I had lofty goals for reading this year but so far my progress is quite slow. Initially, I really wanted to read a book a week. That might seem like a lot but this was quite normal for me. In the past, I use to read 2 or 3 books a week. But alas those were mainly fictional stories and they are a lot faster to read through. This year my reading list comprises mostly non-fiction books with a focus on personal development. This genre of books is packed with a lot of information to digest. Many have suggested exercises and tips that make the process even longer. So, I might have greatly overestimated my goal of reading 52 books this year. Since we’re mid-way through June, I think it is time to do a goal re-evaluation.
At the start of the year, I intended to read 40 non-fiction books and 12 fictional books. I made a list of books to read to make the selection process a bit easier and limit decision fatigue. 👍🏽I aimed to read every morning while commuting and during any gap periods. As such, I downloaded my current book to my phone to take with me everywhere. That was fine, but changing schedule and other things came in my way at times. Additionally, I didn’t take into account that I would miss reading more fictional books. I love a good fantasy novel or romance. Basically right now I am not meeting my reading timeline.
Therefore, I need to use the SMART goals framework and re-set my goals.
We have a little over 6 months in this year. That means there are 28 weeks and 6 days left until December 31st 2021, at the time I’m writing this post (Sat June, 29th 2021). This leaves me with 202 days to take advantage of.
Honestly, I could probably still read put 52 books this year but I shall not put that pressure on myself. So, I’ve reduced my reading challenge goal to 40 books. I’ve already read 10 books and I’m currently reading 1 at the moment. Therefore, I need to read 29 more books starting today. This works out to about the same 1 book a week. But let’s reframe this.
In the next 6 months between June 14th 2021 and December 31st 2021, I will read 29 books.
I will accomplish this by reading 4 books per month. Sounds much more feasible right?
In order to read 4 books a month and apply any knowledge gained (self-help books), I need to set aside approximately 5 hours a week to read, digest and apply the material. Which is totally doable.
Daily Goal: How to fine time each day?
- By reading while commuting to and from work.
- Listening to audio version of books while prepping or eating meals.
- Getting the e-book version of the book to read during gap periods. Ex. Waiting in line to the grocery cashier, waiting for work to open or to meet someone.
- If available, reading the physical book in bed or the e-book version about half an hour before bed. Tip: use the night mode setting on the phone and an app to reduce the blue light so as not to disrupt sleep.
- Scheduling a chunk of time on the weekend for reading. Ex. 1hr 30mins on Sunday mornings or 1 hour on Saturday nights.
By breaking down my goals, I was able to make my reading goals SMART and a lot more feasible.
S= Specific: how many books I want to read and by when.
M= Measurable: Track the amount of books read a month and hours read daily.
A= Attainable: I reduced the number of books to read this year and gave myself enough time to read them.
R= I analysed how I can make time to read the books every day.
T= I gave myself a deadline of Dec 31st 2021
I will still choose books from my reading list but I am not forcing myself to stick to those books. I am open to reading other genres and formats.
Check out the reading list: My 2021 Reading List
Well, I hope you enjoyed this insight into my brain as I re-evaluated and redefined my reading goals for the rest of 2021.
Thank you for reading.