So as I mentioned earlier this month, each Sunday during September I am going to blog about my progress in the Unleash Your Story fundraiser for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation that I am participating in.
As you can see from the sidebar, I am doing really well when it comes to meeting my “Pages Read” goal and have even surprised myself. It helps that I am a fast reader and that I haven’t been able to sleep much this past week…LOL. If I can continue at this pace, I just might surpass my reading goal by quite a bit.
Meeting my fundraising goal is not going as well, but fundraising is definitely not my strong suit. I am extremely grateful to those who have donated so far and hope that more people can get involved and help support me in meeting my goal by donating by clicking on the image above or here.
Any amount helps and if you know of anyone else who might wish to donate and support my fundraising efforts, feel free to share the link!
In addition to blogging about my progress each week, I thought I’d also blog a little about some of my thoughts during this past week about things related to the fundraiser. And, just a warning, I might ramble a bit…sorry. I thought I’d use today to blog about reading-related goals.
I joined the fundraiser because I thought it would be fun and I figured that since I would be reading anyway, I might as well do it for a good cause. If you are participating as a reader, you set a goal for the month and have to keep up with the number of pages you read. As I sat down to tally up and write down the number of pages I read each day, I was reminded of read-a-thons from my past where I had to meet goals.
One of the events I thought of was from elementary school and involved reading for 600 minutes. Like with the Unleash Your Story fundraiser, you kept a record of your reading, only for the past event you kept track of what you read and for how long you read. At the end of the event if you completed the 600 minutes you got a ticket to the local amusement park. I loved doing this! Once again, I knew I’d be reading anyway so this just added to the fun. The only problem was that the sheet they gave you only had space for about 10 books. As I have mentioned, I am a fast reader, so as a little kid I usually had to read 2 or 3 times as many books as everyone else just to reach the 600-minute mark. My teachers usually knew which form was mine because I would staple extra pages to it, but I always got my ticket…heck, I probably could have gotten several tickets at once if they would have let me. This was fun for me because I knew it was an attainable goal.
Another event from elementary school also involved an incentive for reading. If you read a certain amount of books, you received a free pizza at the local pizza place. They eventually had to limit the number of pizzas you could get… *looks around innocently*
Thinking about all of this has made me realize the lengths schools and teachers went to to get kids to read. In my case, I didn’t need an incentive to read…and I still don’t. It was something I loved to do and I would have done it with or without the theme park tickets and pizzas, but I know for some kids that wasn’t the case…and it still isn’t.
This weekend I was talking with my nephew who is in 3rd grade and he told me that he has to read for 15 minutes each night. My response, “That’s all?!?” His response, “That’s a long time.” And I guess for a little kid in a world of 800+ cable channels, computer games, and video games, reading just doesn’t quite hold the same appeal it once did. I loved to read as a child because I got visit new places, meet new characters, and use my imagination. Today, all they have to do is turn on the TV or a video game to do that…but to me it is not quite the same. I think the problem my nephew has with the school reading is that it is REQUIRED of him…if he is reading by choice, he doesn’t drag his feet about it and he even asked me for books for his birthday.
Okay, so I know I rambled and got a bit sidetracked and you are probably wondering, “What’s this have to do with the Unleash Your Story fundraiser?” but I do have a point to my rambling…I think. Besides, the title of the blog is Jennifer’s Random Musings, you should expect a bit of rambling from me 😀 …and I did warn you!
Like these events from my past, the Unleash Your Story event is providing incentives for reaching reading, writing, and fundraising goals. For a brief insane moment, I was a little worried that having to keep a record of my pages and meet a specific goal might put too much pressure on me and take the fun out of reading for me as it has my nephew with his required reading…even though reaching my goal is not a requirement. I am not sure what I was thinking because it definitely hasn’t done that. Those familiar with my blog know that I already keep a record of how many books I read so this is not that much different. My only worry has been the fundraising goal…and I don’t see that worry going away before the end of this event…I just have to keep reminding myself that every little bit helps and it is for a good cause and it doesn’t matter if I meet my goal.
I know some of you have mentioned that you don’t like setting goals because you worry you might not reach them or that you’d rather not have to worry about reaching a specific goal…and I completely understand that. Goals or requirements can add pressure and some people don’t like pressure when it comes to something they do for enjoyment, like reading.
My question for you though is…well, I have several…have you ever had to set or meet a goal for something you enjoyed doing? Or did you ever participate in a fundraiser that encouraged you to meet a certain goal? A walk-a-thon? Read-a-thon? Dance-a-thon? If so, did having a goal take the fun out of it for you? Did you worry more about meeting the goal than you did about the reason behind the event?
I am doing my best not to do that last one there, but I hate not meeting my goals. It helps that the Unleash Your Story website has participants and others blogging about the event and the reason for it…Cystic Fibrosis. It has definitely added a bit of encouragement to see the progress of other participants and to see some of the faces of people dealing with CF. It has made me strive for my goals even more.
If you haven’t visited the website for the event, I encourage you to do so: http://www.unleashyourstory.com
And for those brave enough to have made it to the end of this long rambling post and answer my questions, I’ll draw a winner from the comments to win a surprise book and goodies from my prize stash…winner will be announced next Sunday when I blog about my fundraising progress again. 🙂
P.S. My apologies if none of this makes sense… 😦 I blame a lack of sleep. Hopefully, next week I won’t ramble so much.