I achieved my goal for the year of reading 50 books and taking 50 hikes! Several people have asked me what my favorites were. I have difficulty choosing absolute favorites, but here are my favorites in several different categories.
Autobiography- Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel
For Kids/Teens- Wonder by RJ Palacio
Theology-Be Not Afraid by Samuel Wells
Self-Help- This is How by Augusten Burroughs
History- Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
Most scenic- Pinnacle Trail, Crowder’s Mountain State Park
Most convenient- Al Buehler Trail, Duke Forest
Favorite overall- Dunngan’s & Pea Creek Trails, Eno River
What I liked most about the goal was the way in which it pushed me outside of my normal routines, but left plenty of room for catch up to provide for weeks where I didn’t have time to read or hike. Unlike a goal that requires you to do something every day, this goal provided flexibility. I think the reason why I was successful at this year’s goal, and have failed miserably in some other, more stringent goals, is due in large part to that flexibility.
Another reason the goal seemed to work was because I wasn’t trying to change a habit or force myself to do something I didn’t really like to do. I genuinely enjoy hiking and reading, but chose the goal because I felt like I was having difficulty finding time to do those things. Having the goal gave me permission to prioritize them.
The sharing aspect of the goal was also key. I kept a running lists of books and hikes on this blog and periodically posted updates to Twitter, FaceBook, and Path.
Reflection on the year in general– This was a year of doing hard stuff. Of finding support and then stepping outside my comfort zone. Of trusting that there was more that was valuable in life than work/teaching, despite its still incredible importance in my life. Here’s to the New Year! And a new goal…