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How To Make Reading A Habit And Finish The Books You Want To Read

How To Make Reading A Habit And Finish The Books You Want To Read

I read almost every day. Although I’m a full-time student, freelance writer, and internet junkie, I try to make reading a priority. Not only is reading mentally stimulating, it’s also a way for me to unwind at the end of the day. If you want to integrate reading into your everyday life, here are seven ways you can easily do so.

1. Make time for it.

Yes, it’s that simple. If you want to read, just make time in your day for it. You don’t have to spend hours turning pages; even a short chapter a night is fine. You’ve just got to fit reading into your day. Associating your reading time with relaxation will make it more appealing, and you might find yourself craving a book instead of television as a way to veg out.

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2. Commit to a time of day.

If you feel best reading in the morning while eating breakfast, do that. Or maybe you’re a read-before-bed kind of person. Whatever time of day works best for you, stick to it. Reading will become more of a habit that you associate with a particular time, which makes it more likely that you’ll stick to it.

3. Create a reading area.

At home, I have a special reading corner. In it, I have a bookshelf, a large armchair, a floor lamp, and lots of pillows. I feel most comfortable reading when I’m tucked away in this little area. Some people feel better reading propped up in bed, and others prefer an outdoor setting. Find where you’re most likely to enjoy reading and stick to it.

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4. Bring what you need.

Tea, pillows, snacks, background music, glasses: whatever you need to settle down and get reading, make sure you have it with you. Nothing is worse than having to constantly interrupt your reading session because you forgot something. Make yourself comfortable and stay put.

5. Consider joining a book club.

Book clubs offer great ways to get introduced to new books, make friends, and keep on track with your reading. Book clubs set deadlines for reading, and others in the group often hold each other accountable for completing each book on time. If you can’t seem to find a book club in your area, consider making one with friends, family, or coworkers. It can be a good new way to bond with others in your life.

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6. Read what you like.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t like the newest book by so-and-so famous author. So what? Forcing yourself to read books that you don’t like is a recipe for disaster. Learn when to give up on books that you’re not enjoying and move on. Once you find a book you like, consider reading other books by that author. Additionally, there are great resources for picking your next book. What Should I Read Next is a great online resource for finding your next read. The site takes your preferences and finds new books or authors that you’re likely to enjoy.

7. Look for book alternatives.

As a firm believer in physical, hold-in-your-hands books, it pains me to mention book alternatives. However, many people find devices like Kindles, Nooks, and iPads to be very useful. These devices allow users to download digital books. Tablets can be a real space saver, as many of them are capable of containing over a thousand books at once. Though they can carry a hefty price tag (iPad minis start at $399), these devices are getting cheaper. A basic Kindle will only set you back $69. If you think you would prefer a digital alternative, shop around for the tablet you think would best fit your needs and budget.

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Featured photo credit: Viewminder via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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