Learn how to make reading a habit and a part of your daily productive routine. (This post was last updated on: 2/22/21.)
It seems like reading more is one of the most common goals people set for themselves especially around New Year’s. I imagine it’s one of the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions that people make and break year after year. I know I have done the same many times.
So what’s the solution? I think it’s figuring out how to add in more reading to your daily routine in the most simple way so that it becomes a habit. I think when the goal is too lofty, it just sets you up for failure. So keeping it simple at first is the best way to incorporate any new habit into your daily routine including reading. Here are some of my tips and tricks on how to make reading a habit for you and your family.
How to Form New Habits
Let’s start off by talking about the basics on starting a new habit. Most experts say that it takes 20 days of repetitively doing something in order for that to become a habit. I find it best to write down on my calendar or planner what the new habit is so that I 1. have a reminder to do it and 2. when the task is completed I can check it off and that always feels so good. Another option would be to put a reminder in your phone or schedule an alarm to go off a few minutes before you wanted to sit down to read.
When you are first starting to establish a new habit, keep it simple. For example set your goal to reading every night in bed before you go to sleep for 10-20 minutes. Don’t set the goal so high that it’s unachievable and not realistic. This will only deter you from staying consistent with reading and incorporating this into your daily routine. So my tip is to keep the goal attainable- read for 10-20 minutes before bed daily; not read for 30 minutes every morning and during my lunch break and for another 30 minutes before bed.
Over time, once you have established a daily routine, you can slowly increase the time or number of times per day.
How to Make Reading a Habit
There are a few different ways to make reading a habit. You can set aside some time each day, typically at the beginning or end of the day works best. You need to figure out how much time you can devote depending on what your schedule looks like.
If you need to wake up 15 minutes earlier each day, you can do that. Or plan to get ready for bedtime 30 minutes earlier. If you work, you can read on your lunch break. Keeping your latest book in your purse or brief case is a good way to have a book handy for anytime you find yourself with a few minutes to read, like waiting in the doctor’s office or waiting in line for grocery pick up.
A lot of you probably have an iPad or Kindle. You can download a book or two and keep that on you or keep it charged on your nightstand. You can also download apps to your phone. We all keep our phones on us almost all of the time. Reading a book on an electronic device is a really useful way to read as it will bookmark your page anytime you are done reading.
How I Incorporated Reading into My Daily Routine
I have found the easiest way to make reading part of my daily routine is to use Amazon Audible. Listening to an audio book might seem like cheating, but it helps me reach my goal. And that’s what matters most to me. I have learned different ways to schedule time into my routine by simply changing the way I “read” or consume books.
I first set up my Audible Membership on Amazon. Then I downloaded the app to my phone. And I started a wish list on Amazon to store my reading list. It was super easy to set up and I am not the most tech savvy person around.
A one year membership includes 12 credits for any book on the Amazon site. So that comes out to 1 new book per month, doesn’t matter how new or old the book is or even how much it costs. The membership also comes with access to free books which I haven’t yet explored so I can’t advise much in that area.
Once I had the app on my phone and my first book set and ready to go, I came up with different ways to listen to my first book. I definitely play my audio book in the car anytime I am driving. I have laid in bed listening to a book with my headphones before I fall asleep. I listen to the book on a bluetooth speaker in the house while I am cooking dinner, doing chores or just hanging out. It becomes so easy to “find” the time to get my reading time in for the day.
Learn More about Amazon Audible Membership
Amazon Prime members can try Audible for free for a month and will receive 2 credits to use during that time. 1 book = 1 credit. If you don’t have Prime, then you can do a 1 month trial and receive 1 credit. Memberships are sold in 1, 3, 6 or 12 month increments. Amazon allows you to purchase Audible as a gift for others and their site sells Audible gift cards. Membership gives you access to not only books but also to podcasts, interviews, instructional programs, magazines, speeches/ lectures and radio programs.
Click the icon to sign up for Audible now:
My Audible Reading List:
You can click on each icon to read a description of the book or to add to your Audible account.
So tell me, how much have you been reading? What are your tips for making reading a habit and part of your daily routine? I also want to know what are your book recommendations; what have you read lately that I should check out? Leave your answers in a comment below!