October Goal Update

Again this post is super late as its over half way through November, but I really wanted to stay consistent and post this so that I can keep being accountable.

I’m going to admit that October I was not a great month for my goals, I was definitely getting more stressed out about the wedding, albeit not super stressed but definitely more so than usual.

I’m also definitely looking ahead to 2020 already when it comes to goals and what I want to achieve.

Here’s how my goals looked in October

  1. Read 45 Books
    Honestly I shouldn’t even have this listed as a goal anymore seeing as its my only real measurable goal and I’ve already surpassed it. I was sitting at around 77ish books in October, so will definitely be trying to challenge myself a little more in 2020.
  2. Drink 2L of water a day
    This one really depends on the day. Some days I am really good with it and some days I am really bad about it. I definitely want to try and end the year with a bit of consistency.
  3. Buy less books
    I was great with this in October I only got a couple of books in the mail that I had pre ordered. Hopefully I can keep it going.
  4. Hit my savings goal
    The wedding definitely took our savings backwards a bit but we are really working hard to get back on track.
  5. Built and follow a night routine
    This is the first one to go when I am even a little bit stressed. So it hasn’t been fantastic, however its also something that I’m not prioritising.

Overall: Could of been worse could of been better.

how are your 2019 goals going? Are you already looking to 2020?

2019 Reading Goals

After completing my Goodreads goal for 2018 early and continuing to add to it for the last couple of months I wanted to start looking ahead to 2019 and thinking about what bookish goals I could work towards in the year to come. 

I thought about it for a while and only came up with 3 big bookish goals I want to work toward next year.

First I want to try and buy less books in 2019 than I did in 2018. I don’t think this will be a hard goal. I bought so many book in 2018 that unless I get a bigger house I can’t actually buy a ton more books in 2019. I’m trying to stick to sequels or stand alones.

Secondly I want to lessen the gap between my read vs. unread books. The gap at the moment is substantial, but I am using this as motivation to increase my reading. Hopefully I can get the read books to be larger than the unread. 

My final reading based goal for 2019 is to read 45 books in 2019. I managed about 40 this year (at the present moment) so I think 45 is a pretty reasonable goal for next year, then hopefully in 2020 I can increase it again! 

Not to many reading goals since there are other goals I want to get to in 2019 so I didn’t want to go to heavy on the book related ones. 

What are some of your reading goals for 2019?

July Goal Update

It feels like its been ages since I posted a goal update – read accountable I know – but keeping to my goal of staying positive, better late than never right? So today is the day that I actually take account for how poorly I’ve done on my goals of late, however I am adding/editing some goals to align with me aims.

Lets dive in…

  1. Complete the A-Z reading Challenge 
    In July I finished ‘The Lost Hero’ by Rick Riordan. Which completed my ‘L’ book for the challenge. I did also read ‘Mythos’ by Stephen Fry, but I already have an ‘M’ book so I can’t add it.
    Chalking it up as a win!
  2. Post at least 3 times a week
    I managed to still post while I was in Greece. It wasn’t 3 times a week, but considering I was on holiday, thats ok. As soon as I got back I was in the swing of things and started posting in my usual schedule.
    Another win. 
  3. Exercise 3 days a week
    I’ve book pretty bad at this… I came back from Greece with a new goal and did not start off strong. So I am changing this goal to: Exercise 5 days a week. I want to really focus on my fitness and health, since in Greece I ate a lot of things that I definitely can’t.
    Fail this month.
  4. Read 30 books in 2018
    This has definitely a great goal, its really been keeping me motivated.
    Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 8.24.19 am
    I think this will be a goal that I’ll need to update this goal and add more books!
    Definite win. 
  5. Try a new recipe each week
    I tried a new recipe this week, although considering we were in Greece we did try a lot of different food. I think we will need to work on this one a little more.
    bit of a fail.
  6. Practise positivity and optimism
    This is a goal I am definitely finding tricky. I was positive and optimistic in Greece, but I feel like everyone would feel more positive soaking up the rays on a beautiful island! Now that I’m back home and in the depths of winter its been hard to stay positive. I think I need to set myself a daily reminder to make this goal more achievable.
    Fail for now. 
  7. Less technology and more reading before bed
    This is a goal that I am not even trying to achieve honestly, I don’t why its so hard for me to put down my phone and read at night!
    Fail.
  8. NEW GOAL: So a little fun fact – I got engaged recently (If anyone wants a post about how it all went down/ my experiences so far with planning a wedding let me know) 
    So I decided for the purpose of getting my health back on track and looking and feeling my best while I’m trying to organise an important event in my life. My goal is to focus on what I am putting in my body and work towards positively changing my eating habits to maintain being Gluten and dairy free.  

