As an only child, I adored reading. I made frequent trips to the public library and relished the process of selecting and then immersing myself in a book. I rarely read more than one book at a time, but read a lot.
Most of the above still holds true, except the ‘read a lot’ part. In other words, I still adore reading, but I do not read a lot.
I’ve been proclaiming for years that I want to make more time for reading. As compared to many of the other goals I have, this one is — presumably — easy to achieve.
Yet, I’ve been struggling with doing more reading. Not just lately, but for the past 20 (cough, cough) years.
On my way?
Recently, however, there’s been a small but significant shift in my reading habits. It was spurred by a coaching conversation with Dr. Caitlin Fass, strengthened by a passage in Pasricha’s book “The Happiness Equation”, and further encouraged by a podcast episode with Dr. Katie Linder about her favourite reads.
Fast forward to now and I’ve set a 5-month goal: 2 books per month for the next 5 months (February-June, inclusive; I tend to read more in the summer, so want to give myself the chance to recalibrate). The cycle is: non-fiction, fiction.
Why am I telling you this?
The reason I am telling you about my reading struggles, hopes, and shifts is for two reasons:
- To encourage you NOT to give up on your goals, even if you feel as is — so far– you’ve not made progress on them. I’m giving myself strict instructions not to use that (i.e., the fact that I’m still in the old habits) as evidence against myself.
- I recently heard that people who write down their goals are 36% more likely to achieve their goals. If, however, those same people write their goals and share them with someone and report their progress weekly, they are 77% more likely to achieve their goals (Source: Interview with Jay Papasan, author of The One Thing)
So, in the spirit of #1 and #2 above, I am:
- Using what I know about habits to do more reading.
- Establishing a reading goal and making it public: 2 books per month for the next 5 months (February-June inclusive). My daughter is my accountability buddy for now, but I have a hunch I might need someone else to report my weekly progress to.
7 secrets to reading more books (that don’t involve becoming a speed reader). A short post with practical tips to act on. (#2 has been the gamechanger for me: I no longer wait until bedtime to do my reading; now I do it in the early evening or late afternoon)
Goodreads. This weekend, I signed up for Goodreads and set a yearly goal. To help (?) with accountability and reduce my anonymity, I’ll connect with a few friends on that platform (and I welcome you to connect with me).
Do you, like me, crave reading more books? If so, I’d love to hear what’s been getting in your way and your thoughts on how to increase your reading.
If, on the other hand, you are content with the amount of reading you do, please let me know what strategies work for you!
Photo credit: (1) feature image from Pexels (2) Fantasy Book from https: //flic.kr/p/23LWbhd by Theo Crazzalara