This post is a non sports piece, yet I felt it was something I wanted to write about as I thought it might be interesting to others. This post concerns one of my primary New Year’s Resolutions (I think I made 20 total, but good luck to me to keep them all!) that I plan to keep: read from a printed medium everyday. I was inspired by a post I saw on reddit.com about someone who had done this for all of 2017 and said they had av very positive experience. Unfortunately, I did not save the link and could not find the post after some searching so I cannot link to it. Though the original piece is lost (to me), its message still resonates and has become one of my goals for 2018.
I have always loved reading and continue to love it to this day. I have some fond memories of going to the town library as a child where I would participate in the summer reading program there. It was also the same place where I would take out Greek mythology books when I was in high school. In school, I would always read every book we were assigned (except Pride and Prejudice…) , but once I got to college, I stopped reading beyond the mandatory text books. In fact, prior to this year, the way I typically read was pick up a book a few times a week for about three months. That three month period would then be followed by a six month hiatus from reading before I picked up a book again. There have even been times where I stopped in the middle of a book and as a result, it would take me forever to cross off the items on my reading list. The thing was I did not suddenly stop enjoying reading, I just stopped wanting to.
Back to the present (really, to about five months ago), I realized that I wanted to make reading a priority and have done just that. So far, I have stuck to my goal and have read (practically) everyday. However, in order to begin this personal challenge, I had to set some ground rules for myself. Let me share my framework with you with some additional thoughts on each rule.
- The medium I read could be anything as long it was of the printed variety. This includes magazines, books (kindle or hardcover), textbooks, and newspapers.
- It would still count even if even if I only read a few pages from an item. Sometimes life gets in the way no matter how hard you try. As a result, I did not want to discourage myself from completing this goal if I only had the opportunity to read briefly that day.
- I needed to keep a list of items to read. This was so that I would never be at a loss for what to read next. This was not a problem as I already had a reading list on a note in my phone, but I decided to take it much more seriously and add anything that was of interest to me.
- I wanted to be able to track my progress. This was probably the most important rule for me. Having to record if I read or not every day kept the goal in the forefront of my mind. I decided to use an excel sheet to track the following: if I read that day, what I read, and if I finished the item. I continue to update the sheet each day (I actually track many other activities/habits besides about myself on there as well which I may turn write about as another article, if I get around to it).
- If there is a day that for some reason I did not read, it was okay and I should just try again the next day. I needed this rule in place so that I did not falter from my goal once I missed a day. In total, I have missed approximately four days so which means I have already missed my goal for the year, but because of these rules I am not discouraged and continue to keep up with the reading.
I have found that by setting up this framework, I have made it very easy for me complete my daily goal. From what I have read and listened to with regards to personal achievement, the best way to complete a goal or build a habit is to break it into small realistic tasks you can accomplish daily. By picking up a printed medium to read everyday, I will end up (and have already done so) reading a lot more than if I just set out to read a few books for the entire year. As of right now, I have finished five books, many magazines, a few newspapers, and am currently in the middle of a sixth book.
Anyway, you might be thinking right now, what was the point of this post? Besides
humbly bragging about all the reading I have been doing this year, I wanted to share the interesting process I have undertaken. Before this year, I had always wanted to spend my time doing many different projects, but never really made any of them a priority. I finally have become tired of that and decided to make a change in my life to accomplish some of these projects (like this blog!). What I am doing is nothing special, this is something anyone (yes, even you) can do if they decide to do it. I am sure there is something in your life you want to accomplish, but have put off. I guarantee (note, I am in no position to guarantee anything to anyone) that if you follow the process I loosely outlined above, you will be well on your way to making progress on your own project. All it takes is a little IV Thought (Wow, that was really lame. I cannot believe I typed that, but I think I have to leave it in).
For real, if you have any more questions about my process or what I have been, or will be, reading this year, let me know in the comments below or on Twitter.
Original post on IVthoughts.com.