I’ve always enjoyed reading, but I never have been a book nerd. However, I’ve always admired people that devour books at a frenetic pace. Occasionally, I would get into a fictional book and stay up till three in the morning because I couldn’t go to bed without knowing what happened to the main character. By and large though, I generally desired to read more, but never had the dedication to devote the amount of time and energy necessary to be a book worm.
In February, I realized that I needed to challenge myself to read more so I set a goal to read one book a week. I’m on week eight of ‘The BAW (book a week) Challenge’ and it has been life-changing. Setting this goal has revolutionized how I approach reading. I’m now constantly aware of the need to read all the time. I set my self a daily page goal by dividing the total number of pages in the book by seven days. I then write that page goal in my daily planner to remind myself throughout the day to get my reading done.
This challenge has been tremendous. It’s cultivated a deeper love for reading and it’s not just books, but academic articles, news magazines, and other blogs. Here’s a couple of reasons why you should consider doing The Book A Week Challenge:
Having an assigned amount of reading to do per day has been helpful in developing a positive habit. Discipline is everything. Athletes that compete at a high-level understand that they have a consistent regimen to be competitive at their sport. I ran cross country and track in college. We would run anywhere from 80 to 100 miles a week. At first, it was hard to complete that volume of training, but over time my body and mind became accustomed to the amount of mileage and I became a competitive collegiate runner. You need discipline in your life. If you want to read more set yourself a daily goal, stick to it, and watch as your discipline grows.
Great Leaders are Great Readers
Successful leadership at any level requires self-awareness. Reading creates space for reflection. As I read books, I’m constantly examining what I should change and incorporate in my life to take my leadership to the next level. I haven’t arrived. But I’m inspired to be better than yesterday when I read about great men and women who have had successful companies, churches, and organizations. Reading a book a week exposes me to their stories of triumph and tragedy. It gives me different perspective of what I do every day when I learn about how they lead in their respective organizations.
Creates Space to Dream
Like my dad used to say, “reading takes you places.” It’s fascinating how your mind wanders when reading. All the sudden, I’m transported into another time and place. My mind starts to wander off about what is possible in my life. We all need to dream big. I think when you’re caught in the day-to-day grind it can be challenging to find time to dream. Reading a book a week will enable you to dream more.
I’ve come to enjoy how much I’ve learned as I’ve increased the pace of my reading. I think it’s vital that we continue to learn; to stretch and push our knowledge to the limits. You’ll be amazed at how much you learn when you set yourself a goal to read a book a week. I’ve enjoyed being able to recall information from books that I’ve read in a conversation. If you want to get smarter, you’re going to have to read more.
I believe that reading expands our ability to write. It’s easier to write when you’re exposed to different concepts and theories. I have friends that would love to write more and start a blog, but feel stuck because they don’t know what to write about. If that’s you, I would challenge you to read a book a week and watch how ideas and thoughts fill your head. I guarantee you will have so many ideas in your mind you’ll have to force yourself to cut back on your writing.
If you’re interested in this challenge, private message me. We can keep each other accountable through Goodreads.com. This site gives you the ability to join a group and see what other people are reading. I’m going to create an account and group and would love for you to join. Reading a book a week will feel tedious at first. It’s going to feel like a duty at times, but over time that duty will turn to discipline and that discipline will turn to delight as you devour one book after another.
I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.