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Have you ever made lofty reading goals and then struggled to actually accomplish them? Here, you’ll learn the best hacks on how to reach your reading goals with ease. You’ll finally feel that sense of satisfaction you’ve long craved. Your new and improved reading journey starts now.

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Quick Summary

  1. Set a specific and realistic reading goal.
  2. Know “why” you want to achieve your reading goal.
  3. Set yourself up for success.
  4. Track your reading goal.
  5. Engage with other readers.
  6. Be mindful of digressions and get back on track.
  7. Make it fun and satisfying.

Details on How to Reach Your Reading Goals

Over the years, I’ve reached many reading goals, even before I was a full-time book blogger, including reading 100+ books per year (for several years in a row), completing many annual reading challenges (like the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge), and even maintaining a Reading Journal.

I’m also a person who’s really big on making detailed plans to reach my goals. With all that in mind, these are the best ways I have learned how to reach my reading goals so you can crush yours too.

Set a specific and realistic reading goal.

First, choose your own reading goal. Above are great broad options, but I recommend you use them as a starting point and then make your own goal both more specific and realistic to what you think is both challenging and achievable for YOU.

For example, if you read one book last year and you want to read more books this year, then maybe your goal can be to have 6 or 12 books read this year (one every month or every other month). This is more challenging than what you would have done the year prior, but it’s not totally unreasonable to think you can read half a book to one book each month.

On a related note, I also think it helps to have a goal that can be broken down into smaller steps. Big goals can feel really overwhelming, but when you break them down, your small steps compound over time. When I started this blog, I was working full time, but I decided to take at least one action per day no matter what, and it really astounded me how fast I created something big out of nothing.

When it comes to reading goals, the way this often looks for me are commitments to read 10 pages per day when I’m reading a big, hard book.

Listing specific quantities in a goal can also feel more tangible and make it easier to track your goals and hold yourself accountable. It’s the difference between saying, “I’d love to go to Hawaii someday,” versus, “each week, I will spend one hour planning our trip to Hawaii, where we will go by the end of this year.” The second one sounds so much more likely to actually occur, right?!


Know “why” you want to achieve your reading goal.

Second, know exactly “why” you are setting your particular reading goal. Perhaps you want to learn a specific skill set or attain one or more of the many benefits of reading.

Whatever it is, this is the big picture that will drive your day-to-day actions towards a greater goal and help you stay on or get back on track.

I encourage you to be specific with this as well. For example, there’s a difference in goal setting between thinking in your mind that you wish you were smarter and telling yourself that you want to read more books so you can learn how to become a real estate agent and pay off your credit card debt. Again, you are far more likely to strive towards a goal and actually accomplish it when your specific reasoning is very clear.


Set yourself up for success.

Third, set yourself up for success. If you set a goal and then take no specific actions in the direction of that goal, what are the chances you will actually achieve it?!

Depending on your specific reading goal, setting yourself up for success can look like:

  • conducting research (this website is a great start!)
  • creating a list
  • reaching out to others
  • waking up earlier
  • committing to do something else less
  • scheduling time to work towards your book goals, and so on.

What specific actions can you take to reach your particular reading goal?

For example, if your goal is to read more books, this may be as simple as always having a book on hand, whether digital or hard copy, or creating a list of books that interest you. Or, perhaps you will unsubscribe from a TV streaming service or remove an addictive app from your phone.

This step may also entail some financial investment, like purchasing a Kindle or subscribing to a book subscription service.

One of the best reading tips I can give you to set yourself up for success is to try to make it as easy as possible to work toward your goal. At the end of the day, we are simple people who tend to do what’s easy and avoid what’s hard.

(I learned this gem from the book Atomic Habits, so if you like it, perhaps your first step towards reaching your goal of developing your reading habit will be to read this book too!)


Track your reading goal.

Fourth, track your goal and be accountable for it. I am a “lists” person by nature, so I highly recommend this step. If it’s not written down, there’s so much less of a chance you may do it.

And some types of tracking (like keeping a budget, for example) can provide clarity as to where you really stand and prevent you from digging your head in the sand, so to speak.