Of the 7 goals I was working on in July I achieved 3 and failed towards 4. Lets hope I can make more progress in August.

Chat with me NEW

what goals are you working towards in 2018?

 

 

Goal Update: April

April has come and gone in the blink of an eye and honestly I can’t even remember what happened during the month. So I don’t know how well I’ve done on achieving my goals throughout the month. Thank goodness I do these updates so I know where I am and how I’m tracking.

  1. Complete the A to Z reading challenge.
    In April I was able to finish 3 (the only 3 books I read this month) books that all went towards my A to Z challenge.
    I would say SUCCESS!
  2. Post at least 3 times a week.
    completely successful on this one! I have be really happy with my level of consistency here on Harper Grae.
    SUCCESS
  3. exercise 3 days a week.
    This goal I’ve gone backwards on. Some of it is due to the fact that my partner’s hours at work changed and he now gets home a lot later than he did before so we can’t go for walks in the afternoon anymore. BUT I know that its on me too, I can work out at home.
    So I think this month would have to be a FAIL
  4. Read 30 books in 2018
    According to Goodreads I’ve read 11 books which puts me 2 ahead of my goal of 30, I’ll take that as a win.
    SUCCESS
  5. Try one new recipe each week.
    I think we did a good job with this in April. We tried some new vegetarian dishes while we were fasting for Easter, We cooked calamari which we hadn’t done before, as well as a tofu curry. We’ve been pretty adventurous for food this month!
    SUCCESS
  6. Practice positivity  and optimism
    This might be more of a FAIL this month. I have been trying to be more optimistic and positive but have definitely been feeling fatigued from work and I haven’t been great at getting to bed early to help myself to keep a positive attitude.
    SUCCESS
  7. Less technology and more reading before bed. 
    FAIL again… I’m really not prioritising this goal… I should probably start.

This month was pretty good overall in terms of achieving my goals and working towards them. I’m thinking of including a table of successes and fails for each goal for each month.
Thoughts?

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How are you going with your goals for 2018?

My Book Depository Wishlist

I pretty much have an endless Wishlist of books I want to buy on my Book Depository account. It’s just sitting there, taunting me. I want to buy all of them – hence the name of my Wishlist being ‘To Buy’. In case I forget that I desperately want to purchase them.

I finally got a moment to go through that Wishlist and delete any books that I had ended up buying in store because I couldn’t wait or ones that I’d read some reviews on and decided they weren’t for me. Ultimately I didn’t cull that much, mostly because I’m broke from my January book buying surge.

From my Wishlist purge I’ve rediscovered some books I WISH I could have right now, but alas, my bank account will just not allow it. Instead I thought I’d so a post to highlight the books I’m most excited for from my Wishlist.

 

magicians‘The Magicians’ By Lev Grossman
(The Magicians Series)
A thrilling and original coming-of-age novel for adults about a young man practicing magic in the real world.
Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he’s still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.
He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. Something is missing, though. Magic doesn’t bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he dreamed it would. After graduation he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentin’s fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. His childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart.
At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, The Magicians boldly moves into uncharted literary territory, imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions. Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren’t black and white, love and sex aren’t simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.
 

falling kingdoms‘Falling Kingdoms’ By Morgan Rhodes
(The Falling Kingdom Series)
In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.
As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.
The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?
It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.
Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.
Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.
Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword.

wild beauty‘Wild Beauty’ By Anne-Marie McLemore
Love grows such strange things.
For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.
The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

beasts‘Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance’ By Ruth Emmie Lang
Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.
That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.
There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.

theif‘The Thief’ By Megan Whalen Turner
(The Queens Thief Series)
The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities. 
What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.

