I’ve asked myself several times why reading has to be a habit. Don’t get it wrong, I love to read and acquire knowledge. But reading every day has a way of scaring me if the material is not something I really love to read. In fact, I cringe when people talk about how the CEO of whichever company reads about 60 books in a year! I mean, why on earth would anyone read that much and how is that even possible?
If this describes you too, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Even statistics have it that 24% of American adults have not read a book in the past one year, and that 38% of Nigerians cannot read or write.
However, I recently realised that reading is medicine. It helps you travel in time to where you might never have been, brings you into the mind of the author, and could get you mentally healthy (this depends on the type of book). Also, the truth remains that if we want to get ahead in our field of interest but we’re not willing to read, then we’re not ready yet.
That’s why in this post, I’ll be sharing with you five ways I’ve tried to make reading a daily habit in the past few years.
#1: Begin with the Mind
So, when you intend to read, you start by prepping your mind. Basically, everything you want to realise in life begins in your mind. You need to start resetting your mindset about reading. I know you may think reading is stressful and you don’t have the time for it, but now is a good time to reconsider your facts.
Make this practical enough by writing out the various ideologies you have formed about reading right from when you were young. For instance, you might have thought that reading is for writers or for academia — write it down.
Once this is done, categorise these ideologies into good, bad, or neutral. Then rework the bad ones by replacing them with good ideologies that will make you want to read. Using the instance I gave earlier, you may want to say that reading is for everyone who wants to acquire knowledge, rather than believe the ideology that it’s for academia alone.
Gradually cross out those bad ideologies and reset your mind towards reading. Before you know it, you will start believing that reading is a good activity, and that you can do it just like everyone else.
#2: Select Your Category and Find Your Kind of Book
Some people may not necessarily have issues with making reading a habit, but certainly not with some kind of books.
If you want to make reading a lifestyle, start with books that interest you or ones that will propel you towards achieving your goal. If you want to learn about wealth, then focus on reading books on wealth creation or finance, and not on books detailing the history of slavery in Africa.
Find the category of books that interests you. Doing this will fuel your curiosity and gradually build a reading culture in you.
#3: Have a Schedule
The importance of scheduling cannot be overemphasised. Personally, I can’t help but create structures around anything I intend to do. I can’t just have it all in my head; I would have to plan, write out and put timelines to all my activities. I do that with reading too, especially when I know that my day is busy.
So, if you want to read a book in a month and there’s little or no time for that, I advise that you create a schedule for each day. See reading as something important to you and factor it into your day. For instance, you may want to have your reading time in the early hours of the morning when there are little to no distractions, or late at night when you are about to sleep.
#4: Read in Bits
This is one major principle that has helped me over time; it will help you too, especially if you are the busy type. Reading in bits helps you move steadily towards finishing a book, and it makes your mind ready to read the next time you pick the book.
This is because already, your mind believes you won’t spend too much time reading. So, the mind looks forward to reading as quickly as possible so that it can get back to the other plans for the day. For instance, rather than read a chapter at once, focus on reading by subthemes. Read three subthemes in the morning and three more at night, instead of reading by chapters.
#5: Do it Daily
Once you are done putting up the above structures, all you need is consistency. So, do this daily. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you are reading in bits or bulk. What matters the most is you doing it every day.
Another way to get your reading habit on track is by joining and participating in reading clubs. One of the best you can join is the TEBEBA Book Reading Club to help you achieve this. We also have various categories of books that might interest you. Click here to check them out. Or do you intend to publish your book on our platform so you can reach a massive audience? You can meet with us here.
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