You’ve made a resolution to read more, but… there are kids to shuttle, endless work, dinner to cook, and, of course, The Bachelor to watch.
What to do?
Today, I’m sharing my favorite strategies, as I begin my fourth year with the same reading resolution: to finish 52 books in the calendar year. Having surpassed this total in each of the past three years, I can tell you that the resolution is totally a winner. There’s no downside except less bad television. Here’s how I get it done, even with my two children, full-time job, and all the other things.
1. Never Leave Home Without a Book
You never know when you might have a few free moments, and in those moments, you can knock out a page or two. You might even get “lucky” and have to wait ten or fifteen minutes before a meeting or appointment begins. So, the strategy of always carrying a book has the added bonus of reframing the annoyance of waiting – you’re happy to wait because you’re reading. The stolen-minute pages add up, and before you know it, you’ve finished something.
2. Watch Your Children’s Sports Sporadically
This will work better for some activities than others, but you’ll get the idea. I have one child who’s a hockey goalie. He splits time with another goalie, so there’ll be ten minutes at a time when he’s not on the ice. During the alternate shifts, I read. My older son is a defenseman, so it’s harder, but I still work it. I stole this strategy straight from my own mom, who’d look up from her book during softball games only when I was at bat.
3. Read Lots of Books at Once
If I have four books on the go, I love that I always have something that strikes my fancy. I especially like to keep a fast-and-fun title and an audiobook in the rotation. I’ll also have a heavier read, usually, and then something related to work. You’re not racking up numbers of finished books for awhile, but then all of a sudden, you finish four at once. That part feels amazing.
4. Embrace Audio
Audiobooks absolutely “count,” and they’re a busy person’s dream. You can continue reading while doing chores, driving, cooking dinner, and working out. Very often the quality of the narration elevates the reading experience, and you’re enjoying a performance in addition to adding a finished title to your list.
5. Use the Library Hold to Foster Urgency
There’s nothing like a bestseller arriving on the hold shelf to incite a quick finish. It’s due! Hurry! Finish it! This year, I’m ordering books to my local branch like a machine. I’ll be like #135 on the list. Then, when the book comes in, it feels like I’ve won the lottery, AND the clock is ticking on my finishing date. I think this one’s going to enhance my experience in 2017.
Ok! So, what’s your reading resolution, and how are you going to stick to it? Let’s do this!