As many of you may know, I’ve been on this reinvention kick for pretty much a year now. Not only exploring how to support my clients through it and making it my “thing”, but also personally.
At the core of the reinvention process lies the question: “Who do I need to become?”
After getting clear on what reinvention means for us and what it is we want our lives to look like, we need to shift our focus onto becoming the kind of person who achieves and experiences that kind of life.
And for me, a big part of the type of person I’m inspired to step into is reading.
See, for a long time, I’ve wanted to read more. While it’s true that nobody cares how many books you read, there’s no denying that old cliche that leaders are readers (or is it the other way around?).
Continuing our 80/20 theme from yesterday, I see reading as one of those activities: part of the 20% of activities I (and you) can do that produce 80% of the results (of course, the results only come from applying what we read).
So why a book per week?
Well, a few reasons.
First of all, it’s a bigger commitment, which is going to call forth and require a better version of me. You may have noticed, but I don’t do well with moderation. Start a podcast? Let’s do one every week for 2 years! Start writing? Let’s do it every day! Quit drinking? Let’s go cold turkey immediately (4 years+ and going strong). Go vegan? Goodbye animals (or hello, depending on which way you look at it)! Bottom line is there’s no room for kinda-sorta executing when you’re trying to read a book per week. We need bright lines. Remember, 99% is hard; 100% is easy.
Second, it doesn’t take much internet scrolling to come across countless resources talking about successful entrepreneurs reading a book per week. And if I wanna become the kind of person who lives my ideal lifestyle, I need to model the people already doing it. Success leaves clues.
And finally, when I saw my biggest role model Robin Sharma describing the makings of genius, it was the final nail in the coffin (read a book per week, study a course per month, attend an event per quarter).
But here’s the funny thing about all of this…
I actually don’t care if I read 52 books or not. I’m not attached to the outcome. To me, it’s ALL about the process and who I become as a result of aiming to read a book per week. Remember, that’s the awesome thing about goals, anyway.
So… with all that in mind, here’s how I’m reading a book per week in 2019.
How to read a book per week
1. Always have a book with me. You’ll be surprised by how many micro moments we actually get during the day that could be used constructively. We just usually fill them with our phones.
2. If I take a little longer to read one book, I’ll follow it up with a shorter book. There are plenty of awesome books out there that could easily take a day or two to read. I’ll use them as strategic weapons.
3. Audiobooks. Speaking of strategic weapons, this is another great way to fit in reading while you’re on the go. I’ve actually never listened to audiobooks before, but I’m keen to give it a try.
4. Make the time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. I’ll be making time for reading by scheduling 1 hour in the morning, getting in some bonus reading at night if the day allows, and using the weekends as “top-up” time to finish the job before the next week. (James Clear has an awesome strategy that helped which is to simply read 20 pages per day).
5. Make it non-negotiable. You better believe it’s going in my Google calendar! Schedule the important things in your life just as you would a meeting with someone. And then show up!
Well, what do you know? That just turned into a 5-step process.
I gotta admit, it feels exciting to be taking on a personal challenge like this. Just as I felt before quitting my job, starting my podcast, writing a daily article, giving up alcohol, or going vegan, I don’t know what will happen as a result of reading a book per week, but I do know for sure that it’s more promising than if I don’t.
And at the end of the day, all we can really do is take the small actions that move us closer to our vision, even if we can’t quite see how just yet.
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