Creating New Year’s resolutions is a tradition we have engaged in at some point or another in our lives. It’s when we decide to continue good practices, change undesired traits, aspire to achieve personal and or professional goals, and overall we aim to improve aspects of our lives.
If reading is a part of your goals, or you’d like to introduce reading into your life, time might not be a luxury you can easily afford. We talk in detail about finding time to read when you’re extremely busy in a separate article, but we want to focus on creative ways you can incorporate reading into your other personal goals.
We decided to tackle five of the most commonly set New Year’s resolutions to show you how reading books can help you achieve those goals or how you can incorporate reading into achieving your other personal goals.
1. GET OUT OF DEBT, SAVE MONEY
This one is easier said than done. While I do consider books a need, not want, if you find yourself buying stacks of books each month – that’s an area where you can cut back spending. But you can still achieve your reading goal by becoming a regular patron at your local library. Don’t forget you can request books at your library in addition to placing holds on highly anticipated books. If you decide it’s one you need to own after reading your library book, keep an eye out for it at your friends of the library book sale or in your friendly neighborhood used bookshop. Think of finding this book at a bargain as a great big adventure.
You can also read tons of books about personal finance that can give you a lot more practical advice than we can, such as Broke Millennial, Your Money Or Your Life, The Latte Factor, Smart Women Finish Rich.
2. LOSE WEIGHT, EXERCISE, GET FIT
To achieve this goal, you have to get moving. So whether you have a gym membership or you’re taking walks around the block — opt to listen to an audiobook while you exercise.
I know there is a hot debate about whether listening to audiobooks can be considered reading. Historically oral literary culture long preceded the actual book. While audiobooks cannot replace physical books, they provide an excellent alternative for people on the go and those wanting to give their eyes a rest.
Besides, gone are the days of listening to books on cassette or CD’s, now we can download them right on our smartphones. Audiobooks also draw A-list actors and actresses to the mic, undergoing massive productions, casts, soundscapes, and other technological advances!
3. LEARN SOMETHING NEW, TRAVEL TO NEW PLACES
What better way to learn something new and travel to a new place than by diving into a book? After all, it is said, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, the man who never reads only lives one.”
4. SPENDING MORE TIME WITH FAMILY
Spending more time with family can prove challenging because of schedules, distance, finances, and a host of other factors. The way reading can fix that is by fostering a reading culture within your family. If we are talking about the immediate family that lives at home with you, try carving out a one-hour window where the entire family sits and reads. You can all read different books, and for reluctant readers, you can try audio. Then, at a once-a-week seated dinner, you can all talk about the books you’re reading. Finally, you can read the same book together and have a once-a-month call in to discuss it for an extended family member.
5. REDUCING STRESS, FINDING ME TIME
Numerous studies have proven that reading is a known stress reducer. It helps you to switch off, de-stress, and by distracting your brain with new information or someone else’s story – it will take your mind off your troubles. It can be your “me time” thing and become something you consistently do for yourself.
Reading also provides additional benefits – increased concentration, creativity, and a more understanding and empathetic person.
*Bonus Goal* READ MORE BOOKS
I’m a huge advocate for quality over quantity, but if you’ve set a numerical goal of reading books, your biggest challenge might be finding the actual time to read. The easy and honest solution is always to have a book handy and read every free second. We also talk in detail about finding time to read when you’re extremely busy in a separate article, so that might be something you should read.
Readers, you’ll find that you can apply these solutions to many other personal goals and resolutions in your life.
Have you found creative ways to incorporate reading into achieving your other personal goals? Are you planning to try something new?
Please share your ideas and tips in the comments.