How To Create A Reading Plan for the New Year

I love getting lost in a good story. I don’t have a favorite genre per se, I’m basically good with picking up anything fiction that I find I can’t put back down. On occasion, I also find myself enjoying a great business or personal development book for a listen on Audible or as a quick morning read. That being said, finding a good book isn’t always easy. And I’m NOT afraid to call it quits on a book that I just can’t get into. Life is too short for that.

So as I put together my “to-read” list for each New Year, I want to make sure I’m not missing anything that should be at the top of the list!

In order to be successful with my reading habits, I want to have some sort of goal to aim for to keep me on track. While there are so many good books to choose from, I know I have to be realistic about how many books I’ll actually get through in one year. Some books are slower reads, that I work through little by little each night. Other books cause me to pause, think and even take notes. Still others I fly right through with eagerness as I get pulled further into the story. Oh the power of a good book.

SET A REALISTIC READING GOAL

Here’s how I set a realistic reading goal, and determine which books will make the final cut! First, I settle on a good, better, and best goal. This is basically a minimum to maximum approach to goal setting. My good goal is the number I’m really pushing myself to hit. It’s the number that says, “yay, you did it!” The better and best goals, go above and beyond, and really push me to keep going.

Good = 10 books

Better = 16 books

Best = 24 books

For this new year, I decided on 10 books, because I know it’s realistic to read approximately one book a month, while giving myself a little grace for those months when it just doesn’t happen. I’d really love to reach my better goal of 16 books if possible. I know that will require me to read approximately one and a quarter books each month. A significantly bigger goal, but still realistic! I determined my best goal of 24 books by factoring in Audiobooks. I’ve never really been able to listen to a novel on audio, but I have no problem with a business or personal development book, especially when read by the author.

CHOOSE THE BEST BOOKS

So with all the books available, how do I ever choose what to actually spend my time reading? I pulled from three main areas, to find some of the best books to add to my list!

Throughout the year, I add books to the “to read” shelf on my Goodreads account. These books are always recommendations that I find online (Pinterest, Social Media, etc.) or hear about from others. I start with this “to read” list and then create another shelf for the current year. As I review books, I add them to the appropriate list. After that, I love to review the the best reads book list on Goodreads from the previous year. These are books that were voted on by fellow readers.

The list below is the final result of my top 24 choices for 2021! These are in no particular order, and just because they’re on the list doesn’t mean they’re a MUST read. I’ll pick and choose from this list throughout the year based on my mood and available time and I’ll also leave room for something better to come along. However, by having a plan to work off of, I’m much more likely to keep reading from month to month. I hope this helps you to create your list for the New Year! Reading a good book is such a simple way to invest time in self care and rest. 

  1. Atomic Habits (Audible)
  2. Untamed
  3. Clanlands (Audible)
  4. Deep Work
  5. Outliers
  6. No Pain, No Gaines (Audible)
  7. The Slight Edge
  8. The Book Thief
  9. The Great Alone
  10. The Huntress
  11. Where the Forest Meets the Stars
  12. The Kite Runner
  13. The Last Mrs. Parrish
  14. Little Fires Everywhere
  15. Braving The Wilderness
  16. Drums of Autumn
  17. Lethal
  18. From Sand and Ash
  19. The Guest List
  20. The Pillars of the Earth
  21. Little Women
  22. Pride and Prejudice
  23. Dare to Soar
  24. Purple Cow

Want to read more books, but you’re not sure where to start? This post might help! I shared how to read more books, and take a digital detox. And if you’re excited to follow along with my reading progress, you can find me here on Goodreads.

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Oh hey there!

Jen here. I’m a registered nurse turned private photo editor and I love dipping my toes in both the creative and analytic world.  So it goes without saying that on the blog you’ll find must have resources for photography, editing, business and living a healthier well rounded life as a creative entrepreneur.
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