How to Set Your Reading Goals for 2020
So you have decided that you want to start reading or maybe you were an avid reader before but life has taken over and you have not managed to read as much as you would like to.
It goes without saying, like any other activity you want to pursue in life, reading requires setting achievable goals and committing to achieving those goals. When I decided to start reading again, my final goals were that I was going to read 12 books in 2019. I just didn’t pluck that goal out of the sky of course but started off by asking these 5 questions:
5 Questions you need to ask yourself if you want to start reading good books :
1. What are my reading goals?
I like to think of goals as intentions. Intentions can be defined in a broad sense e.g
- I want to start reading books this year, or they can be as specific as you want them to be e.g
- I want to read 12 books this year and even going further say that you want to read 1 book each month.
You can start off with a broader intention but you must make sure that you take the time to be more specific about what you want to do in order for you to have more success and end up where you want to be.
2. Are my goals achievable?
So you want to read 12 books this year. Is this goal achievable with everything else that is going on in your life? Take a good look at your commitments that take up your time. Account for every hour in the day on paper and see where you can fit in your reading. You will be surprised at how much time you think you don’t have when you do that exercise. You can actually adjust your schedule or give up something that may be less valuable to you. When I was looking at my daily activities it made me realize that I was doing a little more for my young adult children than I needed to and that I could have less TV time if I recorded my favorite programs and caught up over the weekend. I actually managed to carve out at least 2-3 hrs a week for my reading.
3. How committed am I to these goals?
This may seem like a simple question, but it’s important to answer this question for yourself. Do you believe you can actually do this and will you actually pick up a book and read it? Your belief that you can actually do this will fuel your actions of following through with your plans.
4. What genre of books do I want to read?
I found this question exciting to explore. It involved taking time to really explore my feelings and emotions – what really moves me as a human being – and yes it is really that deep? Often we overlook our feelings and emotions and by doing that lose out on enjoying certain experiences we might actually benefit from, and we waste time doing things we don’t enjoy doing. What you enjoyed as a child may not necessarily be what you enjoy now. Sometimes those childhood joys mature and you have a more mature appreciation of your former joys.
The way I choose movies is probably the way I chose to approach this question. I am a woman much inclined to non-fiction and enjoy movies based on true stories. I have an inquisitive mind and like to know what drives people to be who they are. Therefore, I buy books from the non-fiction, historical fiction, memories, and autobiography genres.
Trust me you don’t want to spend money on books you are not going to read anyway. I would also suggest that you try free versions of different genres before spending your fortune.
5. Can I afford to buy books to read?
This question was easy because we keep a monthly budget and I knew that I had a decent amount of pounds to play with if I carried a packed lunch once or twice a week. I could at least buy a few new books and subsidize them with free books. There are many free books you can get online, but they are not always the latest books. So if you want to read more current titles you will need to spend a little on your books. You can also settle for scouting the charity shop front for dirt cheap books and you can sometimes pick up a few titles that maybe a year old.
Now you’ve gone through the questions and you have your goals all set, it's time to start reading inspiring books and live a life you love. If your goals are realistic and achievable, it will be easier to commit yourself to the task. It doesn’t matter if you will only read one book in 2 months. The idea is for you to read something and ensure that it fits in with your day to day, family and work life. You will succeed - I did!