It’s no secret if you’ve been following me for a while that I love to read. But, I haven’t always been a reader. Sure, when I was younger I read for school, but the truth is, I was a slow reader, which created a mental block around not being smart enough. I associated my slow reading to not being smart. So I didn’t spend a ton of extra time reading until I got to high school. I had somewhat found my way into reading mystery novels, the whole brain teaser of “who did it, who’s the killer” got me to really dive in and soon I found myself reading for fun. Finding a book or genre that I was interested in kept my attention and therefore fueled this newfound passion for reading.
Reading is something I feel we all can benefit from. It doesn’t have to be as a means to learn, even though that is my primary reason presently, but it can also be to entertain, to challenge the mind and simply is better for us than sitting on our phones mindlessly scrolling.
I recently have spent some time being trained by Tony Robbins and one thing I continue to find fascinating is when he was in high school he read 700 books. In his lifetime, so far, he has read over 10,000 books. Now, I don’t expect you or I to be like Tony, but my point is I do believe that knowledge is power, and when you pair that knowledge with action, anyone, like Tony, can be unstoppable.
In this blog I am going to share my simple system to read 2 books each month. Note, these ideas are ones you are welcome to take and make your own. For a while I used this system to read a book a week. Maybe you’re in a season of life where 2 books a month just isn’t feasible, that’s ok. Make this system work however you need for you. Using these 6 methods has helped me complete over 50 books in 2.5 years, some I have read twice.
METHOD 1: Read 1 chapter per day.
Grab a book and simply commit to reading one chapter each day. Most people are will and almost always able to read at least one chapter a day, even if it’s not all at once. Perhaps you read a few pages in the morning, a few more at lunch and then wrap up at night.
METHOD 2: Set a specific amount of time to read each day.
Instead of holding yourself to one chapter, commit to an amount of time. Set a timer for 10 minutes and read as much as you can. The goal here is to remove all distractions so you can really take this time to fulfill this task.
METHOD 3: Attach a recurring habit to reading.
Take a look at your day and find things you already do each day where you could attach reading for 10 minutes that would compliment that task. Maybe you do it while the coffee brews and you enjoy those first few sips with a good book, or while your kids are still sleeping, grab your book and enjoy some moments of quiet before the crazy begins. [I know it’s not just my house..haha.]
METHOD 4: Read with a kiddo or partner.
If you have older kids like myself, they are probably reading books for school. Why not make it a family affair and read together. My daughter loves reading together. We get cozy on her bed or mine, set our reading goal and read will we accomplish it.
METHOD 5: Read and then attach an award for reading.
If you really need some incentive, attach a reward to your reading goal. Maybe you take yourself to the coffee shop when you get your favorite cup of coffee and read 2 chapters. Or if you finish your reading goal for the day, you get to scroll social media for 10 minutes. This one is helpful to get you started as you build reading into a habit, sometimes incentives help!
METHOD 6: Read for X minutes before bed.
If none of the above methods work, maybe trading in nightly TV time is just the ticket! I know for me personally, I love reading in the morning, it’s one of the best ways for me to start my day, but for some nighttime is better. Just like the morning, carve out time to read a chapter or set a timer to read before bed.
To help you keep your new good habit, make sure you have a book on deck for when you complete each book. There’s nothing worse than getting a new habit established with no secure plan to keep it going. Before the month even begins, I know what 2 books I want to read. I will usually have a theme for the month, this is not required, but it helps me pair books together and also keeps me motivated to read.
Once I have those books decided on, the first thing I do is look for how many chapters it has. Most will have anywhere from 10-15, some have more so it’s easy for me to commit to a chapter a day to complete both books within the month. I also have a third book on deck, just in case I get super ambitious and complete them both before the end of the month or if I know I will be in the car. I always read and can complete a good chunk of a book or even a whole book during a road trip, so I’ll plan for that and increase the number of books for that month.
To prepare, I write the names of the books down on my big calendar that is hanging over my desk with a chapter number on each day, this includes weekends for me. I read each morning, first thing for a minimum of 30 minutes. This is literally what drives me to get out of bed between 5 and 5:30 because I want to get it in before anyone else is up and before my daily yoga. I tend to also use this quiet time for journaling and visualizing so again, this is sacred time. I always look forward to this part of my day.
Finally, find a time where you do too. Perhaps the morning is not the best, but the time before bed is peaceful, kids are sleeping, the kitchen is clean from dinner and the laundry…well the laundry can wait. Your time is not to be messed with. Grab warm tea or water and cozy up into a chair or bed and enjoy you time.
I’d love to hear what you’re reading. Head over to Instagram and drop me a DM let me know!