Have you been putting down more books than you’ve been picking up? Here are 10 tips to keep yourself motivated to stick to your reading goals this new year.
If you’re looking to make a wholesome, non-toxic new year’s resolution, resolving to read more is a good move to make in 2023.
Not only does it broaden your mind, but it’s also good for your body. Research has found that reading not only strengthens pathways in your brain, it also lowers blood pressure, heart rate and feelings of psychological distress. So fitting in as much of it as you can, or prioritizing it over other activities, seems like a no-brainer.
But due to the amount of (mostly digital) distractions in our daily lives, it can feel impossible to carve the time out for reading, even if we really enjoy it.
Consider changing up your medium
If you’re struggling to interact with reading, it might be that you need to switch up the way you’re doing it. Try audiobooks, especially if you’re active and always moving around. Switch to an e-reader, such as a Kindle, if you find paperbacks and hardbacks cumbersome. If you’re tactile and love the feel of the pages, prioritise this form as it’ll feed into your reading experience.
It might be that certain genres suit certain mediums, so mix it up and see what happens.
Allocate reading time for you to take a break from ‘the real world’
Viewing reading as an opportunity to escape from reality works. It’s a sacred time slot for you to cultivate, freeing you from all the mundane responsibilities of adult life.
“I set a timer for reading time, knowing I’ll be back ‘in the world’ in an hour, or whatever duration,” Clemence, 30, tells Stylist. “It helps me fully tune it out for the duration of my reading.”
Try substituting a social media scroll with reading
Whether it’s first thing in the morning, on your lunch break or last thing at night before you go to sleep, an easy distraction and/or procrastination method is to take to your social media poison of choice.
So the next time you feel the impulse – whatever time of day – pick up a book (digital or analogue) instead.
Considering we spend an average of 2.5 hours of our day on social media, that’s a lot of pages you could be reading instead.
If a book isn’t working for you, drop it and move on
We’ve been socialised to put pressure on ourselves to finish all the books we start, even if we’re not enjoying them. If you think about it, this is productivity for productivity’s sake and just isn’t a good enough reason to waste your precious time when you could be starting the best book you’ve ever read.
“Nothing will stop you reading more than a book you don’t get, and if you’ve decided you have to finish it before you start the next, you’ll never get anywhere,” Rhea, 38, tells Stylist.
Build reading into your commute time
This can apply to whether you actually commute to work or not – even if you work from home, make space for a 20-minute reading window to emulate a train or car journey to work.
If you do actively commute, it’s an excellent way to lose yourself during a relatively ‘empty’ part of your day. Experiment with which medium might suit a crowded train; is it an audiobook or perhaps a Kindle?