Posts tagged ‘reading plan’

Follow Seven Principles to Make a Dream Doable

I am reading this book, finally after decades of it being on my to-read list. … I followed seven ideas to make this a reality.

Do you have a dream that you are actively achieving? Or, is the dream still in hibernation mode?

I am a bucket list maker. I have dreams in quite a few areas, including theological, cooking, and reading. I have things I want to do during specific seasons as in Summer. On my birthday, I write what I want to accomplish that birth year. I have more ideas than one person could complete in a lifetime. However, I am finally in pursuit of one dream that seemed impossible. At least it seemed impossible according to my original guidelines.

I began to learn Spanish when I lived in Puerto Rico for most of my middle school years. One of my teachers thrilled us with episodes from Don Quixote de la Mancha, to the extent I decided I wanted to read the 1,000-page book in Spanish. Even though I’ve had years of Spanish since then, my grasp of the Spanish is not yet advanced enough to read this adult classic (in Spanish).

“Mom,” my daughter said, “just because you used to know a lot of Spanish doesn’t mean you’re a failure if you can’t read Don Quixote in Spanish now.”

This year, my 60th year, I decided to lay aside unrealistic expectations and make Don Quixote (DQ) the classic book I conquer. And to make this doable, I will read it in English. (In past years, I’ve read, in English, Anna Karenina, The Imitation of Christ, Moby Dick, and War and Peace, to name a few.)

For several months, I rummaged through thrift store shelves and garage sale piles for my very own copy of this classic, Don Quixote de la Mancha. I finally found a two-inch thick, paperback, in pristine shape for $1.99. I love a good deal, especially when buying things I don’t need.

And besides the bargain, I could check Step 1 off my list – Buy the book.

For Step 2, I cracked open the book to the Table of Contents to figure out a reading schedule. I became immediately daunted. Oh, no. This print is too small for me to read. ­

My daughter stepped in again, “Why don’t you go on Amazon and buy a large print edition?”

“Or,” I said, “I can get an e-copy, since I can control the print size on my Kindle.”

After an hour on Amazon, I still had not purchased an e-copy. There are at least 8 DQ versions for the Kindle. How do I pick the BEST version to read?  Too many choices are paralyzing.

I grabbed my ear buds and took a walk to clear my head. When I walk, I frequently listen to an audio book or podcast. After 30 minutes, I put away my headphones and house key. I wondered, Is there an Audible English version of DQ? I opened Audible on my phone to check. Yes, there was an English book. Without any more research, I clicked on this first entry and bought it.

I am now on chapter 72 of 126 chapters. I listen almost every day while I get in my daily steps. I am proud that I am finally tackling a long time dream because I modified it to fit my current lifestyle and skills.

Principles I learned from this process.

  1. Choose a dream.
  2. Make a list of steps from beginning to completion.
  3. Identify expectations and remove the unrealistic ones.
  4. Brainstorm (by yourself or with someone else) actions to achieve the steps.
  5. Do necessary research. But don’t give yourself too many choices.
  6. Choose a path that is doable for this stage of life. Realize that for most goals, there is no BEST path to achievement.
  7. Start the process TODAY.

Your Turn . . . What is a longtime dream you’ve had, but keep pushing out of sight? Is there some way you can adjust it to fit your current lifestyle and skills? 

Let us know in the comments. And we can cheer each other on as we make our impossible dreams possible.

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I Read 87 Books in 2015

My goal is to read and reread all the books I own. Then I will purge the shelves.

My goal is to read and reread all the books I own. Then I will purge the shelves.

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 . . .

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.

  1. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (audio)
  3. A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz
  4. A Light in the Window (book 2) by Jan Karon
  5. A Man of Grit and Grace: Paul by Charles Swindoll
  6. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  7. A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
  8. An Acceptable Time by Madeline L’Engle
  9. An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louise May Alcott
  10. At Home in Mitford (book 1) by Jan Karon
  11. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  12. Choosing Gratitude: Learning to Love the Life you Have by James A Autry
  13. Christmas Day in the Morning By Pearl S Buck
  14. Dawn’s Light by Terri Blackstock
  15. Emma by Jane Austen
  16. Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World by Douglas Wood
  17. Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day by Sam Bennett and Keegan-Michael Key
  18. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  19. Heart of Darkness by Joseph ConraD
  20. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  21. I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam
  22. I’m Glad I’m a Mom: Inspirational Stories of Love, Laughter, and Everyday Life by Hearts at Home
  23. Inspiration Sandwich by SARK
  24. Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
  25. Laddie; a true blue story, by Gene Stratton Porter
  26. Last Light by Terri Blackstock
  27. Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent
  28. Let Magic Happen: Adventures in Healing with a Holistic Radiologist by Larry Burk
  29. Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant
  30. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  31. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  32. Miss Julia Lays Down the Law by Ann B. Ross
  33. MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche
  34. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
  35. Night by Elie Wiesel
  36. Night Light by Terri Blackstock
  37. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  38. On The Outside Looking Indian by Rupinder Gill
  39. One Thousand White Women: The Journals of Mary Todd by Jim Fergus
  40. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  41. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
  42. Prayer: Life’s Limitless Reach by Jack R Taylor
  43. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  44. R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
  45. Seasons in Rome: on twins, insomnia, and the biggest funeral in the history of the world by Anthony Doer
  46. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  47. Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon
  48. Skipping Christmas: A Novel by John Grisham
  49. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  50. Still Life by Louise Penny
  51. The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion: A Novel by Fannie Flagg
  52. The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance by John Trent & Gary Smalley
  53. The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
  54. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
  55. 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
  56. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  57. The Great Divorce by CS Lewis
  58. The History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein
  59. The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnson
  60. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
  61. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
  62. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
  63. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  64. The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
  65. The Pursuit of God Paperback by A. W. Tozer
  66. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
  67. The Registry (Book 1/3) by Shannon Stoker
  68. The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
  69. The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen
  70. The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge
  71. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  72. The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope
  73. The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Grove at Home and Work by Christine Carter
  74. The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction by Henry James
  75. The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill
  76. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  77. Thrush Green by Miss Read
  78. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
  79. Too Busy Not To Pray by Bill Hybels
  80. True Light by Terri Blackstock
  81. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
  82. Walking the Road to Bethlehem: Your Journey to Christmas by Adam Hamilton
  83. We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson
  84. What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
  85. Wide My World Narrow My Bed: Living & Loving the Single Life By Luci Swindoll
  86. Writing is My Drink by Theo Pauline Nestor
  87. Zero Belly Diet: Lose Up to 16 lbs. in 14 Days! By David Zinczenko

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60 Acts of Kindness, Intentional & Random to do my 60th year

The Finish DateMarch 1st, 2019
4 months to go.

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