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How I’m Planning On Sticking To My Reading Goal This Year

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

Growing up, I was a huge reader. I walked everywhere with a book in my hand, had embarrassingly detailed Pinterest boards based on my favorite books (I was so proud of my Harry Potter one), and my entire room was filled with books and book-inspired decor. 

As I grew up, the trait stayed with me, and throughout high school the same habits I had as a kid just evolved to fit the older version of me. I bought a Kindle so I could read everywhere I went, and even started a Bookstagram account where I shared a bunch of my favorite books and other bookish related content. My room at home is still full of books, and I’ve started simply stacking them on the floor for lack of space. 

But even though I have had these habits since I was in elementary school, it seemed like the second I went to college, they all just vanished. I felt so busy all of a sudden, and had little to no free time. And because of how tired I tend to be at the end of the day when I do have free time, I just want to mindlessly scroll on my phone (which just makes me feel even worse than before). 

I’ve started to miss reading a lot. It’s such a relaxing and fulfilling hobby, and has truly given me so much in life. So, this year, I wanted to focus on incorporating reading back into my life. I brainstormed some goals and habits that will (hopefully) keep me on track, and things are currently going pretty well (even though it is the third week of January). 

The first thing that I think will encourage me to read more this year was creating a list of books that I’d like to read this year. This is commonly referred to as a TBR (To Be Read) List. Making this list was actually pretty fun, and I really enjoyed going through popular book lists on Goodreads, looking on TikTok, and even browsing my bookshelves at home for books that I own that I haven’t had a chance to read yet. I made a list of about 20 books, which I thought was a reasonable amount to get through during the year, but also not too many so that I could still read some others that aren’t on the list. 

Some of the books that I included in my 2024 TBR are: 

I Didn’t Know I Needed This: The New Rules for Flirting, Feeling, and Finding Yourself by Eli Rallo

Babel by R.F. Kuang

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Pérez

I also made a page in my journal that had 40 star outlines, each representing a book out of my reading goal for the year, and I plan on coloring in a star whenever I finish a book. It seems a little simple, but it’s honestly pretty fun, and coloring in the little star feels like such a nice reward after finishing a book. 

Another habit I want to start is reading a book before I fall asleep instead of just scrolling on my phone. This was such a bad habit that I got into when I got to college, and I’ve realized how much time I have to read if I just switched out that phone time. Since I’ve started doing this, I’ve had a way easier time falling asleep, and have gotten more rest/felt more energized as a result. Even if I only read ten pages before I fall asleep, it makes me feel more productive as a result.

Finally, I want to try and just make more time for reading in my schedule. I often struggle with prioritizing time for myself and for doing something that I enjoy, because I always feel like there’s something more important or productive that I could be doing. But taking time for yourself is also important and productive, and that’s something that I really want to focus on this year. So, I want to make time to read, to carve out time in my schedule to do something that I truly enjoy. 

I’m hoping that with a combination of all these ideas, I can reach my reading goal for the year! But more importantly than that, I just want to spend more time doing something that I enjoy, and reconnect with a part of myself that I’ve been missing.

Maia Hull

UCLA '26

Maia is a second year microbiology and immunology major and mathematics minor from San Diego, CA. She loves to read and write, snowboard, go swimming, and hang out with friends, as well as the occasional shopping spree.