It’s everyones favorite time of year—goal setting time! You know those New Year’s resolutions that last until your first Monday back at work? Now I’m the type of person that totally forgets about New Year’s resolutions until someone asks me what some of mine are, and then I usually spew out the typical response. But last year, I decided to go all out and set two goals: no more soda and finish 100 books.
Now I set the no soda one every year, but haven’t been able to keep it. In 2017 it lasted pretty well until I had 8 hr. and 14 hr. time changes (anyone that can function after those time changes without caffeine is my hero). But I did finish over 100 books this year! Here are a few ways that I used that can help you conquer your 2018 reading goal.
Set a goal
Go ahead and make that New Year’s resolution…. Goals are great—they give you something to work toward. “Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation.” Determine how many books you want to read this year or set a weekly page goal.
Don’t stop at setting your goal, track it! Make sure you stay on course. There’s a sense of fulfillment in tracking your goal. There are several different apps you can use to track your reading progress (Bookling, iReadItNow, Reco, Goodreads, etc.). I personally use Goodreads; it helps me keep on track with my yearly reading (it even lets me know if I’m ahead or behind). It’s also a great way to brag to the five friends I have on there—feel free to add me(ha)! The other great thing about using a website to track your goal is that making a public commitment helps keep you accountable (which who doesn’t need accountability with their New Year’s resolutions?).
Set aside uninterrupted time
Now that you have a goal, set apart uninterrupted time. This is something I recently started (although I don’t do it as often and as well as I should). We live in a world where it’s hard to get into a deep, meditative state. We’re constantly interrupted by text messages, calls, social media, and a myriad of other things. The more we allow ourselves to get interrupted, the harder it is to sit still and think—let alone read. Set apart a time once a day or week where you won’t be interrupted. Turn your devices off and just read. At first, you’ll want to be interrupted after 10 mins or so, but the more you do it, the easier it is to read, and the more you’ll enjoy reading.
Use wasted time
Now this is my favorite…. How much TV do you watch? And yes, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime count. How much time did you spend on social media today? I just got all you stalkers out there, didn’t I? I guarantee you have way more time to read than you realize. The average American watches 5 hours of TV a day and spends at least an hour a day on social media—and that’s just average, some of you you are over-average. So look at your day for wasted time, and read instead.
A great thing about our day and age is that you don’t have to take a hard copy with you, and yet you can have an entire library in your phone. There is probably some time during your day when you could read. Maybe at the doctor’s office, at your lunch break, in line somewhere, or before a meeting. When you’re looking for reading opportunities, you’ll be surprised how many there are. Whenever you have a free moment, break out your book (or phone) and read.
Another way to use wasted time is audiobooks! If you commute or have a job where you can listen to music, listen to audiobooks instead! They’re awesome because you can “read” during otherwise wasted time. I actually love audiobooks so much that I had to limit how many I listen to in a week (it was getting a bit out of hand).
Don’t Give up
Don’t look at your goal when you’re behind and just stop reading. Take it one book at a time, and just conquer your goal.