How do you create a consistent reading plan?
Reading more books has been a yearly goal of mine for the past few years. And one I failed. Ok, maybe not a letter grade of “F” but certainly in the “C-” range.
- Yes I borrow books from the library.
- Yes I love buying books. Amazon addict here. And don’t take me to a book store – I will disappear for hours.
- Yes I am always adding additional bookshelves.
- Yes I do love reading as it expands the mind, refreshes the heart and nourishes my soul.
I have great intentions. I have twice declared on this blog my focus to read more (here is an example ) and yet my pile of unread books multiple each year like unsupervised bunnies. Even gathering dust as dust bunnies do.
In 2019 I created a shelf in my office and selected some of the books that called out to my heart for reading. I read one.
But I persist and am trying once again to read more this year, especially these unread ones summoning for attention and consumption.
In 2020 I will read at least 25 neglected books from my mountain of inattention or abandonment. Here are additional piles awaiting:
Done! I’ve shared this hidden flaw with the world. Now hold me to it!
Tips To Create a Consistent Writing Plan
Reading consistently is easier said than done. Time. Life. Distractions fight for our attention. Here are a few tips I am trying this year for reading regularly.
- Create a reasonable goal. I know I won’t get to all the books and secretly I do want to exceed my stated goal of 25, but one book every other week is realistic.
- Track. Record the books you are reading. I started a reading journal. Name of book, author, quotes, and notations. The journal is readily accessible on my desk. I don’t want to tuck it away someplace and forget it too.
- Share what we are reading. How about accountability? Join a reading group. Discuss books over coffee with friends. I hope to share books I am reading on this blog. I am thinking of creating social media memes about my current read.
- Write the reading time on your calendar. Take books while traveling. Slip a book into your purse or car. Lesson learned from last year – I add “Read 15 minutes” Monday through Friday on my digital calendar. The trouble with this approach was this to-do item popped up at the end of the day when I was too tired to read. Also soon it faded and became background clutter to my mind. I think this year I will set a reminder on my phone each day to read in the early afternoon when able
- I enjoyed reading Atomic Habits last year. One tip I learned from this book was to associate a new habit with a trigger. After “current habit” I will “new habit.” So after lunch and my midday exercise, I will read 15 minutes. I find when I procrastinate or have trouble getting started on a project, I play games with my mind. I set a timer for 15 minutes and just start. Mmm, 15 minutes would be just perfect for a reading break.
- Commit. I have claimed that reading is a self-care goal and one I deeply want to practice. I will read more this year!
A Roundup of Interesting Articles about Reading throughout the Year
How to make a yearly Writing Plan
19 Powerful Techniques to Increase your Reading
Lisa shared some great reading links in this post: :https://www.lisanotes.com/how-i-read-2020-reading-challenges/
Jessica Turner is a fun and inspirational reader to follow on Instagram to encourage your reading: https://www.instagram.com/booksnobbery/?hl=en
And her web page: https://www.themomcreative.com/2020/01/a-challenge-for-readers-readyourbooks.html
Modern Mrs. Darcy is another great resource; https://modernmrsdarcy.com/reading-challenge-2020/
Here is another approach to those unread books: 12 Strategies to Tackle Your Unread Shelf
I really like some of her creative monthly ideas. I printed her 2020 monthly challenges and put it in my calendar for easy reminders.
Is reading a goal for you this year? What and how do you plan to create a consistent reading plan? Let me know your tips and ideas.
Lisa notes says
You know I love this post all about books and reading. 🙂 Reading articles and blogs online has really reduced my book reading, but it’s a tradeoff that I’m willing to make. I often get my best reading in the early morning hours. At night I’m often too tired to read more than a few pages too. Hope you have a fruitful year of reading, Jean. Maybe you’ll discover some of your books aren’t worth your time and you can quickly get them out of your house and off your list. 🙂
Going to click on these links you share here! (Thanks for including mine).
Jean Wise says
I knew you would like this post and find your name! You do inspire me to keep reading. I too should try more early morning reading. Thanks for that tip.
Cyndi Raines says
Thank you for your post, how encouraging. Ironically, today I picked up the book Atomic Habits at our local library and my sister just loaned me her book by Kathie Lee Gifford, “the Rock, the Road and the Rabbi”, her journey into the heart of Scriptural Faith and the land where it all began. I’m really eager to start both, ha. I will be somewhat conservative and set my goal for 8 this year and thank your for the tip of keeping a journal of the name of the book, author and favorite quotes, I like that. Also, in your book, “The Communicator’s Companion”, you mention a free word list and when I put in the address listed, it brings me to this post, but I can’t seem to find where to go to put in the secret password. Can you help me with this? I love words too and am eager to see your list. Thanks Jean. By the way, I re-read your bio the other day and was tickled to find out we share a love for traveling, trees and during my senior year in high school, our band director chose me to be the first female band president, so it seems we have a lot in common. 😊
Jean Wise says
That book by Kathie Lee Gifford sounds interesting. Sorry about the link. I had a plug in go crazy a few months ago, deleted it and that is why that link no longer works. Try this one:
I will have to go into amazon and update the book. I sure do appreciated you mentioning this as I would have not known otherwise. Thanks
so glad we found each other and connected!!
Denise Maryott says
I am embracing 2 books as part of my 2020 New Year Resolution, the first My One Word (commit) and the second The Daniel Plan. In addition I am hoping to read 2 books tied together I Desire a Donut and Taste for Truth (Barb Raveling) and Core 52 by Mark E. Moore.
I enjoy reading and I like your idea for keeping a journal because it will help with My Monthly Musings Journal. My problem tends to be be attempting to read several books at once and the journal will help me keep track of where a quote or sentence originated.
I love all your great ideas that you share each month., and look forward to your Monthly Musings and your posts on this site.
Jean Wise says
I too try to read more than once and you have a great point about maybe trying to finish one before beginning another. I may experiment with this. Thanks for the suggestions!
Nancy Ruegg says
I love to read too, and can usually carve out a bit of time to tackle a few pages per day at least. I like your journal idea, Jean–to keep a list of titles read, preserve a few quotes from what we read, and track progress toward reading goals, etc. 2020 (being a nice round number!) provides the perfect year to start!
Jean Wise says
I need to be more intentionally about reading every day. Let’s cheer each other on
Martha J Orlando says
Reading more is always a goal of mine, Jean, but I don’t always succeed. Your tips here are very helpful. I will try to apply some of them to my reading routine. Hoping for at least 25 completed books by the end of 2020.
Blessings to you!
Jean Wise says
Glad I am not the only one who doesn’t reach this goal. Looks like we have the same reading goal too. Let’s keep each other accountability!