My friends and I had planned to paintball in the first few weeks of the New Year. It was 2016 and we were hoping for a better year ahead. In stained paintball apparel, we gathered around a huge table with food and drinks and each shared our goals for the year.
I had decided I wanted to consciously design my life in 2016 and I shared the ideas with everyone. Others talked about plans for career, others shared plans to eat more. I also heard the plan that M shared, to read a book every month. That was one of my own plans too. But I knew plans like that fail. I will tell you why!
Firstly, plans like that are not sustainable. And yet this item rocks the majority of New Year Resolutions. What happens in the busy months of February or when you have to go on that cumbersome business trip in September where you can only focus on work? What happens during the period where you will fall ill or the two weeks where you are not inspired to read at all?
The reason you have this as a goal in the first place is that you’re not an avid reader, which is fine. But then the major gateway to success in this plan is your WHY. You can’t develop a new habit without having a strong why.
If your why is so you can broaden your mind. Emmm…it’s not strong enough. Your mind can be broadened through your Instagram feed alone. I know many people who have this idea in their mind just so they can say at the end of the year that they achieved the read-a-book-a-month goal or whatever. It takes tremendous willpower to be able to carry out a feat that’s not borne out of passion.
So what would a better reason be? Here are possible why’s:
- You want to learn ‘xyz’ this year. Say, this year, I want to learn and master Artificial Intelligence’. This just means I will get books and materials that teach this subject.
- I want to read the whole 2015 and 2016 John Grisham collection. I am a huge fan of his writing style plus his books entertain me in a whole new way plus I want to brag to other John Grisham fans that I actually have read the latest of his books plus this babe who I love has read all of his books, I need to read this to make some pretty interesting conversations.
- I need to improve my character so I will get every book I can find on personal development that relates to building of character.
Your why’s have to be compelling. Without a heart-felt, critical and selfish reason, it won’t happen. Ask around.
I am an avid reader. Last year, I read 66 books in 2016 and was planning on reading 104 this year (or two books a week) but I realized that the main reason I wanted to do this was to have bragging rights. I am feeling after reading your blogs on Happiness/Joy that I’d like very much to slow down and read to LEARN about some particular subjects that interest me. Thank you.