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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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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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