I set myself one goal for 2018. And nailed it.

I only set myself one goal for 2018 and I nailed it.

Why only one?

Because, like many people often do, I’ve set myself too many in the past which has meant they’ve been completed partially (or not at all). I really wanted to have the satisfaction of completing the goals I set myself so I stripped it right back to one that would have an impact on multiple levels, personally and professionally.

I’ve always enjoyed reading. And then I went to University and I had to read. And I had to read what I was told to read. Mood killer.

I’d probably read a sum total of 5 books since finishing University at 21 until around 25. For someone that loved reading it’s pretty dismal. I had also bought three bookcases when I moved into my house and filled them up with all of the books I wanted to read or had been recommended to me. I just never read them.Getting the buzz back.

I was then put on a book buying ban until I actually read some. First bit of motivation, right there.

I’d take some on holiday and get through a book a day. I enjoyed it, it was just far too sporadic and inconsistent, I was looking to develop the habit again of wanting to pick up, and get lost in, a book. So I challenged myself to read 52 books in 2018. Those with calculators at the ready will point out that’s one a week, spot on.

I’d read 5 books in about 5 years, and now wanted to read one a week?

What I learned.

Well I did it and here’s what I learned along the way:

1. Creating new habits is hard. Like really bloody hard.

But you knew that. Nothing new.

2. Reading at a consistent time every day is a great way to build a habit

I would wake up one hour earlier than normal to make sure I read even just a couple of pages – often dozing off in the book as I got used to the early mornings

3. I procrastinate when it comes to tough decisions. Like choosing the next book to read.

Often choosing the next book to read is harder than reading the actual book. I’ve learned that I would procrastinate on making decisions which may have killed my reading habit in the past. I’m now a lot quicker (but by no means quick) when it comes to my next choice. A quick ‘what would I love to learn a bit more about now?’ helps.

4. You can’t remember every bit of every single book.

Which is bloody annoying because I wanted to. That was the point. I can now accept that it means I get to pick the book up again in the future when I might have a different context and it might mean something new and different to me.

5. Judge a book by its cover

If you’re naff at making decisions about what book to read.

6. Tackle big problems bit by bit.

Or big books chapter-by-chapter. Or big chapters page-by-page

7. How to think creatively.

I was banned from buying any more books during that time. I was reacquainted with my local libraries, remembering how amazing they are as areas of learning, coming together and creating community.

And loaning a book isn’t buying one, right?

What can I do to start?

These are just the major ones that come to my head quickly as I write this, though you have the opportunity to find yours too.

If you have that book you’ve had on your bedside table for months, pick it up and read the contents for a start. Then maybe the first page of the introduction.

That magazine subscription you still pay for but is piled up? Flick through and rip out the articles that excite you the most, it gets rid of that paralysing fear of a massive pile of reading).

Not in a place where hands are available to pick up a book? Download a podcast, get an audiobook subscription or, if possible, use your libraries ebook service. You can reconnect with your community at the same time.

Happy reading!

My 2018 Top 5

  • Notes From A Friend – Anthony Robbins (March)
  • Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand In the Way of True Inspiration – Ed Catmull (April-May)
  • What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful – Marshall Goldsmith (August)
  • Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness – Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein (October)
  • The End of Average: How to Succeed in a World that Values Sameness – Todd Rose (December)

2018 Book List

  1. Crush It: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion – Gary Vaynerchuk (January)
  2. Single-Minded: My Life in Business – Claude Littner (January)
  3. The Thank You Economy – Gary Vaynerchuk (January)
  4. My Story – Cyrille Regis (February)
  5. A Journey- Tony Blair (February-March)
  6. On the Shortness of Life – Seneca (March)
  7. The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (March)
  8. Notes From A Friend – Anthony Robbins (March)
  9. 10 Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs – Larry Keeley, Ryan Pinkel, Brian Quinn, Helen Walters (March)
  10. Warren Buffett’s Management Secrets: Proven Tools for Personal and Business Success – Mary Buffett and David Clark (March)
  11. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE – Phil Knight (March-April)
  12. Resilience: How to Cope When Everyone Around You Keeps Changing – Liggy Webb (April)
  13. Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand In the Way of True Inspiration – Ed Catmull (April-May)
  14. Speed Reading In A Week – Tina Konstant (May)
  15. How To Be Compassionate: A Handbook for Creating Inner Peace and a Happier World – Dalai Lama (May)
  16. Coventry Through Time – Jacqueline Cameron (May)
  17. Think Like a Freak: Secrets of the Rogue Economist – Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (May)
  18. Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World – Tim Ferriss (May)
  19. The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance and The Art of Living – Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman (May)
  20. Static Contraction Training – Pete Sisco and John R Little (May)
  21. Successful Assertiveness In A Week – Dena Michelli (June)
  22. Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning and Momentum – Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits and Jonas Koffler (June)
  23. Edge: What Business Can Learn from Football – Ben Lyttleton (June)
  24. Originals: How Non-Conformists Change the World – Adam Grant (June-July)
  25. David and Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell (July)
  26. The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham (July)
  27. A Whack to the Side of the Head – Roger Van Oech (July)
  28. To Sell is Human – Daniel Pink (July)
  29. The Greatest – Matthew Syed (July)
  30. The Culture Code – Daniel Coyle (July)
  31. Super Genes – Deepak Chopra & Rudolph Tanzi (July)
  32. The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power – Brendon Burchard (July)
  33. The Blended Learning Cookbook – Clive Shepherd (July)
  34. How We Learn: Throw Out the Rule Book and Unlock Your Brains Potential – Benedict Casey
  35. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful – Marshall Goldsmith (August)
  36. The Six Value Medals: The Essential Tool for Success in the 21st Century – Edward De Bono (August)
  37. The Golden Rules of Blogging (and When to Break Them) – Robin Houghton (August)
  38. The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Well – Louisa Thomsen Brits (September)
  39. Artificial Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction – Margaret A. Boden (September)
  40. The Little Book of Yes: How to Win Friends, Boost Your Confidence and Persuade Others – Noah Goldstein, Steve Martin and Robert Cialdini (September)
  41. Ideas Are Your Only Currency: 100 Creative Projects to Open Your Mind and Inspire Great Ideas – Rod Judkins (September)
  42. The Change Book: Fifty models to explain how things happen – Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschappeler (September)
  43. Breaking Bad Habits: Defy Industry Norms and Reinvigorate Your Business – Freek Vermeulen (October)
  44. The Happiness of Pursuit: Find the Quest that will Bring Purpose to Your Life – Chris Gillebeau (October)
  45. The Ultimate Introduction to NLP: How to Build a Successful Life – Richard Bandler, Alessio Roberti & Owen Fitzpatrick (October)
  46. How to Become a Blended Learning Chef with the Inspiring Learning Cookbook – A New Spring; Johannes Vinke and Marten de Prez (October)
  47. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness – Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein (October)
  48. Capability at Work: How to Solve the Performance Puzzle – Paul Matthews (November)
  49. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – Jen Sincero (December)
  50. How to Sleep Well: The Science of Sleeping Smarter, Living Better and Being Productive – Dr. Neil Stanley (December)
  51. How to be Successful by Being Yourself: The Surprising Truth About Turning Fear and Doubt Into Confidence and Success – David Taylor (December)
  52. The End of Average: How to Succeed in a World that Values Sameness – Todd Rose (December)
  53. Designing Your Life: Build a Life That Works for You – Bill Burnett and Dave Evans (December)

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