Filmmaker Max Joseph wants to read more than one book a year—he wants to read one a week. So he asked a few voracious readers for advice, in a 38-minute video that includes lengthy tours of European bookstores. Here’s some of the best advice for never-readers who want to start reading more books.
Tagged With habits
We’ve all set up reward systems for ourselves. Maybe we tell ourselves that we can order a pizza if we spend all day cleaning the house, or maybe we tell ourselves that once we finish this task at work, we can spend a few minutes checking social media.
(And then if we find ourselves checking social media before we’ve finished the task, we tell ourselves we’re going to set up a social site blocker.)
To form habits, financial or otherwise, you have to put in the work. Often that means making small changes or tweaks consistently over a long period of time. Days, weeks, months, years — if you really want to change your behaviour, you have to commit yourself to something for a long time.
Every weekend, my wife and I hope to get a lot done. We throw all our goals, from “wash hair” to “file taxes,” onto an informal little to-do list on the Reminders app or a scrap of paper. Managing the weekend’s to-do list becomes an errand itself.
Push ourselves too hard and we’ll burn out; take it too easy and we’ll regret it on Monday. One way we build flexibility while maintaining urgency is to designate a couple of our to-dos as “stretch goals.”
We’ve tried lots of techniques over the years to solidify a new habit. Tying up your ego in a daily streak is just one of those, and it’s not for everybody. And yet it seems every app wants you to care deeply about keeping up a consistent streak. Screw that. It’s OK to break your streak.
Everybody’s sleep needs are a little bit different, but most adults should be getting between 7 and 9 hours per night. So how do you find your specific number?
“How do I build a steady reading habit?” asks redditor 6hlooo on r/TrueAskReddit. “I was always the kind of person to read a book and stop reading after a few pages. I know what the benefits of reading are, but I just can’t seem to motivate myself to read consistently. What do I do?”
Redditors answer with great tips for getting into the habit. The secret is in letting yourself read what you like, and taking practical steps to make it easy to pick up a book. Out of 60+ comments, here are the very best.
I've meditated maybe four times in my life: once on a couch in therapy, once on a bench in Central Park, once in bed trying to sleep. I'm one of those people who's been saying "I should really try meditation" for years. And maybe I will, after meditating for the fourth time in my life, on a bus in downtown Manhattan. I haven't learned anything that will be new to experienced meditators, but if you're another of those "I should try" people, read on.
What we do in the morning can establish our mood for the rest of the day, so a lot of our wake-up advice boils down to doing what you actually need and want to do. Which means it’s time to confront that little box that keeps interrupting you to tell you what to think. Your phone.
Until about a few months ago, I was that person who rushes around in the morning, trying to get ready as quickly as possible to ensure I arrived to work early. Once there, I would get a jump on my day, before starting the actual full work day, too nervous about arriving or filing a piece late to stop for a cup of coffee.
In 2017, for the first time in my life, I actually stuck to a resolution. What's more, I'd failed at the same resolution -- to make a budget and stick to it -- for many previous years. Now, if you think there's something shameful in a grown person not being able to handle her finances, you're right!
I'm a casual yoga-er, but when I meet people who are serious about yoga, they're always talking about their "practice." Basically, if you're really into it, you don't need to wait for a convenient class or a new episode from your favourite YouTube yoga channel. You work on what you want, where you want, on your own terms. If you're joining our December yoga challenge, now might be a good time to build your own home practice.