Reading for fun and replacing digital entertainment with analog entertainment (like a book) has been one of the most rewarding parts of My Next Thing for me. Scrolling through Instagram or clicking the next recommended YouTube video in my free time can be fun, but it feels aimless. Reading is fun and it feels purposeful.
So how do you replace some of your current entertainment habits with a book?
1. Just open the book.
I say that sentence to myself all the time and it works. On Day 1, pick up your book and open it. Read as long as you want to and stop whenever you feel like it. That’s it. If you need motivation, check out the reading inspiration page.
2. Set a page goal.
On Day 2, think about how long you were able to focus on your book on day 1 and count how many pages you read. While doing my THING, I read for 30 minutes on day 1 and finished about 20 pages (on a tablet). That felt pretty good to me, so I made 20 pages a day my goal.
Some days I read less than that which was totally okay because most days I read more than 20 pages. I exceeded my page goal most of the time because I made sure the first book I picked was highly recommended and a great fit for my interests (Step 1). While reading for My Next Thing, I was able to finish one book a week with great book recommendations and that 20 page per day goal in mind.
3. Pick a time that you’re going to read every day.
There is almost no way you haven’t tried and failed to do this with a habit before. I’m the person giving you this advice and I’m a great example that it is difficult to stick with this idea. While doing my THING, I was really good at scheduling my reading time during week 1. By week 2 I convinced myself that I had the habit down, so I stopped scheduling my reading time. That’s when I started to miss days. So learn from my mistakes when it comes to reading this month. Pick a time that you will start reading each day and stick with it.
I’m going to read during my lunch break
I’m going to read before I go to bed (careful, I can’t do this without falling asleep)
I’m going to read after dinner instead of turning on Netflix.
When it comes to any habit, you start doing it with the best intentions. But we’ve all experienced how easy it is to let ourselves down. If you follow these three steps, I promise you’re going to give yourself the best shot to make reading your next THING and stick with it.