My reading goals for 2020 was 25 books. I could only bring myself to read half. It’s not a major disappointment compared to everything else going on in the world, but as a typically avid bookworm, it felt like an unexpected blow when December 31st rolled around. (I did read more fanfiction and informational websites, so who knows in actuality how many books I read if they could be translated into printed novels *hopeful wishing?*)
Watching the months go by without reading hardly anything felt both like a passive and active choice – I was too distracted with doom-scrolling through the news and staying hooked to social media but I wasn’t completely ignorant that I was just letting the goal slip away. My habits for essentially ignoring books was catching up to me in little ways every day.
As I reset my intention for 2021 to 25 books again, I wanted to take a second to look back on why I didn’t succeed last year and see what I can do differently to hit my goal this year.
Prioritize My Time
I can’t read books if I don’t make time for them. A personal goal for 2021 is to wake up earlier for yoga or a walk around my neighborhood. While my body cools down and it’s best to wait 30 minutes before eating, I’m going to read instead. I also know that sometimes at night I won’t be checking out a flick from Netflix, and can read in bed as a way to self-soothe from the day and go to bed. Prioritizing my time, and opening up small opportunities, will let me tackle more books page-by-page.
Set Procrastination Boundaries
Once I log onto social media to kill time, it almost feels like there’s no going back. What starts out as posting or just checking-in turns into spending way too much time going from account to account on too many trends on Twitter. Social media is way too much of an ‘addiction’ to procrastination.
Setting a schedule of posting to social media on certain days is actually enough to curve my fix of checking in with the rest of the world – mostly trends or posts I won’t likely remember once my head hits the pillow for sleep. And when I feel going on Instagram in a knee-jerk response to boredom, I’m going to train myself to grab a book instead.
Focus on my actual TBR
I always get a little rush of adrenaline when I buy more books or add titles to my TBR. But just having a general list on GoodReads doesn’t do me a lot of favors because I feel like I’ll just finish the books sometime *shrug*, I’ll eventually get around to them *shrug*, etc. This year, I’ve added specific titles to my list that takes up at least several spaces out of the 25 books I want to read. And, if I need ideas to check out books from the library, I can occasionally look to goodreads for real inspiration.
Make Books Visible
Like most bookworms, I have books everywhere – especially on my shelves which make good decoration for social media and are nicely organized so the house doesn’t look like a huge mess. But the ones I wanted to read every week or month blend into other notebooks and journals I have on my desk. If I see my goal more clearly, I can see exactly what I want to achieve. As I decorated my office for Christmas, and after I started putting stuff away, I kept a space open for the books I checked out of the library or pulled out of my collection. I’m hoping by seeing them in a better visible area that I’m spending my time most of the day, I’ll be reminded to reach for it more.
Change the Way I Think About Reading
One of the ways that I fell behind last year was when I realized I was flailing behind in my goal, I felt like a failure or that I was never going to get started. So, I obviously want to hit my goal for 2021. But just seeing the tally count on GoodReads or my bullet journal hit 25 / 25 shouldn’t be the only motivation. I need to change or return to the way that I used to think about reading – which is to learn, escape, and have fun.
What are your goals this year? What have you learned from your reading habits last year?