I changed my mindset about reading in 2019. I’ve never enjoyed reading; however I was forced to read because I work in the technology industry where we are constantly learning. In university I had to read at least three books a week for my classes. After university, I would read a random sales book, book on heath, or innovation which resulted in reading ten books a year. In January 2019 I decided to read Brendon Burchard’s free offer of High Performance Habits. After reading it I read a couple others he wrote then became a bit obsessed. I read many books about business, some on health, science and personal development. Before I knew it, I had read sixty books by August and thought; this is going well, I’ll keep at it. In November I learned about the Centennial Reader, the term for people who achieve reading 100 books in a year. I decided I would be a Centennial Reader. I used the Black Friday Audible sale to buy the last sixteen books I needed, to achieve the goal. By the third week of December I completed 100 books. The following is some tips about what works for me and might help you read more too.
1) Most books are also audio books these days. Take the audio version so that you can listen whenever walking, running errands, or eating.
2) Stop listening to music when doing menial tasks. It takes little effort to do things we know how to do automatically. Skimming through emails, cooking, washing dishes and other errands take no effort, or focus. We can listen to audio books instead of music.
3) Turn off the TV and listen to an audiobook, or read a book that’s helpful, but also entertaining. Decide that you’re entertained by the stories included in the learning and replace two hours of entertainment with two hours of reading, or listening to an audiobook.
4) Preselect books in advance. Choose a few different types of books to read, or listen to at the same time. Some that are learning and some that are enjoyable. When you’re bored with what you’re reading, replace it with something you enjoy. By changing the subject, but maintaining the habit of reading you’re encouraging the habit.
5) Find someone else who’s reading a lot if you can, talk to them about what you’re reading and ask them to hold you accountable.
6) Schedule time for reading
7) Listen to audio books, or read whenever waiting for anything. On the train, or bus, driving to work, there is twenty minutes, to over an hour of commute time between the average commute. Use it to learn. At the doctor, the dentist, a government office, whatever you’re waiting for, pull out your ear buds, or a book to use that time. We have so much free time in a day, use it. Studies show that when we align a new habit with an existing one we stick with the new habit. The The The The The The The Power of Habit
8) At the gym, ask your gym to lower the music a bit so that you can listen to your audio book while you work out. Make this a motivating, fun, upbeat audio book, or something you’re into. I love listening to audiobooks about motivation and improvement while working out. I also work out at a time that’s not busy so that I don’t have as many distractions.
9) Tell everyone you’re going to read 100 books in a year. It’s proven that when we tell others we plan to do something that we are more likely to stick with it. Gretchen Rubin writes in Better than Before that each of us have a different way of sticking with a goal. Take a look at what she has to say about how we stick with a goal.
10) When a book is not what you expected and you’re not liking it stop reading it. Return it, or give it away and choose another one quickly. Books/ audiobooks that you don’t like will turn the pleasurable act of learning into a bore which might make you avoid reading/ listening. Don’t bother with books you don’t like, stay focused on ones you enjoy and mix in some fun ones into the learning, business, development, or whatever topic your goal is focused on. Skim through it and if it’s not pleasurable then get rid of it.
Some of My Favorites I Read this Year:
Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business and Life by Rory Sutherland
Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin
Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires and the Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Pitch Anything and Flip the Script by Oren Klaff
48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less by Scott Sonenshein
Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets by Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Kevin Maney, Christopher Lochhead
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz
Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message by Donald Miller