Pursuing A Reading Goal Could Help You Rediscover Your Love Of Books

Setting new goals has always been something that's synonymous with the start of the new year. Realistically, though, any day is always a good day to cross a goal off your checklist, especially when it's something that can enhance your life in a major way, such as reading books.

As kids, many of us grew up with our noses buried in books, but as we got older, we either continued our passion for reading books or eventually put it off to the side and never fully returned to it. However, with our attention being split in so many different directions as adults, it's important that we create space for hobbies that give us a moment to enjoy ourselves and are beneficial to our mental health. If rediscovering your love of books is a goal you want to accomplish, here are a few ways you can adapt to help you dive back in.

The benefits of creating a reading goal

As with anything you may be interested in pursuing, it's important to create a goal. In particular, setting a reading goal can be extremely helpful to you as it offers tons of benefits. Aside from challenging you, creating reading goals also gives you the opportunity to escape into the pages of an entertaining book after a long day and can help to ensure you get a good night's sleep.

Additionally, creating a reading goal gives you something to achieve while allowing you to focus on reading and you're constantly enhancing your knowledge while expanding your vocabulary. Another great benefit is that it can also improve your memory. As a matter of fact, a 14-year-long study published in International Psychogeriatrics in 2020 discovered that those who read regularly experienced a reduced risk of cognitive decline compared to those who read less often. These sound like great benefits to us! Now, here's how to get back into it.

Step 1: Establish your (realistic) reading goals

We all have different factors contributing to how busy (or not so busy) we are. As easy as it seems to pick up a book and randomly start reading it when you can, it may be more beneficial for you to establish reading goals.

So, for instance, if your reading goal is to read 12 books in one year, the obvious goal may be to read one book each month. While that may be a realistic and achievable goal that's pretty easy for some to achieve, if you still struggle to finish reading one book a month, try breaking your goal down even more. So, if you have a 300-page book that you want to read in one month, set your goal to read 75 pages each week, or 10 to 15 pages a day, to make it easier to accomplish the goal. Doing this makes the goal more attainable to achieve because of how much the goal has been simplified. Again, you want to achieve your reading goal, so it helps to make it as simple and realistic as possible to do just that.

Step 2: Keep track of your reading lifestyle

One of the best ways to stay committed to your reading goal is to be organized with what you're reading. Taking notes can greatly help here. Dedicate a journal that's solely used to keep track of different things pertaining to your reading lifestyle by taking notes on books that you've read.

Some important things to jot down are the names of books you've read, the books that you liked or didn't have a connection with, and your favorite authors or genres. It also helps to keep track of all the books you currently own so you know what's next to purchase or check out. Another great thing to note at the beginning of your reading journal aside from your current reading goal and what you're doing to achieve it is to also notice when you prefer to read. Do you prefer reading in the morning since reading in bed before sleeping isn't that great for you? If so, make note of that so you can keep track of when you get the most reading done and continue to follow that pattern.

Step 3: Reflect and reward

When you're ready, or perhaps after tackling your first read, look over your book and notes. Reflect on if you were able to tackle your reading goal and how easy or difficult it was for you to reach it. If you reached your goal, reward yourself with a new book or another treat you've been eyeing.

On the other hand, if you found it difficult to achieve your reading goal, reflect on what made it hard for you to reach it. If reading a book a month seems doable, but you struggle with reading 10 to 15 pages a day, adjust your goal to reading your selected book during the random times you feel the urge to scroll through your social media accounts. With this simple switch, you may potentially find that you're reading more than your targeted page goal each day. You also may end up rediscovering your love books as well. Not only does this hold you accountable but it also ensures that it's easier for you to make progress toward reaching your reading goal.