A 2018 New Year’s Resolution

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.





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