Today, over 20 people have given me the names of their recommended books and their recommended authors. I stated and personal goal and asked one simple question.
Does the goal seem impossible?
I bet to some it does. Just think about it; 100 books is almost 2 books a week for the next year! That is outrageous considering most people are struggling to read. (Check out this article from The Atlantic for more information.) I believe it can be done. As one of my quote says,
“The one who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the one doing it.”
My 100 book goal will be a difficult one, but I am going to put forth my best foot forward and get it done. It you set goals that do not change or challenge you, then why set any goals? For me, it means some changes and taking advantages of opportunities to make progress every day.
Personal Note: This is not my only goal for 2017; it is just one of the many. I divide my goals into several categories: (1) Personal, (2) Family, (3) Spiritual, (4) Ministry, (5) Financial, (6) Home and finally, (7) Business.
First, understand that every book will not be a 200 page book. I will be reading from a variety of disciplines and each one will be different in many aspects. Currently, I am reading a 704 page book, more like a resource book, to get some personal improvement ideas in areas from finance to wellness to creativity.
Second, understand I have a lifestyle that encourages reading. Being in ministry, teaching, writing and speaking several times each week allows me the privilege of researching, reading and more writing. I know it is easier on me than others because of my lifestyle.
Below are some steps I am going to take to get it done.
Manage Opportunities – Too many people whine about not having enough time until they want to do something and then, suddenly, time appears. The fact is none of us manage time, we manage the opportunities we have in the time we are given. Each person is given 168 hours a week to do with as we please. However, not everyone will use time the same. (I will write more about this later.)
Several years ago, I stopped doing everything and start doing something. I have found that I do not have a gift for everything but I can do something. In fact, I have about three decent abilities and I try to stick with them instead of being a “jack-of-all-trades.” I will help others as much as I can, but there are things I cannot do.
As an example, there is a project that I undertook rather stupidly. I thought it would be an easy project and I would learn along the way. Instead, my brain has been friend and I have been frustrated with getting it done over and over. Finally, today, I outsourced the project using Fiverr. (This is my first experience with Fiverr so I will say more once the project is completed.)
For now, I am going to start by scheduling reading time every night before I go to bed; no more late night phone checking and falling into the Facebook, Social Media and YouTube Blackhole. Speaking of, have you ever wondered how much time people waste in the Social Media Blackhole? As of 2011, it was 6.9 hours a month. I bet the amount has steadily increased. It is amazing. (Go read Mashable’s article on Social Media and Time here.)
(Math Time) Figuring I can get in at least 30 minutes every evening, gives me 15 hours in a thirty day month. Since most people have a reading speed of 250 to 300 words per minute (source) that puts me at 270,000 words a month. The average book length is 64,531 words in length (source), that gives me 4.18 books a month. Remember, not every book will be 64,531 words; some more and some less. This provides a pretty good start.
Remember, that is only 30 minutes each evening. What if I added 30 minutes into the midday? What if I added 30 minutes in the morning? To do this, I would need to cut out several time wasters out of the day or I would need to maximize every opportunity.
Having an Amazon Kindle (affiliate link) will help to maximize reading time by allowing me to carry my electronic library wherever I go. Whether I am in line picking up one of my children from practice or waiting in line somewhere, I have the ability to spend a few moments reading. If do not have the Kindle with you, then you can at least have the app on your phone.
Speed Read – As stated previously, the average person reads between 250 and 300 words a minute, but some are much faster. Not all books, at least for me, can be glazed through at a high rate of speed. There are some books that need time to digest, others to be reread and still others to dive into deeper with time.
I started experimenting with speed reading a few years ago and found some success. A few weeks ago, a friend point to a few speed reading apps available for phones and tablets. He is an iPhone user and uses Spritz. For Android users, you can check out this list of Spritz-like speed reading apps. There are other speed reading apps found at the Spritz website for Android users.
Additionally, if you have the Kindle app on your phone, it also has a speed reading app built into it. Give it a try and see how you do. My friend has increased his speed reading time dramatically.
Comprehend More – While speed reading will boost the words per minute, there still must be something to hold onto after the book is put down. To be able to comprehend more, I will need to add notes to my journal and even highlight and go back and review my notes at the end of each book. This is where having a personal website will help. I have decided to make my notes and reviews available for a few books over the course of the year.
Be Accountable – One of the easiest things to do is not to hold yourself accountable for your goals. It is easy to let a goal slip by and make excuses for them. Being held accountable puts the burden of responsibility on your shoulders to get the job done. I have already thrown myself out there by stating my goals on Facebook and even writing this article.
I am hoping to compile my list soon and make it available to you. If you need a list to start planning today, here are a few:
Finally, if you want some motivation to read more, join the Better Living Book Club I am putting together next year.
Anyway, the night is growing short and I have some pages of that huge 704 book to read, I better get moving.
Let me know what some of your goals are next year and how I can encourage you to keep them.
Just my thoughts,