I like to track the books I read each year on Goodreads, and I keep a written list of books I want to read each month in my monthly planner. Instagram story templates are also fun. There are so many reading calculators and reading trackers available, you just need to choose what you think will work best for you, or even create your own reading journal.


Engage with other readers.

Fifth, one of my favorite ways to learn how to reach your reading goals is by hanging around with like-minded people can really help you be accountable for achieving them and make it a more immersive experience overall.

It can be as simple as having an accountability buddy you text with or participating in a book club or other community like Bookstagram, which made a huge impact on my own reading life (and grew my reading list exponentially).

In fact, having an accountability partner can increase your chances of achieving a goal by 65%.

There’s something about being around like-minded people that really drives you forward and helps you create lasting change. We tend to mirror the people we associate with. So, choose wisely!

We all know the power of influence, after all!


Be mindful of digressions and get back on track.

Sixth, be mindful of the times you want to or do digress from your reading goal, then get back on track by referring to your “why” and taking positive steps back in the direction of your goal.

Mindfulness is not about being perfect. It’s about recognizing a digression for what it is and getting back on track toward reaching your reading goals.

This can mean simply telling yourself, “This is a distraction from my reading goals,” when you are mindlessly scrolling through social media or thinking of any reason you can why you don’t have time for your goal.

It’s all about recognizing what’s a digression for YOU and finding a way that works for YOU to overcome it. There is no “one size fits all.” At the end of the day, we are all responsible for ourselves.

A few things that have helped me reach my reading goals have been turning the notifications off of my phone, noting my screen time each week, and physically moving my phone away from me. I have also learned to set better boundaries in my life, which has been absolutely life-changing!

I am also a firm believer in keeping a positive mindset as much as possible. If you keep saying things like, “I never have time to read,” how do you expect to make changes that provide more time for you to read?! A better, yet still realistic, mantra may be, “I choose to find time to read each week no matter how busy I am.”

On the same note, when the day-to-day gets tough, you may wish to refer back to the bigger picture — your “why” — to fully understand you are doing something difficult now to obtain something better later.

You can also think about what has really worked for you and try to do more of that. For example, I tend to get a workout done better in the mornings, so if I wake up and tell myself, “Later,” I then remind myself that this is my optimal time.

I also encourage you to identify yourself with your goal. For example, you can say “I am an avid reader,” instead of saying “I want to be an avid reader.” You are what you believe you are! Confidence can be a game-changer in chasing any goal.

Also, remember to give yourself grace when you need it and to understand that no one is ever perfect. Many times the most successful person will be the most resilient one.


Make it fun and satisfying.

Last but not least, make your reading goals both fun and satisfying! This is especially helpful when you are reading classic books. I have no doubt that ANY reading goal you set will enrich your life. It shouldn’t feel like a chore.

Think about what would feel really satisfying to YOU. Since I am a “lists” person, I really bask in the simple joy of crossing something off my list. I also find it satisfying to stop reading books I am not really enjoying, which helps keep reading fun for me in the long run.

I also love listening to music while reading.

Someone else, however, may find it satisfying to post a weekly or monthly recap on social media.

You may want to refer back to other goals you have achieved and what really felt good about working towards and achieving them.

Another thing you can do is to give yourself rewards for reaching your goals. If you are my age, you may recall getting a free personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut when you met your reading goals a particular month. Rewards can be extremely motivating!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you achieve your reading goals?

To achieve your reading goals, make a plan of action that includes being realistic, knowing your “why”, setting yourself up for success, tracking your reading goal, engaging with other readers, being mindful of digressions and getting back on track, and making reading fun and satisfying.

What is a good reading goal per day?

For some, a good reading goal may be just picking up a book every day and, for others, it may be spending one or more hours reading each day. Your personal daily reading goal should be challenging, yet also realistic, for you to achieve.

How many books is a good reading goal?

A good reading goal is often measured in time, such as a certain amount of books per month, week, or year. This helps you break it down throughout the year and make incremental progress over time. Your personal daily reading goal should be challenging, yet also realistic, for you to achieve.

Conclusion

As you learn how to reach your reading goals, remember that it’s not just about setting your goals, but also creating a plan to achieve them and make an enjoyable reading habit. By doing things like setting realistic goals and finding a community of fellow book lovers, you’ll be well on your way to a year of literary success.

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