I Read 36 Books Last Year. I Want to Read Less This Year

Upon browsing the internet, you will see that many people have the new year's resolution to read more books this year. I want to read less.

Simply uttering the words "I want to read less" feels wrong for 2 reasons:

  1. Growing up, reading was always viewed as a purely positive activity
  2. Most goals don’t aim to minimize positive activities

Why do I want to read less books this year, then?

# Lessons must be transformed into actions

When I first improved my reading habit 2 years ago, it felt like a great accomplishment. It was. I learned a ton and opened my mind to a new realm of ideas. My life has changed since then, though. Great ideas have been sitting stagnant in my notes and stuck on repeat in my mental hard drive. Without transforming these abstract ideas into actions, you develop what author Charlie Gilkey calls "Mental Constipation."

There is only one cure for this angst: action.

Consume less, create more.

This is one of my personal mottos this year. If this is also one of your current struggles, here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:

# Sometimes, a good habit can get in the way of a great habit

Working out is great. Becoming a bodybuilder while neglecting the rest of your life, on the other hand, not so good.

# Be wary of getting a false sense of accomplishment

Reading feels good. It feels productive. If you have a more pressing issue at hand though, it can also be a distraction.

# Balance is a key

To clarify, I don't plan to stop reading. I just want to read more intentionally. In a way that aligns more with my current goals.

The beginning of the year is a great time to review your habits, both good and bad. Small improvements can be found everywhere.