Get into the habit of reading

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

Reading books consistently and developing the habit of reading is by far the best thing that ever happened to me. So if you have not consistently incorporated this into your life, you are missing out on an incredible opportunity to access a limitless amount of wealth and wisdom.

In this article, I invite you to do yourself a favor and try to be a more consistent reader. I promise you will not regret it! Here I give you 8 tips on how to incorporate the habit of reading into your life.

Choose engaging topics For most of us, our first and primary experiences with reading were bathed in the sense of boredom and obligation. We have studied an average of 12 years throughout our lives (for those taking a higher education course), and our relationship with reading throughout this time is linked to study and work. Textbooks are not the most fun to read, and this makes in us an apparent resistance to experimenting and really looking for ways to enjoy reading. So, if you want to break this obligatory relationship with reading, the first step is to look for books that hold your attention and that are pleasurable to read. Each of us has some specific affinity. What is yours? Find a theme or style that is engaging and captures your interest. You don't need to focus immediately on more complex topics that will require more attention. After you cultivate the habit of reading, you can move on to more complicated things, but for now, go for the fun and exciting things.

Set goals and create realistic expectations Set a reading goal and be realistic. The more specific your goal is, the better. Just defining that you want to read one book a month is very vague. I advise you to set daily goals for number pages, for example, 20 pages per day. This is important because your ambition is to create the habit of reading, so daily consistency is essential. It is no use reading several hours in a row on a single day of the week and not reading at all. This is not going to create a habit and is also not realistic. You can be seduced by procrastination, and as a result, you will end up giving up the goal of reading a month book. But if you read only 20 pages a day, for example, you will have read 400 pages in 20 days, that is, an entire book. This is a realistic and easily achievable goal.

Include reading in your daily routine One of the biggest secrets of creating habits is to include them in the routines that already exist in our life. Human beings are beings of habit. So, choose the time of your day when you are most alert and in good spirits. For example, if you turn off the TV or the Internet at night, you may have a set time (perhaps right after dinner) when you and maybe all of your family members read every night. Make your reading time your favorite time of day. Have a good tea or coffee while reading. Sit in a comfortable chair with a good blanket. Read during sunrise or sunset, or on the beach. Make that moment pleasant and relaxing.

Eliminate distractions and create the right environment If you really want to read more, try to reduce anything that might be distracting, such as TV or Internet consumption. This can be difficult for many people. Still, every minute you turn down the Internet / TV, you can use it to read. This can create good free hours of reading books. I know that many of us have used the cell phone to read, but I believe that this practice can be a little harmful for those who are starting. I advise you to invest in physical books or in specific reading devices such as the Kindle. The feeling of having a book in hand (or a specific device for reading) will help you make the association and create affective memories that help with the creation of new habits. The more positive associations you make with reading, the easier it will be for your brain to get into the habit of reading.

Include reading in your monthly budget One of the primary resistances to create the reading habit arises from the fact that the book is seen as something expensive and that to read, you need to spend money. First, we need to see reading as an investment and not an expense. So, I would encourage you to include a specific reading budget in your monthly budget. And secondly, if you want to cultivate the habit of reading, but you can't spend money, know that there are options to access quality reading without having to pay. One resource that we forget, but which is very useful, is libraries. You can use the library closest to your home and have access to a vast amount of content, including most libraries currently allow the loan of digital books (in ebook format or in audiobook format). So, if you don't have a register in your community library, do it now! Also, you can exchange books with friends, or you can buy books at low cost in the bookstores in your city (or in hundreds of bookstores that sell books online).

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