Daily Reading Babit

Today let's talk about how to establish a daily reading habit.

This is important because the easiest way

to enjoy the many benefits that are associated with reading

is to make it a natural and consistent part

of our daily routine.

Now, unfortunately, change is very difficult.

We all have established habits, and routines,

and patterns that make up our daily lives,

and it’s incredibly difficult to change these things,

even if all we’re trying to do is introduce a five

or 10 minute reading habit every single day.

So, the goal here is that by the end of this episode,

you’ll have a simple three-step process

that you can use to establish

a rock solid daily reading habit.

So, let’s dive straight into it,

beginning with step number one.

Start by choosing two interesting books.

Now this first step might either seem painfully obvious,

or it might be the breakthrough that you need

to not only establish a daily reading habit,

but to maintain it over time.

Now the idea here is that for many people,

when they’re first interested in reading,

they like the idea of reading,

but they don’t necessarily have books in mind

for what they would read

if they were to establish a reading habit.

They might see something in a bookstore

that seems interesting or they might get a recommendation

from a friend or family member,

but if you’re going to establish

and maintain a reading habit, then it’s very important

that you choose books that are very relevant

and engaging to you personally.

Now I do have a followup episode

where I go through a simple process

for how to choose really great books,

but the short version is, number one,

you want to start by identifying a challenge,

or an opportunity, or a topic

that is most interesting to you.

So in the case of a challenge,

what is something either in your personal life

or your work life that you would like to overcome

when it comes to an opportunity?

What is an opportunity, again,

in your personal or your work life

that you would like to take advantage of

and that you think a book might be able to help you with?

Or is there a topic or a theme

that you’re particularly interested in exploring?

You want to get very clear

on what it is that you want to learn about,

and then number two is to look for highly recommended books

that relate to that topic.

So you might look for reading lists online,

you might ask other people that you know

that have overcome a similar challenge

or dealt with a similar opportunity,

and you want to look for great book recommendations

from other people that have accomplished

or pursued what it is

that you’re interested in learning about.

Now if you’re interested in business-related topics

like digital marketing, product management,

or even entrepreneurship, I do have dedicated reading lists

that cover those topics and several others,

and I’ll link those up for you

down in the description box below.

But the core idea here is that for step number one,

you want to identify at least two books

that are interesting to you,

and the reason for two

is that once you finish the first book,

if you don’t have something already lined up,

this is where your reading habit might fall apart,

so it’s very important to always have a book

that you’re looking forward to reading next,

and then of course, once you dive into that next book,

it’s time to start looking for that third,

and then eventually that fourth and fifth book

so that you’re always one step ahead,

you always have a book

that you’re looking forward to reading next,

so that when you finish your current one,

you are able to maintain your reading habit.

Let’s continue on to step number two.

Establish a small minimum daily reading target.

A very common mistake that people make

when they’re trying to establish a new habit

is to come out and immediately set

a very high initial target.

So for example, if you’re wanting to set a reading habit,

you might be tempted to come out and commit

to 30 or even 60 minutes of reading every single day,

and there’s this idea that we want to change our life,

we want to dive right into reading,

and so what better way than setting a large commitment

and really getting straight into it.

Now, the obvious problem with this approach

is that it’s very difficult to change our habits

and our routines,

and the larger the commitment we’re making is,

the more likely it is that it’s gonna break down over time

and that it’s not going to be sustainable.

Now, there’s a second mistake that isn’t as common,

but it can be just as detrimental when it comes

to our ability to maintain a habit over time,

and the idea with this mistake is that we might start small,

which is the correct place to start,

but over a few short weeks or months,

we are steadily increasing that minimum commitment,

to the point where eventually we’re now holding ourselves

responsible for reading for 30 or 60 minutes a day,

and we run into the exact same problem,

but we believe this is okay

because we’ve slowly increased the minimum,

and hopefully, over time, we’re more and more prepared

to take on this more lofty goal.

Now the problem with this approach

is it prioritizes intensity over consistency.

But if we want to have success

when it comes to establishing a new habit,

we really want to do the opposite.

We want to prioritize consistency over intensity.

Now one of my favorite bits of advice relating to this

comes from a book called Mini Habits by Stephen Guise,

and what he recommends

is that you set a small minimum daily commitment

that you can easily accomplish every single day,

and you never increase that minimum over time.

So even in months from now, or even years from now,

you still have a very simple and achievable daily minimum,

something like five pages a day, or five minutes a day.

Now on any given day, you can read for as long as you want,

so if you’re in an interesting section of a book,

you can read for 30 minutes or even 60 minutes.

The difference here is on the very next day,

you don’t need to maintain that new high

in order to feel like you’re moving forward with your habit.

You can go right back to your five page

or five minute minimum on the next day,

and whenever you feel like reading more, you can read more,

but the focus here is on consistency.

This is very important

because the habits that ultimately stand the test of time

are those that we can perform consistently every single day,

and by reading for five pages or five minutes every day,

we rewire our brains and we now consider ourselves a reader,

and when we shift our mindset in this way

it becomes far easier to maintain our habit.

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