How’s your book list for 2023 coming along?
We are a third of the way through the year, so ideally you’ve finished 1/3 of your reading goal. Have you made progress or abandoned your goal altogether?
I started January with a few books on my #TBRlist (to-be-read list) and have been adding as I go. But I did make a goal of reading at least 6 books this year. Why so low? Last year I only finished four books, so this was 50% more than in 2022.
I am happy to report that so far (as of May 7, 2023) I have finished reading nine books! I’ll admit that three of the books were started (but not finished) in either 2021 or 2022, but I don’t care. Done and dusted as they say in London’s Peloton studio.
As a self-proclaimed book blogger, why did I have such a pitiful showing in 2022?
Easy answer: I didn’t prioritize reading time.
This year, I did with two things:
- Having a book club to give me a book and hold me accountable to finish; and
- Making a clear daily reading goal with an easy way to track it.
Let’s look at why both tactics worked for me.
I’ve been in some sort of book club for more than a decade. But for the past two years, I have been terrible about finishing book club selections (about 50% completion rate). So my infrastructure has not changed, but my results have improved. Why? Because I have this PLUS my new daily reading habit.
Inspired by The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, I worked to build an early morning habit using the SAVERS system. The “R” in SAVERS stands for reading, which tells you to read ten pages of a physical book each morning. Sadly I have not made SAVERS a daily routine but I have adopted the reading portion.
So now I read at least ten pages each day.
My Habits app already tracks many of my daily habits and tasks, so I just added “Read 10 pages” to my daily habit list. So now I have a way to track my attempts to build this habit and even a reminder if I don’t get it done before bedtime. But the real results come from actually doing the reading.
It has been easier to carve out ten minutes to read than I thought it would be. Rather than sit on my phone during downtime, I’ll grab my book to knock out ten pages. Usually it’s a physical book, but if I’m stuck while running errands I’ll open an ebook. Would it be better if I did this every morning before my daughter woke up? Of course, then it’s routine. But baby steps for now.
Note: I do not count audiobooks for this habit. I did try Audible again, but more on that in a later blog post.
Doing all of this has only reinforced my love of reading. I had truly missed it. The test for me now is how I can apply what I read to improve my career, life, and happiness. And how convenient, because that little problem is exactly why I began the Built by Books blogs – to find ways to make the books we read actionable.
I look forward to reading more, and blogging more, this year. Stay tuned!