In my post reflecting on 2019, I mentioned that one of my intentions for the year was to find more time to read. I’ve always been an avid reader, but somewhere along the way I stopped making it a regular thing. In 2019 I made some significant changes to my lifestyle to make time for something I really love doing.
Life is hectic, I work full time, I’m studying for a Master’s degree, I run regularly, I have lots of pets to cuddle and there are only so many hours in a day. But by making changes, I found time to read.
It just goes to show that it is possible to make time for things you care about.
Here’s five things that have helped me.
1. Create a routine
They say we form a habit if we stick to something for at least 30 days. So make a routine of reading, and stick to it. I like to read during my lunch break and before I go to bed. I tend to go to bed at least an hour before I want to go to sleep, not only does it help me de-stress but it also helps me unwind and unplug before bedtime. These changes have worked for me and just like that I’ve found at least two hours a day to read. That’s two hours a day I used to spend mindlessly scrolling on my phone (it’s so easily done) that I now use for something I’m passionate about.
2. Carry your book wherever you go
Train journey, waiting room or even a really long queue. You just never know when you might have a spare moment with nothing to do, so I always carry my book with me to fill that time reading. If you don’t like to carry a physical book, read digitally on a Kindle or mobile phone. You can even sync the Kindle app to your mobile phone or tablet so you never lose your page. Personally, I like to use a mix of both. I find joy in being able to pass on a book I’ve enjoyed (also nothing beats the smell of a new paperback, or is it just me?) but I’m also a big fan of my Kindle as it’s super portable.
3. Set a goal..
Setting a goal really worked for me in 2019. I aimed for 50 and achieved 54 reads. Keeping myself accountable really helped to keep me motivated. Your goal needs to be right for you, if you never read, maybe set yourself a target of one a month or every other month. If it feels unattainable and unachievable it might have the opposite effect and put you off. You need a goal that is within reach, you’ll feel such a sense of accomplishment when you hit your target.
4. ..And track your progress
It goes without saying that there isn’t a whole lot of point setting a reading goal if you don’t track your progress against it. Personally I love to use Goodreads – I set my reading challenge for the year, and add every book I read without fail. I like to add my start and end dates so I can look back on when I specifically read a book and how long it took me. You could track your progress in your diary, make a list on your phone or add all of the books you’ve read to your Instagram account.
5. Read what you enjoy
If I set out to conquer all of the classics in 2019, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have read over 50 books. You don’t need to read a book simply because someone has recommended it or because you think it’s what you should be reading. Read for you and read for fun. I like to mix it up with a variety of genres and styles so I don’t get bored. If I come across any books I fancy reading, I add them to a ‘want to read’ list or take a screenshot. This year I’ve joined a book club to find some new reads.
Are you hoping to read more in 2020? How do you make more time to read?