Every single year since graduating from university, I make the New Year’s resolution to read 1 book per month – that’s 12 books per year. Easy, right?
However, each December, I find myself making excuses to explain why I only got to 5-6 books that year. It could have been that I was busy studying for my CPA, or working too much OT at the office, or even trying to launch my blog. Whatever the case was, I could never tick off this resolution… until now! When I started maternity leave, I had only read 1 book in all of 2019 (it was Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan because I had read the entire Crazy Rich Asians series over the Christmas/New Year break). In March, I decided I needed to kick this resolution in the nuts! Figuratively, of course.
As of this morning, I was finally able to finish my 12th book – 5 months ahead of schedule and with a newborn! It was tough at first. I always felt like I could be cleaning the washroom or creating content instead but I stuck with it. Over time, I started enjoying the routine of pouring myself a coffee and curling up in bed next to baby with a book! If he woke up, I would start reading out loud until he fell back to sleep. I now find reading to not only be soothing but it’s also an opportunity to improve my vocabulary.
Here are my tips on how to start your own “me time” routine. Not just for reading but also for achieving goals.
1) Stop making excuses. If you think you should be doing something else instead, set out one hour a day to work on your routine. That time should be for your shit and your shit alone. After that, you can go back to cleaning the toilet, cooking dinner or walking the dog. Don’t let your other responsibilities overshadow the time you need to get in some self-care! Obviously, I also don’t encourage you to neglect other responsibilities- it’s all about balance.
2) Create a space for your routine. It doesn’t have to be a big space, for me, it was just the bottom of my nightstand where I would store a few books!
3) Start easy. If you’re starting to read again, start with something light and easy. It’s not necessary to dive into some Ernest Hemingway or Margaret Atwood right away. (Unless that’s what you enjoy) Start with some light chick-lit or maybe a book-turned-movie and go from there.