24. That is the number of books that I have set a personal goal to read this year. Is this a tough goal? Yes, it is if you account for all the other things I am setting out to accomplish this year. But is this achievable? I believe so.
I believe that I read frequently yet I know that I can definitely read far more than I do.
While I have enjoyed reading my whole life, in the last few years, my reading list has been getting longer and now, it far exceeds my ability to make it a satisfactory reality. I’ve come to realise, looking at this reading list, that I no longer read purely for fun, as I once did in the past. I read as a stepping stone to achieving my varied goals. Nevertheless, this change in goal doesn’t detract from the fact that I derive a lot of pleasure, fun and creativity from both the process and the outcome.
I’d like to lay this challenge on you – to having a book list goal for this year. You don’t need to make an insurmountable challenge. In any case, there is no one to judge you or your reading goal …unless you decide that you’d like to share this information. It will be purely a testament to your willpower, desire and passion and I believe that, in the process, it will bring fruition to other aspects of your life.
1. Having a reading goal is but one step towards widening your horizons. You will be opening yourself up to different ways of thinking and problem-solving. You owe it to yourself to not live in a self-made cocoon. Achieving results in the things you set out to do can only happen when you open yourself up to new experiences and new ways of thinking.
2. It’s about having a clear definite goal. You can move towards your goal if you know what and where it is. In the same way, you can only move towards the things you want for yourself if you make it clear to yourself that these are indeed the things you want. Thinking about your wants and desires in a vague way, daydreaming and wishful thinking, however often you indulge in it, by itself do not help you to executing on these wishes.
3. Practice makes perfect. If you at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. In a recent tv interview with Sir James Dyson, the British industrial designer mentioned that in inventing the bagless vacuum cleaner, it took him more than 5000 prototypes, many years in the making. You don’t get to 5000 prototypes without first believing in what you’re doing and understanding that you’ve got to keep going despite the results in front of you. Developing a reading habit has many virtues. Having a reading goal helps you ensure that you put the time and energy aside to reading and expanding your mind and whether we’d like to admit it or not, even a good habit takes time to grow on you. If you practise first by having a reading goal, then chances are good that you will begin to see other objectives with a goal-oriented mindset.
4. Outlining a goal means you prioritise. When you make it clear to yourself, that there is something you seek, the roads align in your favour. When choices present themselves to you, your clear objectives help you make the decisions you need to make, and to do so quickly. In so doing, you are prioritising. Given the number of decisions that you need to make on a daily basis, both big and small and the ease in which we succumb to decision fatigue, having goals and thereafter, the quick ability to sort and sieve our priorities, all help us to get closer to the results we want to achieve.
On a side note – I said in my post title that having this goal brings you closer to getting results. I don’t say good results because you don’t always get good results and perhaps not even straight away. Getting results is good, regardless of whether the results are good or not. You might start out with bad results or failures but in the course of time, these will change. As you change and develop, so do the results.Therefore, any step you take in the direction you seek, is a step in the right direction, regardless of the immediate results you see.
5. Results spur you on. When you have a goal, its only natural that you are motivated to see the results and quickly. When you do see that you are able to get these results, action (not the theory behind it) will be the impetus driving you forward. While there is much to be said about thinking through something, sometimes it is the simple things that have the biggest impact on us : action and results.