How to Read 400% More by Next Year

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 7.38.42 PM“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”― Harry S. Truman

Maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions is to read more this year. 
You know the value of a good book and want the insight that comes through reading. It’s one thing to want to become a reader and a completely different thing to actually become a reader. In 2014, 27% of adults said they hadn’t read any books over the past year and the median number of books read was four. 

In 2013, I personally read 3 books totally 440 pages. I worked harder and in 2014 I read 12 books totally 2114 pages. It was during 2014 that I read “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” and decided 
I wanted to make learning one of my key stone habits.  This past year I read 60 books totally 13,446 pages. So how do you read 400% more this year? And more importantly, how do you digest and put into practice 13,000 pages of information? In short, be intentional. Here are 6 intentional steps you can take to become a reader and a learner. 

Create a reading list

My favorite reading companion app is Goodreads. Use this app to set up shelves of currently reading, to read in the future, and then read. Set a reading goal for the year and then sync Goodreads with your Kindle account. Also use the social side of this app to find other people who want to read the same books.

Explore other modes for reading

Physical books are great, but maybe you need to explore other options. Check out audiobooks from ChristianAudio or Audible. Download Kindle books and read them on your device or have your device read them to you. Or possibly go to the library or borrow a book from your friend promising to return it in two weeks.

Carry a book with you

Anytime you are waiting… for an appointment, the plane to take off, the coffee to percolate… stop wasting time and open a book. During your commute, no matter how short, pop in an audiobook. Instead of pulling out your phone to crush candy, open up your kindle app and crush a chapter.

 

Start a reading ritual

Maybe for you it’s right before bed, or maybe you’re like Frank Bealer who draws a bath and reads until the water gets cold. Create a ritual that fits your phase in life and stick to it.

Track your progress

Like Jim Wideman says in Tweetable Leadership: “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” Set a goal and then daily or weekly track your progress towards that goal.

Highlight, take notes, and write down next steps

Constantly ask, “How can I apply this today?” Highlight important text for you to reference in the future. When you finish a book, look over your highlights and write down next steps and then place them on your calendar to make them happen. And maybe even force yourself to apply what you learned by setting the book down until you have applied what you have read.

 

Make 2016 a year marked by personal growth. Take steps today to become intentional in your 2016 reading.

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