‘An Enchantment of Ravens’ By Margaret Rogerson
A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.
Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

bone‘The Bone Season’ By Samantha Shannon 
(The Bone Season Series)
The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.
It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

rosemarked‘Rosemarked’ By Livia Blackburne
(Rosemarked Series)
A healer who cannot be healed . . .
When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.
A soldier shattered by war . . .
Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.
Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.

crowns‘The Crowns of Croswald’ By D.E. Night
(The Croswald Series)
In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret… 
For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic––and her life––is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.

antigoddess‘Antigoddess’ By Kendare Blake
(Goddess War series)
Old Gods never die…
Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.
Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. 
These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning. 
Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out. 
Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.
The Goddess War is about to begin.

C1400929_1-1.pdf‘The Apprentice Witch’ By James Nicol
(Apprentice Witch Series)
Arianwyn has flunked her witch’s assessment: She’s doomed. Declared an apprentice and sent to the town of Lull in disgrace, she may never become a real witch– much to the glee of her arch-rival, Gimma.
But remote Lull is not as boring as it seems. Strange things are sighted in the woods, a dangerous infestation of hex creeps throughout the town, and a mysterious magical visitor arrives with his eye on her. 
With every spirit banished, creature helped, and spell cast, Arianwyn starts to get the hang of being a witch–even if she’s only an apprentice. But the worst still lies ahead. For a sinister darkness has begun to haunt her spells, and there may be much more at stake than just her pride . . . for Arianwyn and the entire land.

of fire‘Of Fire and Stars’ By Audrey Coulthurst
(Of Fire and Stars Series)
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

nevernight‘Nevernight’ By J. Kristoff 
(The Nevernight Chronicles)
In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.
Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.
Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

girl‘The Girl of Fire and Thorns’ By Rae Carson 
(Girl of Fire and Thorns Series)
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one. 
But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. 
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do.

The-Power‘The Power’ By Naomi Alderman
In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian kid who lounges around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power – they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.

 

2018: Yearly Goals

2018 is finally upon us! Its so cliche to say but man, 2017 went so fast. 2017 was a huge year for me, so many amazing things happened last year – see my 2017: A Recap post – so I feel that 2018 will only get better!

Without further ado, here are my goals for 2018:

  1. Complete the A to Z reading Challenge.
    I am super excited for this challenge. I have a huge TBR list and this challenge is definitely going to help me with choosing which books to read because really, I just want to read all of them right now.
  2. Post a minimum of once a week on Harper-grae.com.
    Last year I did not use my blog as much as I wanted too. I am giving myself a little bit of grace as I didn’t really choose the best time to start as I was about to start full time work and didn’t take into consideration just how exhausting that would be! So during 2018 I want to think ahead and have some post ideas ready to go.
  3. Exercise at least three days a week.
    I am for sure a person that doesn’t love exercise. Genuinely I really dislike feeling sweaty. I do want to try and go for a walk each afternoon/evening. Aside from that I plan to go for a swim once a week and ride my bike once a week.
  4. Read Thirty books in 2018.
    During the year I want to complete 30 books. I am trying to keep my goal more attainable as once I am back at work I will have less time to read. So I am hoping to complete the A to Z challenge plus a couple of extra books.
  5. Try at least one new recipe a week.
    Moving out has really made me appreciate how hard it is to think of something to cook for dinner every night! This year I want to be a little more adventurous with my recipes and try something different each week. Started this one off with a fresh recipe last night!
  6. Build a night routine with less technology. 
    Every night I have a habit of scrolling through my phone for no apparent reason. I just cannot help myself! So I’m setting the intention to read instead of pointlessly scrolling through Instagram.
  7. Practise positivity and optimism. 
    I feel that a lot of people set this intention over and over again (guilty!) to try and look on the positive side of things. Last year I found I was able to be more positive and complain less which was great but I did feel myself getting sucked into that anxiety blackhole every now and then. This year I want to focus on always looking on the positive side and not letting myself get overwhelmed and pulled into any type of negativity. I can’t help but think that the decision to look on the bright side and live positively is going to do nothing but good things for my physical and mental health as well as my relationships.
  8. GREECE 2018! 
    So this is less of a goal and more of an already planned kind of thing. This year our travel destination is GREECE! I could not be more excited. Not only is my parter Greek and I feel like its going to be great to really be immersed in the culture of his family and go to some places that his Yiayia (Grandma) always talks about; But I also LOVE Greek history and the idea of the greek gods and what they represent.

Even with just eight goals 2018 feels like its going to be pretty busy and positive! Let me know some of your 2018 goals, I always love to see what people are striving to achieve or work on!