Every year we all start the New Year with excitement for what the new year holds. We begin setting our goals for every aspect of our lives – health, exercise, financial and other goals. If you are like me, you may even set a reading goal.
I have set a reading goal every year for the past several years now. I love being able to check my progress during the year to see where I am, and I occasionally like to look back over what I have read.
Most often I exceed my goals – in 2019 I set a goal for 20 books. I was trying to be conservative. I read 22 books and one of those books I read twice. Does that count as book number 23?
In 2020, I set a reading goal of 25 books. I read 28. I read two of those books twice because they were so interesting. Do I get credit for 30? Just kidding!
For 2021, I have set a reading goal of 30 books. I know that is a big goal. Did I mention I also work a full-time job?
We are four weeks into the New Year, and I have read six books already!
What can I say? I love to read!
So now I am going to challenge you to read 21 books as a memorial to the New Year.
Focus on setting your reading goal, break out of your mold and read different genres.
Set Your Reading Goal
Even though we are four weeks into the New Year, it is not too late to set your reading goals.
First, decide on how many books you feel you can read comfortably in a year.
Second, decide what genres interest you. Decide whether you would like to mix it up a little or stick with one genre.
Third, choose how many books in each genre you would like to read.
Break Out of Your Mold
After you decide how many books you want to read then decide on what type of books you want to read.
There are so many genres. Break out of your comfort zone or the box you have built around yourself and read something different.
I have been guilty of this in the past. I enjoyed fiction, and all I wanted to read was fiction or better yet, historical fiction.
A few years ago, I listened to a speaker who suggested that if you want to be a well-rounded person then you need to read different types of books. This made sense to me. I wanted to be able to communicate well. I wanted to be able to start and hold an intelligent conversation. I was not going to be able to do that by just reading fictional stories.
So, the next time I set my reading goals I decided to read different types of books.
There are so many different genres of books. There is fiction – historical, fantasy, romance, and sci-fi. There is non-fiction – motivational, inspirational, business, self-improvement, spiritual, political, and comedy just to name a few. The list is never-ending.
When I set my reading goals now, I list what type of books I want to read so when I get a few months along I can assess my progress and remind myself that I have not read as many non-fiction books or motivational books as I had planned.
I go looking for a book that fits in that genre and I find one that seems interesting.
It is not easy. Most often our lives are busy, or we are stressed. Often it is easier to grab a book that will take us away from all the hubbub.
I must be disciplined. I would much rather read historical fiction and be taken off to the beach, a cabin in the woods, a cruise, or on the streets of London as I so often am.
I sometimes tell my husband as I begin reading, “I am off to London.” My favorite author is Anne Perry, and her Monk Series or Thomas Pitt Series books take me there.
Here is how I set my goals. I decide how many books I would like to read and then I decide what genres and how many in each genre I want to read.
I leave the non-fiction category open and decide on a book in that specific genre later. Some of the other categories fall into the non-fiction genre as well.
If you have not read a book in a different genre before then you may want to choose to read only one or two books in that specific genre to start. You may find you love it, but you may not care for it and may want to choose another book.
I have decided to add a political book and a biography to my plans this year.
So, it is time to set your reading goal. Try breaking out of the mold you are in and read different genres. You may find you like them.
So, my challenge to you is to read 21 books this year.
Can you do it?
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