A big goal that I have set for myself this year is to read more. The challenge that I face - time. As a child I fell alseep each night with a book by my side but as I have aged I have found it harder and harder to make time to read, often falling alseep beside my phone or in the middle of a TV series. Since deciding to focus on this re-connection with literature I have read nearly 7 books already this year! This may not sound like a lot to you avid book fans but completing more than 2 a month has been a vast improvement for me! Given that I do not magically have more time to read I have been meeting this goal by setting up some harsh guidelines for myself and partially, through cheating. Incentivize Myself Having a list of business/educational and pleasure books on my "to-read" list, I made a promise to myself that I must finish one of the more boring books before I can start a more "fun" option. This way every night that I want to skip reading I remember how excited I am for that mystery novel and it keeps me encouraged to continue through the more dense literature. By having a reward to look forward to I am more enticed to finish the harder books. Embracing Cheating Thanks to audible.com I have been enjoying books while driving to work, training sessions, and while cleaning the house. Despite the actual page turning and feel of a book in my hand this option has allowed for me to finally "read" some classics that I otherwise never would have gotten to but always have desired to. I am not sure if listening to a book fully counts as reading it - but I am counting it! The data is still entering my brain. I am still enjoying the story, true to the authors words...so I consider it a win! Sharing the Goal By talking about the fact that I am trying to read more, people are offering suggestions as to other books that may be of interest. This has made my "to-read" list grow ... and further motivates me to keep trying to shrink it down. This also allows for some entertaing conversations with people. You will be surprised by how many others may have read the same thing as you!
These little tools and tricks - Incentivize Yourself, Embrace Cheating, and Sharing your Goals can be applied to almost any goals that you have set for yourself. I have done a similar thing with budgetting my money this year and by following these tactics (rewarding myself everytime my budget is under, using tools like Mint.com to help me budget, and asking friends/family about what they do) I have seen dramatic improvements in my budgetary skills.
Let me know how some of these simple tactics aid as you embrace your goal getting!