We built a lot of habits during lockdowns and quarantines last year. Good and bad. But if there’s one thing to keep doing after all that, it’s reading.
People all over the world started reading more since the beginning of lockdowns, quarantines and staying home. A survey in the UK, in May last year, for instance, showed that people started reading more because they had more spare time, because they wanted to stay entertained, or because books were providing “an escape from the crisis”.
The fact is that we don’t need to be constrained to a crisis to know that. Books are definitely a way to fill our spare time, to be entertained, and to escape (just a little) from the outside world that overwhelms us sometimes.
So, reading is a good habit to keep.
I’ll certainly talk in a future post about the benefits of reading and how I believe that reading is not just a habit, it’s a superpower, but this is not the purpose of this post. What I want to give you today is a way to keep reading after we “go back to normal”.
There are three simple ways to cultivate a reading habit.
1. Make it a real habit
A habit is a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or psychological exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.
In other words, you wanna read every day and set reading times when and in a way it’s easy for you to sit and read.
So, let’s say, every morning, you’ll sit and read for 20 minutes or read 10 to 20 pages. This will tell your brain that it’s a habit you want to cultivate, and times and state of mind will automatically accommodate in a few days.
2. Always carry a book
Wherever you go, take a book with you.
If “more spare time” was a reason to read more during lockdowns, know that in “normal” life, we all have a little spare time during the day, but we always end up scrolling social media and browsing the internet instead of reading something.
This happens because we carry our phones with us all the time. So, it’s easy to pick it up and keep swiping and tapping.
If that’s true, if you carry a book with you, it’s gonna be easy to pick it up too and read.
3. Give reading a purpose
Like I said in a previous blog post when you define a purpose for reading, the act of reading becomes intentional and meaningful. Your brain understands that you’re putting effort into something valuable, not just a random activity. You create a mindset or a set of conditions for your brain to enjoy what you read.
With that in mind, you’ll look forward to reading more and the habit you’re cultivating will always be pleasurable, which makes it easy to stick.
So, I hope you keep reading.
Now, for the comments…
How do you cultivate the habit of reading?