Let's face it, time is always in short supply, and they're just never seems to be enough of it. With this being said, we, as parents, employees, busy business professionals, and entrepreneurs, tend to cut corners whenever possible. In taking these shortcuts, we often neglect to do the things that make us happy. For one, reading is not just a leisurely activity for most people but also an escape and, more importantly, a way of learning new knowledge.
Six easy steps to begin reading more books
People usually avoid reading because they think it's too time-consuming or it's too much work when, in fact, reading can provide the answers to many of life's questions while at the same time providing a sense of relaxation and escape from our hectic lives.
Well, here are four easy steps to begin reading more books and why it's crucial.
Step 1: Setting a Goal...The Right Way
One of the most common mistakes people make when setting goals is having an outcome goal instead of an outcome behavior goal. An example of an outcome goal would be; I want to read more books next year, whereas an outcome behavior goal would be; from January 1st through December 31st, I will read at least one book per month. Set a goal for how much you would like to read each day. At least 15-30 minutes? Schedule time in your planner accordingly set reminders, and stick to it. How many books would you like to read per month? At least one book? Set a reminder in your planner or scheduler accordingly and stick with it.
You see, the main difference between these two goals is that with a result-based goal, you are leaving the outcome of whether or not you will achieve that goal up to chance, whereas with a behavior-based goal, there is no doubt in your mind that you will achieve it. You see, the only thing standing in between achieving (or not) a specific behavior-based goal is YOU!
Step 2: Stop making reading a chore.
Reading shouldn't be something you have to do; it's a delightful experience that we should all enjoy. But if reading is such a chore, then why would someone read? You might as well just watch t.v. (though I love my television shows), play video games (though I equally love video games) or surf the internet (though I appreciate the internet because it offers us a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips.) Reading is meant to be relaxing and entertaining. It is not meant to be a task like homework. Once you find a genre or author you absolutely love, it will become challenging to put the book down.
Step 3: Determine your interests and go from there.
Find new authors that write about the topics of interest to you. For instance, I love fantasy/adventure books. It is by far my absolute favorite genre. Young adult and children's literature are enjoyable reads for me. I know, I know, it's not the most sophisticated content. But I love the innocence and magical storytelling quality which these genres possess.
Step 4: Determine When And Where You Will Read
For example, I love reading at the beach or lying on the living room floor next to the fireplace. Sometimes I like to read in bed before I go to sleep. Other times, I'll just sit my butt down on the couch with a nice cup of tea and read. Wherever and whenever you connect to a particular place, that is a great place to read. Allot an hour of reading a day or a couple of times a week to yourself with no distractions. Find an area that is just you and your books without any t.v.'s, video games, or people making noise. Make your time enjoyable and relaxing.
Step 5: Get a list of the most popular/best-selling books:
When deciding on the book to read first, look at what is hot right now. What's everybody talking about? What are the popular book clubs in your reading? Look at the bestsellers list online, and if you have a local comic book store, see what their hot sellers are.
Step 6: Organize your goals.
Once you have completed this process and have made reading a fun activity, it's time to set up your goals. After following these steps, you're probably thinking something like, "this is all great, but how do I not forget about my goals on difficult days?" or "I know what books Im going to read! But when do I have time to read them?"
These are great questions, and the most straightforward answer is, all you need is a planner (or scheduler) and set reminders or dates/times to check on your progress. If you like writing in planners, then go right ahead. But if not, there are plenty of great online schedulers that let you customize your tasks, reminders, and completion dates. When you do this, it creates a visual reminder of your goals to keep yourself on track! Set up a reading schedule or time block and stick to it. Once you have set all these things up, you should begin seeing some progress with your reading goals!
To Sum Up
Reading has so many benefits; it's far too many to mention. For a long time, I placed my reading on the back burner. It wasn't until I began working for a children's publishing company Timeless Tales Press that I was propelled into reading more. This job reminded me of how much I missed and loved the written word.
Reading has helped me grow as a person, and it can help you too! You can begin making reading a fun, exciting, and worthwhile experience today. I hope you enjoyed reading my article and that it helped you reignite your passion for the written word. What are some ways you choose to remind yourself to read more? Please share below.
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