Reading is a really fun and productive activity, but how do you actually achieve the reading goals you have set for yourself?
When it comes to achieving reading goals, the most important thing is to have realistic and specific goals. Having specific goals, you know exactly what to work towards. When your goals are also realistic, it doesn’t feel too overwhelming to reach them.
In this post, we go through 7 tips that can help you accomplish your reading goals. Let’s get started!
Tip 1: Have specific goals
The first tip to reaching your reading goals is to have specific goals to aim towards. When you know exactly what your goal is, it is much easier to work towards it.
Let’s compare two different examples of a “reading goal”:
“I want to read more this year”
“I will read one book every month this year”
The first does not give a measurable goal in it, in any way. The second goal gives you an exact goal, with a timeframe that you should work towards.
Reading one book every month is a realistic, measurable, and pretty good goal to begin with. If that sounds like too much, check out this post about reading goals for struggling readers.
Therefore, keep your goals specific. That might be a certain number of books in a given time, or it could be pages read, or time spent reading. I also have a post about how to set good and realistic reading goals, check it out if interested.
Tip 2: Have realistic goals
The next tip for achieving your reading goals is to make them realistic. If you have never touched a book in your life, trying to read one book every week might not be realistic.
If you aim too high and fail to accomplish even the first step of your goal, that might be really discouraging. Having realistic goals depending on your lever makes it a lot easier to actually reach those goals.
If you still don’t have reading goals, I have a post where we go through examples of different reading goals, for different kinds of readers.
Tip 3: Have dedicated time of the day to read
The next tip to reaching your reading goals is to have dedicated time each day for reading.
Just like you probably brush your teeth every day right after and before bed, reading could be a habit like that.
Having the dedicated time of the day just for reading makes it really difficult not to do it. That might be right after work or school, or right before bed after you brush your teeth.
That leads us to the next tip, which is:
Tip 4: Make reading daily a habit
The next tip is to make reading a habit. When you develop a habit out of something, you don’t have to use as much willpower to do it. It will come almost automatically.
By developing a reading habit, it is so much easier to keep on track with your reading goals.
Developing a habit can take a long time and starting small can help out a lot. That might mean reading just one page every day, or at least one page. If you really can’t find time to read more, just that one page can help you develop that habit.
I actually have a full post about developing a reading habit, check it out if interested.
Tip 5: Eliminate distractions
Tip number 5 for achieving your reading goals, is to eliminate any unnecessary distractions.
That might mean going to a separate room to read where it’s quiet and preferably putting your phone into do-not-disturb mode. An alternative way to get rid of your phone is to leave it out of the room, if necessary.
By leaving your phone completely out of the room, you won’t be tempted to check any new messages or how long you have been reading.
If your goal is to read a certain amount of time every day, let’s say 30 minutes, you could use your phone to set up a stopwatch.
That has worked well for me if I ever have felt like not reading. I just say to myself, I will read for 10 minutes now and call it a day. Set the stopwatch for 10 minutes and all I have to do is dive into the book I’m currently reading.
Tip 6: Always carry a book with you
The next tip is to always take a book with you, if possible. If you are going somewhere via train or bus, having a book with you for the trip can really make the trip much more productive.
Instead of scrolling through social media, you can do something actually useful: work towards your reading goals.
The time that would probably be wasted can now be used to achieve something.
This might be difficult if you get sick reading in moving vehicles. I certainly do. However, you can read even while waiting for your bus, train, friend, taxi, uber, or pretty much anything. If you have a few minutes to spare, having a book can make a difference in the long run.
Tip 7: Track your progress
The next tip that I have found incredibly useful, is keeping track of my progress. When I write down on a calendar, how much I have read every day, it will make it more rewarding somehow.
Imagine having a full month’s progress on the calendar, 10+ pages every day. Who would want to stop a streak like that? Tracking your progress can really make a difference when it comes to motivating yourself.
On top of that, every time you finish a book, take notes from it. That might be on a physical notepad or writing software on your computer, where you write down the things that stood out for you the most.
By taking notes on the book, you don’t necessarily have to read the whole book again if you forget what it was mainly about. You have the notes that are written for you, to help you recall what the book was about. That has helped me out a lot, as I have started to read more books.
In conclusion, having specific and realistic reading goals is a very good first step when it comes to achieving those goals.
Being too ambitious, the goals might feel overwhelming right from the beginning, causing you to quit reading for good.
On top of that, having dedicated time for reading with no distractions can also help out a lot.
Hopefully, this can help you achieve your reading goals, have a wonderful day!