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It’s amazing to me the number of people who, when asked about their New Year’s Resolutions, say they want to read more. Apparently, the desire to read more and read more frequently is something ingrained in many of us goal-setters. For five years now, I’ve been setting specific reading goals each year. Last year I set — and reached! — my highest goal so far of reading 200 books within the year. (Here’s a full list of what I read.)

I’m convinced that the act of defining a number and putting it on paper has been the key contributor to ensuring that I read more and more with each passing year. After all, although I always read a lot, it was only when I started committing myself to a specific number that I saw that number steadily go up, year after year (like from 150 books in 2012 to 200 books read in 2013).

So, when folks tell me that one of their goals for 2014 is to read more, I always respond that defining the number of books you want to read – no matter how many that number is – is essential.

Here are a few other key tips to working towards increasing how much you read in 2014.

  • Set a Goal for Your Reading

As explained, don’t just say you’re going to read more, set a specific goal for how much you want to read. See my post explaining how to set smart goals, and then follow the steps in it to ensure that your reading goal (which should be a specific number) is relevant to your life’s demands and immediately actionable. For example, if you read 5 books last year, increasing to 8-10 would be a good goal. 30 would not be a good goal. See my reading goal and my ongoing list of books read in 2014 here. 

  • Think About Determining Ahead of Time Exactly What Books You Plan to Read

This is something that I don’t personally do, but I know it works for many people (including my friend Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom, who writes about what books she plans to read each month as she works towards her goal of reading 150 books a year). I think this is an excellent strategy particularly for folks who are just getting started on setting reading goals. It may not work for all, though, as you may be more like me and prefer to fly by the seat of your pants (aka randomly buy Kindle books in the middle of the night based on what the Amazon gods recommend to you).

Have you ever set a reading goal? If so, did it help you to read more?



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