In order to become great, you have to sharpen your mind. You can lift all the weights you want but to truly become Jacked and Strong, you must open your thinking to the world around you and one way to do this is through reading everyday.
Reading everyday serves us a few purposes. First, it provides an avenue of mental clarity. When you’re reading, it’s just you and the book. It’s a new world of information for you to process and learn from. When you’re reading the right things, you can better yourself in the long run. It only takes one idea to get the wheels turning in your head. Use your time wisely and read. Stay away from the television. You should not give a crap about what the Kardashians did last night!
READING SPARKS OUR CREATIVITY
We become more in tune with the world around us. We open our thoughts to what is going on in our lives and are able to offer up solutions to make our life a little better.
If you are ever stuck in a mental rut, open up a book. For me, personal development books offer up a source of inspiration whenever I am a bit down on myself or don’t have the mental energy to focus on a specific task. Find your groove in a book and watch your mental edge improve.
Read 40+ Books This Year
Now, that I have a listed a few advantages of reading, how can you adapt and ensure you’re reading more often? Try implementing all or some of these next steps to take your reading to the next level.
Start Your Day by Reading
You should already be waking early to get a head start on your day. Put this time to good use by reading and enjoy the quiet time. Let reading every morning become a routine and you’ll soon begin to look forward to the time you have when it’s just you and your book. My morning routine involves 30 minutes of reading and then writing for this blog. Develop your own habits and grow immensely!
Set a Timer
By setting aside 30 minutes each day for reading, you are making an appointment with yourself to get the important done. No one is forcing you to read, you have to do it for yourself. Make it an easy task by implementing a time to read in your schedule. Don’t have a 30 minute block in your day? I don’t believe it but maybe you have three 10 minute blocks. Make reading work for you. It shouldn’t have to be forced. I like to use E.ggTimer to keep me on track while reading.
Set a Goal
Committing to a daily page number goal is a great way to ensure you are reading regularly. With the average book length roughly 250 pages you can cover 40 books a year by knocking down 30 pages a day. Once you have set a side a 30 minute block in your day, reading 30 pages is simple.
Have A Book List
I use Evernote to track books I want to read and books I’ve read. Just set up 2 notebooks titled “Books I’ve Read” and “Books to Read” and there you have it. All information is in one place. Other recommendations you can use for book lists include:
– Setting up a Gmail address specifically for your book list. Every time you come across a book you want to read, email it to yourself and your inbox becomes a place holder for your next book.
– Use your Amazon Wish List to keep track of your next reads.
– Go to GoodReads and set up an account. This site gives you book recommendations and your own online library.
Read More Than One Book At A Time
Some people will argue that you should only read one book at a time for two reasons. 1) To eliminate multitasking. 2) To finish what you started.
My rebuttal to this is I don’t believe the multitasking argument applies to book reading. Let’s say you are reading the biography on Steve Jobs and it sparks something in you about being more creative. You put down the biography and pick up a book on how to improve your creativity. You’re now reading two books and are applying the creativity techniques with what you’re learning.
In regards to finishing what you started, if you think a book sucks, quit reading it. This leads me to my next point.
If A Book Sucks, Tell It “You Suck!”
You don’t have to finish a book just because you started a book. This was the hardest thing for me to learn. I would get a severe case of OCD and would go through the torture of finishing an awful book just to tell myself that I finished. Finishing a book in anguish will not only deter you from reading but prevents you from learning something new.
You Don’t Have To Read Every Chapter
Who says you have to read every chapter in a book and you have to read the chapters in the order they are given? Don’t fall into this trap! It’s okay to freestyle your reading. If a chapter doesn’t apply to you, don’t read it. If a chapter is boring you, quit reading it. Reading should not be torturous. You are not in school anymore!
Put Your Smart Phone To Use
The invention of eBooks has made it very easy to read at any time. You can now read while standing in line or in a waiting room at a doctor office visit. Take advantage of these opportunities and put your brain to use.
Like eBooks, Audio Books allow you to take advantage of times when you are unable to do anything else. Driving time is perfect for listening to Audio Books. Audible.com is a great resource and one I use religously.
Borrow An Abundance Of Books
The library is a great source for your book craze. Most libraries allow you to check out up to 50 books at a time so you really have no limit on what you can bring home. Use the library to your advantage. It will cost you nothing other than a little time. My suggestion is if you really like a book you borrowed, go buy it. You can then make notes in it and have it around for future reference. A great way to try before you buy!
Are you up for the challenge of reading more this year? Use these tips and let us know what works for you. Until next time, Stay Jacked, Stay Strong!