When setting goals I like to be as free-flowing as I can, that is until it comes to reading. Last year I casually saw the Goodreads reading challenge and decided to try it out. I blew my measly goal out of the water. So in preparation for all of us reaching our reading goals, I want to talk strategy.
The Unspecified Goal
When setting your goal I would avoid phrasing it in terms of day or week goals. These, once missed, can make it even harder to pick up a book as you know you have already failed your ‘resolution’. Instead, turn that into a year number. This way you can play catch up if you have a rough week.
Build the Habit
In the end, the idea of reading a certain number of books isn’t the goal. You won’t ever be finished reading, There’s never going to be a day where you say ” oh, oops I just finished reading the last book in existence”. Instead, the real goal is to develop a habit of reading. So if you can, try to find a specific time of day to read during, have it fallow an activity you do every day such as getting home from work, eating breakfast, or brushing your teeth.
Avoiding Burnout with Topic Switching
I’ve already compiled a good list of books I want to read (no surprise there) but my strategy is to switch between fiction and nonfiction books every time I complete one. My list so far goes as follows:
A good audiobook for the commute? A physical book you leave in your bag for anytime your waiting in line?
A habit of reading before bed or when you wake up?
Switching from YouTube/Netflix time to reading time?
These are just a few of the places I’ve seen people add extra hours to their day. Identity a habit you resolved to break or do less of on January 1st and whenever you catch yourself doing it, go read instead.
The coziest spot in the house is one chair in the plant and cat sun room at the end of my apartment. It’s warm and quiet and relaxing and I may only sit there when reading or writing. It’s a great way to get my butt sat down to read.
Another way to get inspirered is to pick out your books ahead of time so you can get excited about them! Nothing will make you more eager to finish reading the book your on than knowing there is another great book to follow.
Alert: Don’t Force Yourself to Read a Book You Hate
There is nothing that will keep you from reading again like a really awful book that you tell yourself you have to read ‘for the goal’. You will never want to pick it up and often times won’t move onto another until you completely give up on it. If you aren’t enjoying it put it down. It will always be there for you to pick up again later if you are suddenly interested.
What books are you reading this year?