When you look back in 10 years, what will it be like to read a book a week? Will the internet still be around? What about technology such as AR and VR that has been touted for many years but are finally reaching their full potential.
There are several advantages to improving your reading. (Photo courtesy of Getty)
Many of us are probably at the stage in the year when we’re thinking about what we’d want to do differently in 2022.
Less (alcohol, spending) is often emphasized in New Year’s resolutions (exercise, sleep).
However, the challenge of reading more — particularly, reading a book a week or 52 novels in a year – has gained popularity.
Many 2021 Instagram accounts were filled with photographs of books hastagged with the continuing count, thanks to the efforts of numerous bloggers.
While this might make you feel little under-accomplished if you’re still battling with a book you began weeks ago and can’t seem to avoid being sidetracked by social media and television, any renewed interest in reading is a very good thing.
Reading has offered something trustworthy and substantial to work on for many people over the previous year — it’s a safe hobby that can’t be cancelled at the last minute or pose any hazards.
But, pandemic apart, there are other advantages to strengthening our reading habits in general.
In 2022, the advantages of reading more books
‘The more words we know, the more creative ways we may perceive the world,’ explains TV psychologist and broadcaster Emma Kenny.
‘Our emotions are all tied to language, so the more well-read we are, the better our mental health, wellbeing, and overall view of the world will be, since it allows us to explore and articulate how we feel much more clearly.’
The advantages don’t stop there. You’re also giving yourself the opportunity to de-stress digitally and immerse yourself in a fantasy or educational environment.
‘Regular reading changes the way your brain engages with the event,’ Emma adds.
‘Research shows that although using computers and smart phones may seem to be a comparable sedentary experience, we actually zone out rather than zoning in.’ So, when we are scrolling, we are not very interested in what we are doing.
When we read, however, the necessary part of the brain is riveted by the experience. This indicates that the amount of money exchanged is substantially higher.
You’re using your brain’s divergence – in the end, you’re utilizing your imagination and nourishing your creativity.
It also allows us to take a break from the toxicity of other online venues. It’s seclusion, but in the greatest conceivable environment.
The advantages of establishing a goal
If it’s too much for you, you may change the aim to fit your needs (photo courtesy of Getty Images). )
‘By setting this goal, you’re imposing a regular seven-day pattern on yourself,’ explains Sally Baker, senior therapist at Working on the Body. ‘It helps the reader concentrate on the book they’re reading, and minimizes the desire to start other titles or generally delay.’
‘Having a deadline on everything you want to complete, even if it’s a self-imposed one, is a good method for increasing success.’
‘Achieving objectives or attaining a target boosts self-esteem and prepares you to take on new challenges in the future.’ Successful task completion benefits the most those who completely appreciate their “wins.”
‘People who habitually disregard or minimize their accomplishments may be as productive as others, but they are less skilled at owning their wins and hence have less confidence in their talents.’
Maya Zack, a peak performance specialist, experienced mindset coach, and hypnotherapist, believes that achieving this goal will help you generate greater motivation and devotion to any other objectives you have in life, large or little.
‘It might make you feel more open to new opportunities that are constantly there to you,’ she adds.
‘This also aids you in completely internalizing the reality that you are always free to select new ways and states of being, and that any internal adjustments you choose to make will grow simpler over time.’
Jill, an insurance broker from Glasgow, has completed her aim of reading a book a week in 2021, with just one book left to complete her 52-book goal.
‘I used to be bad for simply purchasing books and stacking them up,’ she admits. ‘I used to read all the time, but when lockdown happened last year, I found it difficult to focus on them for some reason.’
‘Setting a deliberate goal this year has helped me stick to it and not get sidetracked by other books or stuff on TV – because I’m aware that I only have a few more days to complete what I’m reading or I’ll fall behind.’ It’s been fantastic, and I’ve regained my passion for reading.’
Setting a goal, on the other hand, has its drawbacks, since there’s always the risk that you won’t meet it, and you have to consider how that will make you feel.
‘The disadvantage of focusing on the end goal of finishing a book rather than the act of reading is that there will always be people who will transform a self-imposed carrot into a self-punitive stick,’ Sally explains.
‘When you take this one ‘failure,’ give it subjective significance, and generalize it to other parts of your life, it might cause the reverse,’ Maya says.
‘It may make you feel’stuck’ in your ‘who you are’ tale, which is built on a collection of concepts and recollections of all your (previous) habit patterns and behaviors.
‘As a result, you may be less likely to trust in your capacity to change or stay to a goal-commitment, to feel secure in your inner resources, and to be open to new experiences.’
The trick, according to Emma, is to have a cheerful attitude.
‘It’s important not to be too harsh on yourself,’ Emma explains. ‘Life is hectic. As long as you’re reading a book, you’re doing well.
‘Congratulate yourself for creating and attempting to attain objectives.’
Using the book-a-week challenge to your advantage
While reading a book a week is a lovely, tidy goal – and a great accomplishment – there are many other ways to approach it.
Whether it’s by lowering the goal to a more manageable level, such as a book every two weeks or a month. However, having a precise objective in mind can help you stay motivated.
‘Change the time frame to a book a month and celebrate that,’ Sally properly advises.
‘Many, many individuals suffering from heightened anxiety have found it almost hard to relax long enough to read more than a few paragraphs during this epidemic.’
Maya Zack suggests that you ‘turn the goal-setting process on its head, and establish tiny, readily attainable objectives that help you maintain consistency, which is the key to habit-building.’
Additional Resources: Books
‘For example, you may set a goal to read a chapter, a page, or simply a paragraph every day to begin with,’ she explains, ‘which makes the first objective quite achievable.’
‘This will increase your dopamine levels and make you feel good about yourself and your accomplishments.’ From there, you may easily become a ‘over-achiever’ by reading more than you meant to because you WANT to, not because you feel obligated to.
‘In terms of habit formation, doing something motivated by your desire for what you want rather than the pressure of what you’should’ be doing is not only more successful, but also more pleasurable.’
Last year, Amy, a TV producer from London, took up the challenge with a somewhat lowered target of one book every two weeks.
‘I’m not going to reach my goal this year,’ she admits. ‘But that’s OK since I’ve read more this year than previous.’ I don’t punish myself if I don’t meet my goals. But it’s wonderful to have a goal to strive towards.
‘I’d strongly suggest it.’
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