I know it is June, so it may seem strange to bring up New Year’s resolutions. But in some ways, it is perfect. What’s the point of setting a New Year’s Resolution if you don’t commit to it? So I thought I’d share mine with you in case you want to try it yourself at any point in the year, or perhaps as inspiration to get back to your own New Year’s Resolution. And the genesis of my resolution started over two years ago!
I woke up in 2015 and realized that all I did was read business content all the time. And while that may be great for a business owner, I was getting bored with it. Thus, I made a resolution to go back to reading for pleasure, which has always been one of my favorite hobbies since I first learned to read as a child.
I absolutely love to read. It is one of my great joys in life. But I had reached a point where I felt my reading always had to somehow improve my business or provide skills or information that I could pass onto my clients. It started to feel like a chore, and a nagging to-do list. My stack of “to read” business books lined my shelves, but when I looked at them, I wasn’t jazzed to dig in.
So I decided to do an about face and go back to my first love, which was reading for pleasure. I joined the Goodreads challenge and set a goal for 12 books in 2015, all personal, non-business. I wound up reading 15 books that year and loved every minute of it! I wasn’t as serious about it in the first half of the year, but once I took a month off and went to Italy with my husband that summer, I couldn’t stop reading for pleasure!!! I took all the business books away from my nightstand and replaced them with personal books. I joined some awesome online virtual book clubs, and started devouring more than a book a week!
So that brought me to January 2016 and setting another New Year’s Resolution around reading. I decided to up the ante and set 24 books to read for that year. I then raised my reading goal to 45. Well, I wound up reading 84 books in 2016! And I wrote reviews for every one of them on Goodreads. And what amazing books… (stay tuned for a future post with my Top 20 Books of 2016 coming soon!).
I carried my New Year’s Resolution over to 2017. Indeed, I realize that reading so much has now become a way of life, so it doesn’t even really need to be an official New Year’s Resolution. I am always reading at least two books — one on audio and one in print. I do still read the old fashioned book versions. I bring them with me everywhere I go so if I have any “found time,” I read. I also make time for reading in my day — every day now. Furthermore, I downloaded an app called Overdrive, which allows me to borrow audio books and ebooks for free from my local library. So now while I read one traditional bound book, I also listen to an audiobook (not at the exact same time of course!). I love listening to books while I exercise, walk my dogs, cook, drive in my car, etc.
I was never a fan of reading a book on a device. But with all of the business travel I do, I decided to give it a try. I treated myself to the Kindle Paperwhite in November 2016 and, voila, a whole new world of e-reading is at my fingertips. I admit that it is still not my favorite way to read, but when traveling, it sure beats lugging around hard cover or even paperback books.
And here’s an added benefit. Reading has sparked renewed interest in a major hobby that I had put aside… writing! I have always loved writing. I have been keeping a journal since I am 8 years old (yes, by hand!). I wrote and published an organizing and life coaching book years ago, which was a fabulous experience. But again, that was business focused. My first love of writing was always personal … journaling, poetry, short stories, essays, etc. I started writing a memoir in 2005 and have now turned back to that and am excited to give it my writing attention in the future. It is now going to be a novel as I am fictionalizing much of it.
And have I mentioned I’m loving every minute of it and don’t miss the business books at all? In the end, what makes me a great entrepreneur is my mind and spirit. And I am feeding it with lots of great fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, poetry, and short stories. And I think not only am I better for it, but so is my business and my clients. Because reading is good for the soul. Yes, even the soul of a business owner. 🙂