The thing is I love to read books, but never feel like I have enough time in the day to actually sit down and do it.
For example, I’ll be at my desk and look at this huge stack of amazing books that I want to dive into, but then I realize I have to ignore them because I’m bogged down working.
Plus, I spend a good amount of my day skimming articles, doing research, and reading my own writing online.
And the biggest element in the way is that I prioritize this website and writing books more than reading other author’s books for the most part.
All of these factors contribute to my lack of motivation to pick up a book. Regardless, the books go unread, become dusty, and I become depressed about it.
Then I realized that I could either keep feeling this way and lose out on knowledge, or make a change. Since I’m not one to give up, I’m forcing myself to read more books.
And that’s where I came up with this Book Reading Challenge: 4 Books In March.
Read To Win
When we become aware of all the good in reading, I believe it’s a powerful reminder that pushes us to read part of a book each day. So here are some things you won’t miss out on when you pick up a good book:
- Wisdom: It’s no secret that you gain knowledge the more you read, no matter if it’s fiction or nonfiction. For example, fiction books can improve your creativity and ability to relate to other people. And there are the non-fiction self-help books that will completely change your outlook and actions for the rest of your life. If knowledge is power, reading is the source.
- Improved focus and productivity: One of the best writing tips I learned is to read before you start writing. And every time I pick up a book and read before I write, even when I only do it for 15 minutes, my writing is better and more efficient. If you haven’t tried this, see if you get the same results as me. And I’ve started to see success in other activities beyond writing when I first let my mind run in a book. This is the reason LeBron James is famous for reading books before big NBA games.
- Stress release: Studies show that reading relaxes your muscles and lowers your heart rate pressure. And this makes sense because when you read, you give your mind the permission to stop feeling anxious about your to-do list and daily problems. Just remember, reading a good book that’s interesting to you is going to relieve stress, but scanning a manual at work under deadline won’t give the same effect.
- Free adventure: There’s a reason you so often hear people say, “I liked the movie, but the book is much better.” Mainly this is because the movie has limited time to build the story and share the adventure on screen. However, a book can be as long as needed to fully develop the characters, scene, and storyline, which makes it undeniably better than a movie. Plus, the book’s details are open to your imagination, where a movie can try as hard as it can to capture proper visuals, but usually fails to get the same effect. And when you’re looking to go on a date with yourself, I can’t think of a better free activity than reading.
- Fall asleep quicker: As I pointed out in this sleep tips post, reading relaxes your mind and body and sets it up to wind down perfectly before going to bed. So while having the light from your phone or laptop in front of your face will make it harder for you to get to sleep, reading does the opposite.
If you’re up for it, I describe more of the benefits of reading in this post.
Rules & Regulations
Instead of me trying to pull three all-nighters at the end of March to complete the challenge, I feel the need to set restrictions so I can hold myself accountable to do the challenge the right way.
Below is a list of the three rules I set for myself in the Book Reading Challenge: 4 Books In March.
1) I must read every single day of March for at least 30 minutes.
2) I must finish one book for every seven days in March.
3) While reading can happen throughout the day, I need to get away from my electronics and read before bed to improve my sleep.
Those are the three rules I’m going by, but you can honestly do whatever works best for you to read four books this month.
And I need to say this: The goal of these personal challenges is not to do something well, in this case reading, for a short amount of time and then go back to your old ways.
The purpose of the challenge is for you to test yourself—maybe do something you thought impossible—and then keep the habit alive. It’s designed to build momentum and then be continued on for the rest of your life.
That’s my reason for doing these challenges. And I hope it’s yours, too.
The Fun Is In Joining Me
If you’re just reading these challenges from the sidelines and not participating, then you’re not working hard to improve yourself. Without hard work, you don’t gain the results and satisfaction that comes with it.
So be cool and join me in this reading challenge. You might not think you’ll like it, but I bet you’ll feel accomplished and proud of yourself once March ends and you’ve completed this challenge.
If you can’t remember the last time you picked up a book to read for fun, start with a few smaller books to gain confidence that you can do this.
And if you need motivation to get started reading, this is a great quote from the recently passed Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird, “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
Lastly, why not add my new book Freedom Money to your reading this list March? I promise this book will change the way you look at money and life. And you can’t go wrong with these 15 best books for college students.
Are you going to join me in this book reading challenge? Why or why not? And what’s your favorite book?