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Tips on How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution of Reading More

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Between chatting with friends and scrolling through social media, I’ve noticed that a common New Year’s resolution is reading more. I can understand why. Reading is a form of escapism; it can give you a break from your everyday life while increasing your creativity and expanding your knowledge base. According to medical research on Healthline, a few benefits of reading include helping you reduce stress, fight depression symptoms, sleep better, improve brain connectivity and increase your vocabulary and comprehension.

Most of us know the benefits of reading at this point, but it can be challenging to get started and stick with it––and social media is no help. Here are some tips to help you put your phone down and pick up a book instead!

Set a goal and stick to it

The key to achieving your goal is to make a plan. Start by determining how many books you want to read in a given time and which kind of books interest you the most. Write it down in a list. If you haven’t read in a while, I would recommend setting smaller goals, then working your way up. After you’ve established a general target, write down how many pages or chapters you want to read in a day or week in order to achieve it. For instance, if you want to read 10 pages a day, put a reminder in your phone, calendar, agenda or to-do list. Who knows, you might find yourself so engaged in your book that you end up reading more than your daily quota!

Track your progress

Whether it’s on paper, in your Notes app or on social media, it’s always nice to document your progress to see how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished. Cross off the books you’ve finished reading. If you have time, write some of your favourite quotes down; reflect on how the book made you feel and what you’ve learned about yourself or the world around you.

Replace time on social media with reading

Force yourself to take a break from doom scrolling. The longer you step away from your phone, the easier it will be to make time to read. So, if before bed you like scrolling through TikTok or news apps for two hours, try adding a book to the mix. For instance, maybe spend one hour on social media and one hour reading – whatever combination works best for you!

Follow motivational accounts

This may seem to contradict my point above, but if you’re on social media anyways, try curating your Instagram feed with posts and accounts about reading. There are so many blogs, social media accounts, communities or groups you can join to help you stay motivated and focused on your goal. 

Buddy up!

Joining a book club or reading the same books as your friends is a fun way to stay motivated, connected and make the whole process more enjoyable. It is always nice to talk to someone about the same book when you have a lot of thoughts and feelings to unpack. 

Don’t put pressure on yourself

It is good to be disciplined in order to stick to your goals, but don’t let this pressure take the fun out of reading. If it’s getting to be too much, take a break or decrease the amount of time you spend reading. Goals can be changed. Just pick up a book again when you are ready.

Set the mood

To make reading an even better experience, you can set up a soft lamp, listen to peaceful music, light a candle or make yourself a hot drink. Try to set up an environment that associates reading with positive, relaxing feelings. Maybe even make a cute bookmark or book cover.

It can be hard to stick to reading goals, and that’s okay! The important thing is to set realistic goals and have fun with your progress. it’s never too late to get back into reading!

Second year journalism student based in Toronto. Passionate social justice advocate. Lover of words, food, fashion, art, details and all things dainty.
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