the next day. Then we happily came across Mary!
Mary was a dear friend of my mom’s. And we have many memories of these two. Mary and I made plans to meet up soon so she could share some more memories of my mom. I am soooo glad to have this updated photo of the 3 of us together.
Your Turn . . . Do you have a friend who has (some untold) memories of a dear departed family member? Mary is one such person for us. I want to journal what she tells me so I can include this information in our family history.
TWO. Birthday lunch group.
This time we celebrated Marsha. The birthday girl gets to pick the spot. We went to a restaurant that specializes in comfort foods: Dad’s Kitchen.
Marsha and Gillian are foodies and slowly I am learning a thing or two because of their conversation, time spent cooking with them, and because of some of the places we have visited.
Your Turn . . . Do you participate in a lunch group (birthday or otherwise)? If yes, why do y’all meet up? Are you a foodie?
THREE. Sealed our memory can.
You could also call this memory can a time capsule. Completing a time capsule is something I had on my Birthday Bucket List for this year.
We brainstormed some questions that we’d love to know the answers to in three years. (I will be 60 in 3 years.)
- Prices of things
- Highs and lows of 2015 (so far)
- Books read and projects completed in 2015 (so far)
- Memorable photos
Your Turn . . . Have you ever made a memory can or time capsule? If yes, why and have you opened it yet? If you haven’t, is it a temptation to do so? Why or why not?
Next year my daughter and I wil do another one which we will open in 4 years because she will be 35 then. And I am hoping to get my son and his family involved in this. I can see myself becoming addicted to this activity!
FOUR. Successful drop off and pick up at Yosemite.
Despite traffic congestion due to roadwork, Elizabeth (my daughter) made it to her orientation. After filling out paperwork and having a uniform fitting, I helped her move into temporary housing.
Elizabeth is now working at Tuolomne Meadows (TM) in Yosemite National Park. TM is the largest sub-alpine meadow system in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Ken and Sydney started at 8,600 feet and ended at 3,900 feet. We talked about us meeting (in the Valley) so that I had a place to stay for the night, I didn’t have to drive up the mountains (I was afraid it would be scary like Hwy 1), and so that they’d have a ride back up the mountains. Although we didn’t have a set meet up point or time (in Yosemite Valley), it worked out perfectly.
I KNOW that God helped us in this as we “just happened” to see each other at the same time. And it was crazy busy there; in fact I was told this year Yosemite has had record-setting visitations. So it still amazes me whenever I think about how “easy” it was to find each other without pre-arranged plans.
Your Turn . . . Share a recent miracle that you’ve witnessed.
FIVE. Common food in an unusual way. Ken is a master of baking in a dutch oven, DELISH biscuits and blueberry muffins were on offer. Add some butter and red raspberry jam and you have my version of ambrosia.
Outdoor cooking always seems to taste so much better. Even the humble hot dog or scrambled eggs taste so much better cooked on a grill.
Your Turn . . . Have you ever used a dutch oven? Do you have a favourite camping food?
Or leave a comment below sharing a blessing you had this past week.
Bucket Lists were made popular with the movie, The Bucket List. In it two terminally ill men write out a list of things to accomplish or experience before they die.
There are many websites devoted to bucket lists and the completing of them (like Daring to Live Fully). Do you have a bucket list? I have made several. I typically break mine down into categories according to season or interest. Here is my Bucket List Index.
Below is a tongue-in-cheek list of what the Apostle Paul might have written.
I got the list by looking at his life. I looked at the interesting and noteworthy things he accomplished. Then I put the various events on the list. I made what is known as a reverse or backwards Bucket List.
It is certain that Paul accomplished 30 out of 32 of these items. Read the books of Acts and Corinthians for some of Paul’s biographical details. After some of the items, I put what he did in parentheses.
- Study with a noted Rabbi (Gamaliel)
- Become a lawyer
- Become a Pharisee
- Be multi-lingual (Hebrew, Greek, Latin)
- Understand Epicurean and Stoic philosophy
- Learn a trade (tent making)
- Conquer anger problem
- Visit Rome
- Have a meaningful spiritual experience
- Recover from blindness
- Change first name
- Get baptized
- Become an apostle
- Go on a 3 year desert sabbatical
- Preach in a synagogue that Jesus is the Son of God and Messiah
- Be able to show how Old Testament prophecy and covenants were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
- Sail on a ship (many trips but unfortunately shipwrecked 3 times)
- Speak to a large crowd (multiple times)
- Speak to a large crowd in a prime location (Mars Hills)
- Learn to be content
- Take a ride in a fish basket
- Disciple a young preacher (Timothy)
- Write a meaningful body of work (wrote almost half of New Testament)
- Be a published author
- Accept my thorn in the flesh
- Collect money for a good cause (famine relief )
- Plant a church (several in Asian Minor and Europe)
- Preach to Gentiles (multiple times)
- Meet the Emperor of Rome (Nero)
- Share the Good News of Christ with a King and Queen (Agrippa and Bernice)
- Become a missionary
- Go on a missionary trip (3 in all)
- Be part of a prison ministry
- Be a majour influence in the early church
- Conquer Insomnia (not sure if this ever happened)
Your Turn . . .
- Share if any of the items on this list is a surprise to you. What would you add to the list?
- After reading this list, has your opinion of the Apostle Paul changed?
- Have you ever written a backwards bucket list? I haven’t – yet! Go here to read one person’s experience with this type of assignment.
- Write your own backwards bucket list. Share it with us and also share your experience. I will share mine on my birthday in March and list 57 things.
- Paul Was Normal, Like Us by Charles R. Swindoll at Insight for Living
- 5 Tips for Writing a Reverse Bucket List (Women’s Adventure)
- My Reverse Bucket List (Happy Fit Mama)
- Reverse Bucket List: Look Back Before Looking Forward (Wisebread)
- Use a Reverse Bucket List to Get Motivated (Tangerine Turtle)
Ideas for your own list. Have a look at the following links and copy down the things you’ve done for a reverse list. Or write down things you’d like to do in the future.
- 6 Bucket List Ideas for Women
- 543 Bucket List Ideas (No More Excuses)
- 1000 Bucket List Ideas (Below Zero to Hero)
- 1,250 Ideas for Your Bucket List (Dragos Roua)