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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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