Developing a Reading Habit

I love to read. There are few things I enjoy more than kicking back with cold glass of sweet tea in one hand and a book in the other. Reading shapes who we become by opening our minds to new thoughts, to new ideas and to a whole new world.

Last week I mentioned how important reading is to our personal growth. While personal growth encompasses many things the foundation is often a good book. With so much riding on our commitment to read here are three steps to help you in developing a reading habit.   

1. Determine what you will read

Reading for personal growth requires a degree of intentionality. Wondering aimlessly down the aisle of your local book store or public library most likely won't get you where you want to go. No, you must make decisions about what you will read with a direction and purpose in mind. One great way to go about this is by establishing some categories in which you want to read and then selecting books within each category. 

For example, you may choose to read leadership, marketing, spiritual growth and fiction. While there may be some overlap in categories and you may add books to your list throughout the year, try to determine what you will read at the beginning of the year. The beginning of your new reading year can be right now if you let it. Simply pick a few categories in which you want to learn and grow, establish a list of books in each category you think would be helpful and get after it. 

2.  Determine when you will read

Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day yet some achieve amazing results many can only dream of. Maybe they read two books a week or a hundred in a year. Whatever the remarkable accomplishment they achieve, you have the same number of hours each day as they do. These hours will be swallowed up by anything and everything other than reading if you let it. Often that time thief is our TV. So turn it off, pick up your next book and read 10 pages per day.

3. Involve others

Involving other people can be extremely helpful. When you have other people you know are going to hold us accountable, you tend to show up and do the things you commit to doing. Start a book club or simply share your reading plan with a friend and ask them to check in on you.