If you’ve read my old blog posts about setting goals (here and here), you’ve probably heard me talk about vague goals. These are goals like “run more,” “eat less,” “read more,” or “become a nicer person.” You usually won’t get very far with these types of goals. Why? Because a goal is meant to be like a target, not an open field. You should be aiming for something specific. So, I’m starting a series that will address these common vague goals. Starting with “read more.”
I enjoy reading a lot. I like biographies, fantasy/mythical fiction, Christian non-fiction, and many secular non-fiction works (if you have reading suggestions, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org). But all too often, I go weeks or even a month without as much as picking up a book. Here’s what I do to fix those moments.
#1: Grab a Book
I’ll start with a very obvious one. If you don’t have a “current book,” it will be a lot harder for you to want to read, because your mind will notice the road block and try to go around it.
#2: Read Before Bed
Turn on a lamp, crack open a book, and read till your eyes start to close. This is one of my favorite things to do. Some argue that it will keep you from being able to sleep in your bed, but I find it to help me get to sleep a lot.
#3: Listen to Audio Books
Use a service like Audible or LibraVox (both are websites and apps) to listen to audio books. You can “read” a lot this way, while doing things like folding laundry, mowing the lawn, washing dishes, or going to and from work. (Note: LibraVox is free but only offers books that are in the public domain.)
#4: Read with Others
Read a book with another person. You can talk about it when you’re together, keep each other accountable to read the book, and get to know the other person better. Also, you don’t need to live near someone to read a book with them. You can email or text each other, too.
#5: Schedule Reading
Get out your calendar app, scroll to an open time, and schedule “reading time” for fifteen minutes. Sure, it’s not much time, but it will help you develop interest in a book so that later you will want to read it in some spare moments.
#6: Read While Waiting
Bring a book to doctor’s appointments, dentist appointments, car rides, or any other place you must wait for a period of time.
#7: Enjoy Reading
Half the battle of reading is to make yourself enjoy it. Some people don’t have any trouble with this, but if you do, then take some time to read in settings that will make you fonder of it.
#8: Read to Kids
Pull out an old children’s book you once loved and read it to your children or siblings. They will probably like it, it will be good for them, and you will read more!
#9: Start a Reading Streak or Challenge
Either (1) decide how many days you want to read in a row and challenge yourself to that number or (2) see how many days in a row you can read.
#10: Push Out Other Things
As is the case for most goals, in order to achieve it, you have to push out some other things. Do you waste a lot of time? Reduce the time wasted and replace it with reading. Do you have things going in your life that aren’t as important to you as reading? Cut them out of your life and start reading more.
I hope these suggestions help. I will see you next week with a post on “how to exercise more.”