The New Year has finally arrived. With all the hype leading up to the last second of 2021, you likely felt that the New Year is going to be different—better. Once that second passed and the calendars turned to 2022, that feeling evaporated. Reality set in. Another year is just that: another year; however, that’s not an excuse to give up on your New Year’s commitments. One of the most popular resolutions is the commitment to read more, and Bookstr has your back!
Whether you want to read more in general or have set a fixed number of books to absorb in the next twelve months, you are going to need a strategy to ensure that you end this year satisfied. With that goal in mind, here are five ways to follow through on your New Year’s reading commitments.
Read Before Bed
During the Sanibel Island Writers’ Conference organized by Tom DeMarchi, author Benjamin Percy stated: “I end my day with reading. That’s my way of turning off. My brain always feels like a ball of twisting centipedes by the end of the day, so reading is the way I slip into sleep and into a more relaxed mode.” Though this advice is not uncommon, its implementation is what counts. It’ll take commitment and willpower to force yourself to ditch TikTok and Netflix for the sake of upholding your New Year’s commitment, but it is well worth it for the sake of expanding your reading portfolio.
Don’t Be A Reading Tyrant!
According to the popular BookTuber Daniel Greene in his video titled “How To Read MORE!” he stated: “Do not force yourself to read unless you have to, because you might ruin the enjoyment of it.” With this advice in mind, think of the mentality you have wrapped around your goal to read more this year. Is it something like: “I have to read all of these books” or is it more like: “I want to read and enjoy lots of awesome books?” If you have the former mindset, consider swapping. Nobody likes a tyrant (read any history book to see what happens to them).
You cannot be a tyrant to yourself and expect to be successful. It is no wonder so many people ditch their New Year’s commitments so early, reading or not. If your boss talked to you the way you talk to yourself, you’d probably quit (and with good reason)! So, stop structuring your New Year’s reading commitment around forcing yourself to hit a certain quota of books that you think you should read. Instead, make the process of achieving your goal as enjoyable as possible.
Set Reading Goals
There is a difference between being a tyrant and being a strategist. Though reading for pure enjoyment is great, as Daniel Green said, setting daily, weekly, and monthly goals for yourself will make the difference between your success and failure. Take the book that you are currently reading. You know how many pages you can comfortably read in an hour. Now, divide the number of pages by your hourly rate. If you dedicate one hour a day to reading, then that number, when rounded up, should be the initial goal you set yourself for completing that book.
As you read books, keep track of whether you hit your target dates. With each new book, push yourself; try reading five more pages each day and see if you can achieve that consistently. In Chris Fox’s book 5000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter, he argued that seeing your growth leads to increased motivation to grow. Just as with writing, if you are pushing yourself to read faster, then the cycle will repeat, and you will soon be blazing through books.
Read Books That You Think You Will Enjoy
Harkening back to strategy two, if you want to read a lot of books this year, you should make sure that you are enjoying what you read. Read books that you are excited by. Think back to your favorite genres, the books that have spoken to you throughout your life, and books that you believe will give you vital information to become your best self. If you are bored to even think of the book you are trying to read, then find a new one that piques your interest. You are not a public-school curriculum.
Join A Book Club
Accountability is a great thing: it’s the reason why you go to work every morning—you are being counted on by a team of people to do your part. Considering how accountability increases success, it should be applied with your reading. In today’s tech-driven world, there are several ways to connect with readers who share your literary interests. In lieu of the pandemic, there are virtual book clubs on social media platforms. It doesn’t matter how you connect, so long as you just do it.
A New Year can be cause for a new you. If you play your cards right and implement these strategies, you will hit your reading target in the next 12 months and have something to mention at your future New Year’s Party (hopefully, the pandemic is over by then). We at Bookstr believe in you.
Featured Image Via IMDB