How I Read 24 Books in the First 35 Weeks of 2019

Alex Wingert |

Here's a hint, it all starts with setting goals.

I used to set a lot of short term goals for myself. Stuff like, run a 10k in 50 minutes, get my wife a thoughtful birthday gift, etc. I thought this approach was pretty successful, as I set bite-sized goals for myself, and subsequently achieved them.

The problem I realized is that I wasn't thinking big enough. By limiting myself to short term goals, I'm losing sight of what I can accomplish over time, with intention.

2017 was the first year that I set annual goals. I set 11 goals, and only hit 5 of them. Some goals were extremely vague as well. Two of them were Be in Nature, and Read More. As that year went on, I realized I had to refine these goals a little further. I changed Be in Nature to Learn to Ski and Mountain Bike, and Read More changed to Read 12 books.

With these small adjustments, my goals started to become more clear to me and started to get me really excited.

Fast forward to 2019 and my goals.

Read 24 books was one of my personal goals for 2019. It was a steady increase from 12 in 2017, and 18 in 2018.

What I didn't expect, was to be able to hit this goal within the first 8 months of the year.

I tried to pinpoint how I was able to achieve this goal so quickly, and then it dawned on me; habits don't becomes habits happen overnight (or even after 21 days).

I made reading a habit over two years ago, to the point where it's my preferred way to unwind now. I don't force myself to read books I don't like, and I stopped listening to as many audiobooks.

WHAT?? NO AUDIOBOOKS? Believe it. I'm not sure about you, but when I listen to audiobooks, I'm usually doing at least one other thing. This only allows me to scratch the surface of a book, which in turn doesn't allow myself to fully absorb the work, which doesn't get me as excited to read the book, which causes me to read less.

It was as simple as that.

If you want to see where my mind has been in 2019 - follow me on goodreads