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Reading Tips

How To Set and Achieve Your Reading Goals

Check out our tips and resources to help you set and achieve your reading goals and resolutions.

Last Updated on May 12, 2024 by BiblioLifestyle

How To Set and Achieve Your Reading Goals

Have you ever set a reading goal for yourself, only to fall short?  Most people have at one time or another, myself included.  This article will share some practical tips on setting and achieving your reading goals and resolutions.  So whether you’re looking to read more books this year, be more intentional about the books you want to read, or want to be better about meeting the goals you’ve set, stick around!  We’ve got some helpful advice for you.

What are reading goals?

Reading goals are personal targets you set for your reading life.  They can be whatever you want them to be, and the most important thing is that they challenge you, and in the end, you are better for it.

Why are reading goals important?

Reading goals are important because they help you focus on your reading, and when you set specific goals, you can now have something to “achieve.”  Without having a goal, it can be easy to get sidetracked, and reading becomes a chore.  But when you set a goal, you can pick books you know you will enjoy that will also help you achieve your goals. Plus, setting goals is a great way to ensure that reading stays fun and engaging.

Before you set your reading goals for the year OR if you want to start over from scratch, listen to the Before You Set Your Reading Goals Do This podcast episode.

What are easy reading goals?

Some easy reading goals are:

  • To start a reading habit.
  • To read a specific number of books per month.
  • To read a specific number of books by the end of the year.
  • To read outside of your comfort zone and different genres.
  • To be a more intentional reader.

Looking for more ideas? Check out our 23 Reading Goal Ideas for Adults to Try in 2024.

Five Steps for achieving your reading resolutions

How To Set Reading Goals and Achieve Them

Step 1: Define your goals or resolution

Simply saying I want to incorporate reading into my life, read more books, or read more intentionally isn’t enough.  You need to define your reading goals clearly.

  • If your goal is to start reading again, what do you want to start reading?  What kind of books do you want to read?  What does incorporating reading into your life look like for you?
  • If your goal is numerical, what is your number?  Set it, say it, and write it down.
  • If your goal is to read more diversely or intentionally, what does that mean for you?  What specifically do you want to be intentional about?  What diverse stories or authors do you want to focus on?  Get very clear on what this looks like for you.

On the other hand, some readers prefer not to have any specific goals and instead let their reading take them where it may.  If this sounds like you, try setting resolutions instead of goals; these are more open-ended and allow more flexibility.  Some examples include: reading outside your comfort zone, reading a new genre or type of book each month, or reading for 30 minutes every day.

Looking for more ideas?  Check out our 23 Reading Goal Ideas for Adults to Try in 2024.

Step 2: Make plans to achieve your goals

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail.” Now that you’ve defined your goals, you need to make a plan to achieve them.  Of course, as the weeks and months go by, you may go astray, and that’s ok, but at least you will have a roadmap to help you get back on track.

Make plans to achieve your goals by breaking them into smaller, more manageable tasks.

This is especially useful if your reading goal is numerical.  For example, if your goal is to read 12 books, you might set a goal and task yourself to read one book per month.  This way, you’re still challenging yourself but aren’t putting as much pressure on yourself because you’re pacing yourself.

If your numerical goal is a much larger number, still break it down into weekly goals.  If the number per week is unrealistic for you, revise your initial goal and make the number attainable.  Remember, reading should be enjoyable, and you don’t want to end your year feeling bad about not making your goal, or at the last minute, you’re in a frenzy to complete it.

Incorporate your reading goals into your other personal goals.

From saving money, and exercising, to spending more time with family, you can find creative ways to incorporate reading.  If you’re looking for actionable tips on how to do this, check out our “Creative Ways To Incorporate Your Reading Goals Into Your Other Personal Goals” article.

Resources to help you stick to your goals:

Quick tips to help you stick to your goals:

  • Watch less television and be mindful of your time on social media.
  • Schedule reading time if necessary.
  • Surround yourself with books and always have a book on hand.
  • Join a book club, participate in a reading challenge, tune in to podcasts, subscribe to newsletters and websites that align with your goals.
  • Read books that you want to read, not what you think you should be reading.
  • Don’t be afraid to stop reading books that aren’t working for you.
Achieving your reading resolutions

Step 3: Keep track of what you read.

We’re all in different stages of our relationship with reading, and the same can be said for tracking our reading.  But to get an accurate picture of your reading life, you need to track your reading.

If you’re new to tracking your reading or looking for ways to improve, check out my 5 Ways To Track Your Reading and 7 Things We Are Tracking In Our Reading Journal article. If you’re interested in using book tracking apps, check out The 5 Best Book Tracking Apps for Readers article.

Whichever route you decide to take, keep track of what you’re reading!  Tracking your reading will help ensure that you are making progress toward your goals and resolutions.

Step 4: Reflect on your reading life

This means taking a step back from what you’re doing now or at points during your upcoming reading journey.  Then evaluate the books and reading methods that have worked and those that have not.

For example, set milestones where you take stock of what books and stories did and didn’t work for you every month or quarter.  This reflection will help guide what kind of reading experience makes the most sense during that particular time in your life.  After this reflection, select books that both align with your goals and are working for you at that moment.

Reflecting on your reading life doesn’t have to be an extensive process, but it will help you see if you’re achieving your reading goals and help you develop better plans to achieve them.

Step 5: Take Action!

None of what we’ve discussed here matters if you don’t take action.  So this is where you put all of the steps discussed into play and work towards becoming the reader you want to be and achieving those reading goals.

Do you have any goals or resolutions for your reading life?

What are your plans to achieve them?  Do you have any tips or tricks that would benefit other readers?  Let’s talk all about setting and achieving goals in the comments below.

FOR MORE CONTENT:

TIPS TO HELP YOUR READING LIFE:

How To Set and Achieve Your Reading Goals

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