A healthy reading habit can be interpreted to be a healthy eating habit, but instead of eating, you are reading. You are not just reading anything you see, you are reading books, and articles that would contribute to your growth in all aspects of your life. (Mental, spiritual, physical, intellectual, etc).
Due to the pressure associated with this season, it is possible for you to start by reading everything you see and in the end, you don’t have a healthy reading habit and you are far away from your goals. In this article, I will be sharing with you can build a healthy reading habit to help you become better in 2023.
Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. James Clear
A healthy reading habit is a conscious effort to devote time and resources to the process of looking at a series of written symbols and getting a sense of their meaning.
It can also be described as being intentional with acquiring knowledge from reading books, articles, magazines, journals, and other written resources from other people.
Yes, it seems easy to achieve but it requires a lot more from whoever wants to achieve it. The fact that you are reading this article, shows that you are intentional about building your reading habit.
How to cultivate a healthy reading habit
1. Identify what aspect of your life you believe reading will help
Reading is an activity that requires an individual to look into a written text and absorb the information written to develop their intellectual capacity. This means that you can not afford to read randomly.
It is important that you identify what aspect of your life, this way your choice of resources will align with your desire, and thus you are on your way to committing time and resources to this habit because it interests you.
Reading is when someone looks into a written text and starts to absorb the information from the written linguistic message
2. Research and purchase the resources
After you must have identified your reading goal for a specific period of time, the next step is to get the books you will be reading. Again, don’t allow fear of missing out (FOMO) to motivate you to purchase resources that don’t align with your goal.
Remember we want to reduce the percentage of abandoned books and at the same time ensure that we have a healthy reading habits. Just like a good eating habit, you have to commit to making the resources you need within your reach.
For example, your goal for the first three months of the year can be to learn more about personal finance. Your list of books/articles/magazines should be on personal finance. Avoid the temptation of reading every book because there is a rave about it.
3. Setup a timeline to finish a book
A good way to cultivate a good habit in line with your goal is to set up a timeline. A timeline helps to give you direction and keep you on your toes in a bid to get things done.
It takes your goal from something that would happen in the future and moves it into the present and also help you to be committed to achieving your goal. A timeline will help you to create a schedule and make progress toward your goal.
4. Get an accountability structure
Accountability is an important tool for making and breaking habits, and scaling your reading habits. It can be divided into two, (I) Be accountable to yourself. (ii) Be accountable to people other than you.
Create a structure that keeps you accountable to yourself, you are first responsible to yourself than to other people. Accountability to other people is an additional step in ensuring that you achieve your goal.
To get this done, get your friends or family members who have the ability and willpower to influence you from the outside to carry out your decision when due. A cue I took from James Clear, “Atomic Habits” is creating a habit contract with trusted friends or family members whereby when you default in the contract, you have to pay defaulting fees as agreed by both parties. Check the book out here.
5. Reward yourself whenever you cross a milestone
Every time you receive a reward, your body releases dopamine which creates a sense of pleasure. This in turn will increase productivity and motivation. As such, you can use this to your advantage by giving yourself small rewards as you work towards a bigger goal.
For example, your daily goal can be to read 5 articles on personal finance and take note of action steps to take after reading. When you successfully do this, you can decide to reward yourself with your favorite snack. The next day, you won’t struggle with reading another 5 articles because you know there is a reward at the end of the day.
Tips to note when deciding on rewards
- Pick a reward that doesn’t negate the goal you want to achieve. For example, if you want to build a healthy reading habit, your reward should not be mindlessly scrolling through social media.
- Your reward can be something related to what you’ve just done.
- Pick something that will indeed motivate you to do more. For example, you can get a highlighter as a reward, the desire to explore its use will spur you to spend time reading.
In this article, I have shared with you how you can cultivate a healthy reading habit, and I have also shared examples with you. As you have read through, it’s pretty important that you do not stick to simply reading this article but also put it into action as well.