26 books may not sound like a lot to some readers but recently I heard, on a couple of different podcasts, that people struggle to even complete two books a year. Some people have a goal of 12 books a year and that was my starting point.
Reading 12 books was my overall goal for 2018. I committed to read 20 pages a day for the year. That comes out to around 600 pages a month which, depending on the book, varies how many books you will actually complete. I think most of the books I read were around 350 pages. So I was knocking out a book and a half to two books easily.
I kept a daily log, in Apple Notes, that showed how many pages I was behind or ahead as of the current date.
If I missed a day of reading, I would simply add 20 to my count that needed to be read. If I read over my 20 pages, I would subtract the difference from my total count that needed to be read. It was a simple way to keep track everyday.
2018 was a busy year. So I often got behind. In all honesty, I didn’t catch up on my reading until the beginning of December.
Making this something you have to do everyday may seem like a chore for some people. If that is the case, do not follow it because you will not enjoy what you are reading. You should want to read what you are reading or you are just wasting your time.
When my wife and I went on our honeymoon, our goal was to relax. We didn’t want to go on excursions or be too busy exploring. We wanted to chill. And that is what we did.
While in Jamaica, we both read a lot. Drinking some frozen vodka lemonades or Rum and Cokes by the pool and reading our next book was truly relaxing and we knocked out a lot of reading. With all of the time that goes into getting married, I was already behind on my reading. So this free week of doing nothing was a great way to catch up. Again, I’m not saying to spend your entire vacation reading but if it is something you enjoy doing, that is what vacation is for!
For 2019, I started using this app called Strides. It is a habit tracking app. After I do my reading for the day, I check off that I did it. It keeps track of how many days in a row that I have completed those specific task. I also have it set up to remind me at 8 PM every night if I have not completed the tasks that I have put in there. In the short amount of time that I have used it this year, I find it very useful.
People will often say that they do not have time to read (or whatever other thing you WANT to start). But if you really want to start with something, you have to make the time. It sounds cliche, but it is the truth. When I was getting behind on my reading in December, I woke up a little bit earlier to make sure I did my reading. Or if I knew my evening was booked, I made sure to wake up earlier to compensate for the lost time in the evenings. The biggest thing is, is that you have to want to do what you are attempting to do. With no motivation, nothing will ever get done.
All of this might sound silly and unnecessary, but it worked for me and kept me on track. The best thing I can tell you is to find a way that works for you, modify it as needed, then stick to it. Carve out that time to read what you have been planning to read for years. You got this!
If you want to see all of the books that I completed last year, check out my Instagram!