How to Set Reading Goals

People who are trying to accomplish something difficult like to set goals. Setting goals is on peoples’ minds particularly from the end of the year and into the beginning of a new year. Some people like to get very specific with what they would like to get done, while others have a broad idea of success and don’t want to be bogged down with specifics. The end results may need to be specific like a creating a product, or broad like losing a certain amount of weight, or reading a certain number of books.

When it comes to setting reading goals, you might just have the idea that you want to read more throughout the year. Other people might want to read all of the books a particular author has produced. Whatever your goal, and however you plan on accomplishing it, it’s critical that you know what your end result looks like. Is it a number of days exercised? Maybe it’s just that you have to buy a new wardrobe because your old clothes are too big.

How many books do you want to (or think) you can read this year? In 2018 I wanted to read 17 books. I will finish this year with 23, so next year my goal will be 20. More than my goal for last year, but not by too many more.

Apps and internet sites can be very helpful in accomplishing your goals. It’s helpful to track what you have done. If you see success, you’re more likely to continue with the challenge of your goal.

A few years ago, I wanted to read more books. I realized that I read more when I was in college than I did after I graduated and started working as a full time teacher. I believe the proverb, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. If I ask students to write or read more, I should be doing the same. Especially since I know I love reading! I found Goodreads. I know I have mentioned this app and website before. If you haven’t looked at it yet, and you want to set a reading goal for yourself or your child, take some time.

Every year Goodreads has a Reading Challenge. It’s great because they total all users book goals to show how many millions of books are going to be read that year. You get to set how many books you want to read for the coming year. As you mark each book that you’re reading, and complete the book it changes your total. You don’t have to list specific books that you want to read, just the number of books you want to read. I like this setup because I don’t know what I will be in the mood to read throughout the year. I don’t know what will be recommended to me from different students or colleagues.

When I’m reading a book, I add it to my list of books I’m “Currently Reading”. When I finish it, I mark it “Read”. When it’s marked “read”, it’s added to my book goal.

That’s just enough motivation for me to want to keep reading. It’s a little bit of progress over time. The books I finish are books I want to read. I don’t feel pressure to finish one that is awful, because there’s only so much reading time between January and December (or whenever you start your goal with Goodreads).

I hope this tool helps with your reading goals.
I’d love to know how you’re doing with your reading. Leave a comment or send me an email.

Read on, and Happy New Year!




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