What if I told you that you could read 50 books in 2017? Would you want to? At almost a book a week, most of us didn’t even hit that pace in our busiest semesters of school.
As 2016 comes to a close, one of the yearly goals I accomplished for the first time was reading 50 significant books. Lest you think I sat around reading all year, I also helped plan a wedding, got married, planned our honeymoon and moved across the country, all while working my full-time job. It was a busy year, and yet I was still able to read 50 books.
How did I do it?
Here are five things I think led to my success.
Step 1: Write Down Your Goal
We rarely hit goals we never set. There is something powerful about setting a goal and writing it down. Display your goal somewhere where you can review it every day. Consider sharing your goal with someone you care about. Set a goal you would actually be excited and proud to achieve.
Step 2: Start A Queue
Create a note with a working queue of books you want to read. I use Evernote for my lists. When someone mentions a book I might like to read, I write it in my queue. This helps me organize my priorities. I have several queues for different types of books I like to read (business, theology, marriage, fiction, etc.). From these queues, I have a master queue of the 5-10 top priorities. My lists are very flexible, which helps me plan what I’m going to read (or listen to) next.
Step 3: Cultivate Some Reading Habits
One of the habits that most helped me hit my goal was having consistent times when I would read every day. I set habits of reading for a half hour most mornings before my day started and listening to audiobooks on my daily commute to and from work. I was surprised how much reading I accomplished by just these two daily rhythms. Making small changes to your routine can have a big impact.
Step 4: Take Time Back With Audiobooks
I listened to as many books as I read this year. I downloaded books mostly from Audible.com, ChristianAudio.com, and the free OverDrive App. I listened to books while falling asleep, shopping, driving and waiting for anything and everything. Whenever I had free time, I listened to a book. This allowed me to take back a lot of time that would have otherwise been wasted.
Step 5: Use A Motivation Tool
My last tip for reading 50 books in a year is using a motivation tool. There are a lot of ways to track your progress that will keep you going. One of my favorites is the Strides App. It is an app on my phone that allows me to track several goals simultaneously. I can always see if I’m behind or ahead of my goals. It’s very motivating to record the progress you’re making and feel good about being one step closer to your goal. Find a tool for tracking your progress and force yourself to feel good about every little step you take towards your goal.
With these five steps helped me progress through my reading challenge, they can be applied to help you accomplish any other goals you are chasing in 2017. Make the new year a time to set a lofty goal you’ll be proud to accomplish.
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