Like many of you, I see the new year as an exciting opportunity to set some epic goals for the year ahead. This year is no different and one I’m very excited by is my goal to read 52 books in 52 weeks (a book a week).
Why have I set this goal? I’ve set this goal pf a book a week for a number of reasons
1 – Something I enjoy
I would call myself a book geek, choosing reading a non-fiction business book over watching TV/movies any day of the week. But it wasn’t always this way…
Strangely enough, I was never interested in learning while I was in school, it just never appealed to me. Sound familiar?
It wasn’t until my early twenties, when I started discovering business, and that the more I learnt, then more I could apply successfully to my business (at the time myself and my friends were running a DJ events business in Dublin, Ireland) that I found I had an insatiable appetite to learn.
This appetite gathered pace in University, and it was during a year travelling around Australia immediately after university I really lost myself in business and marketing books – I’d devour every book and podcast on marketing, self development, consumer behaviour and entrepreneurship I could get my hands on (luckily my girlfriend of the time had a severe Harry Potter addiction so I was able to get away with hours of learning a day).
I remember this period of going from book to book, the feeling of excitement as I learnt a new element of business/marketing and the ideas it would give me for future businesses with great fondness. And I missed it.
Since setting up my business just over two years ago the amount of books I’ve had time to read have dropped considerable. After working late in the office, by the time I got home I’d be exhausted and was more likely to spend an hour watching Game of Thrones to switch off, rather than reading. Sound familiar maybe?
Anyway, I miss the excitement and inspiration that reading these books bring me. And I look forward to getting that back.
2 – Grow my awareness and knowledge
I see books as incredibly empowering. If there’s a topic you wish to learn about, just pick up one or two of the best books on the subject and….hey presto!
In your business there’s always a new area that the business needs, or a way you can be better – for me it’s anything around the area of growth of the business so (Marketing, Sales branding etc) but also personal growth as the better I am, the better my results will be.
Now I have a backlog of things I want to learn more about: Entrepreurship, fundraising, marketing, branding, personal branding, inbound marketing, visual learning, personal development – the list literally goes on and on. I’m looking forward to learning more about them.
3 – Growth
One of the few teachers in school that made a lasting impression on me in school was our English teacher called Mr McMonigal. He was a Robin Williams in ‘Good Will Hunting’ type of character: softly spoken, whose teaching style was to inspire us to learn rather than forcing us to (if only more were like this….).
On the final day of school he gave us one piece of advice which has always stayed with me (in fact its one of the few piece of advice I remember from 6 years in that school ;). His advice was:
‘Read, read, read’
For many years it didn’t quite sink in why he would have said this, but now it finally has.
And that’s what’s driving me to read 52 books in the next 52 weeks!
During the next 52 weeks I will have a few very simple rules
1 – One book a week
My week will run from Sun to Sat, finishing a book by Sat and picking a new one to begin on the Sunday
2 – Rereads allowed
Rereads allowed, as long as I had previously read then before 1st Jan 2015 (no rereads of same book in same year)
3 – Audiobook, Kindle books, ebooks, and online courses allowed
The format doesn’t really matter, so can be audiobook, ebook etc I’m also including online courses (through Udemy etc) as long as the latter is a minimum of 3 hours in length
4 – Book Length
Clearly if I choose War & Peace (or another crazy long book) it will near to impossible to read the entire book in a week. From my experience, most non fiction books tend to be 200 – 300 pages, so each week I’ll read a book ‘up to 300 pages’, if I choose a book longer than this I can use more than one week to read it, depending on the length of the book e.g. I can red a 500 page book over 2 weeks etc.
5 – Children’s books not allowed
Well that would be cheating wouldn’t it 😉
What could go wrong?
I see the only thing that can come between me and my achieving this goal is….me! As long as I’m motivated and priotise this, I can achieve it. No excuses.
As extra commitment, if I don’t achieve this goal I’ll donate £500 to charity on the 1st January 2016.
I’m all in!
How I’ll track them?
I plan to track what book I’m reading through my Goodreads account (feel free to follow me), which will also have a widget on this blog (watch this space).
I’ll also be tracking what I’m reading on this google doc, which you can all access (as if I take an online course, for example I wouldn’t be able to track it on Goodreads so I’ll use both). See what I’ve been reading so far here
See you in another ~50 weeks time where I’ll report how I’ve done J
What books do you think I should read in 2015? If you have any suggestions as to what I should be reading please leave them in the comments below