When trouble strikes, head to the library. You will either be able to solve the problem, or simply have something to read as the world crashes down on you. – unknown
I had chosen the headline and content for this BLOG post long before the current “social distancing” due to the “COVID-19” situation. However, I am finding having permission to stay home and be anti-social a perfect opportunity to up my reading game.
There is never a bad time to develop a reading habit, but like most things these days, one must be intentional to do so. Otherwise, distraction and demands of daily life will preempt opportunities as they pass by. Here are a few hacks to consider:
Determine to read at least 20 minutes a day. I incorporate this into my morning routine and quiet time. This is in addition to my devotional reading and journaling. I schedule this activity, because I find that what I schedule tends to get done.
Redirect Time. For instance, replace click bait with an engrossing thriller or memoir, or whatever lights up your neurons, while you commute, stand in line, or wind down at bedtime. If you are the driver, use audio books please!
Join or start a club. This is not my thing, but many people get a level of accountability and socialization from reading as part of a tribe. These days, you don’t even have to meet in person. There are google hangouts. zoom, face-time and other on-line means of meeting up. Hey even a conference phone call can work!
Revisit the library. Books not in your budget? Hey I understand! That is why I make big use of my public library. Ours has a way of reserving books on-line, then picking them up. I find that having a set time I must be done with a book to return it on time, provides accountability and motivation to keep the reading habit consistent.
Make a reading habit a component of your annual Personal Growth Plan goal. Each year, I set goals. A sub-set of those goals is usually two or three that comprise a personal growth plan. This has kept me intentional, engaged and stretched when I retired.
My 2020 Reading Habit Growth Plan
My plan is simple:
- Read a minimum of 25 books this year
- One of the 25 is reading the Bible through at least once. I do this every year, changing it up each round. This year I am reading the Old Testament chronologically as events occurred (as opposed to the order the books were written). The New Testament is being read in The Passion Translation.
- Each month I read at least one fiction and one non-fiction from a running list of suggestions I gather from various sources.
I track my plan among my goals in Evernote using a Michael Hyatt template.
What books are on your 2020 list to read?