My New Year’s resolution is to read 52 books.
The fireworks have finished, and the hangover may have disappeared, but 2017 is here to stay. Then with every New Year, there’s a New Year’s resolution made.
Making a New Year’s resolution is a tradition that most of us who live in the Western Hemisphere do and have done for as long as I can remember.
However, if I’m honest with myself, I’ve never really taken them seriously. It’s not that I see them as a joke or a bit of fun (although they can be) but what I mean is I have never made a New Year’s resolution that I can accomplish.
Let me explain with some past New Year’s resolutions below:
- 2011: Go to the gym more
- 2012: Eat healthier
- 2013: Save more money for travels
- 2014: Minimise my gear and sell everything I don’t use/need
- 2015: Visit more new countries
- 2016: Travel less (stay in a fixed location longer)
Some of the above, such as go to the gym more and save more money, might also be familiar with your previous New Year’s resolutions. I will admit travel less was a bit random, but I will explain that in just a minute. I want to discuss the problem with my past New Year’s resolutions first.
The problem isn’t that they don’t have potential, they do. Who doesn’t want to be healthier, fitter, save money and travel more?
The problem with the resolutions I have previously made is they are not measurable.
- How many times a week is going to the gym more?
- Is chomping one more apple a day eating healthier?
- How much is exactly is saving more for travels, $100, $1000, $10000?
I’m sure you’re starting to get my point…
The good intentions are there. There’s just no measurement in place to monitor if the New Year’s resolution has been achieved or not.
With no way to tell if they have been achieved – they will always fail.
Enter the read 52 books challenge.
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
― Groucho Marx
Why read 52 books?
I’m an avid reader and reading has been something I’ve enjoyed for a long time.
To make a resolution like this you have to enjoy reading. If you don’t enjoy reading, which some people don’t, completing a book a week is going to be extremely difficult. To read 52 books is a lot of work.
Reading does have many benefits though such as improving memory, vocabulary, writing skills and knowledge.
What better way to spend a few lost hours at the airport or waiting for that night train? One of the benefits of travelling so much is it allows plenty of opportunities to sit down and read the latest New York Times bestseller.
The perfect book can mesmerise your thoughts from start to finish, almost making you feel part of the story.
2016 was a good year in many ways. I met new people, developed new partnerships and set up a new business.
It also had its setbacks, and I ended some toxic relationships.
I also chose to scale back on travelling compared to 2014 & 2015 and set up a permanent base in Melbourne. Working from a remote location is an excellent way to see the world, but the main reason for setting up a semi-fixed base around travelling was to allow me to get more creative things done.
The downside of working more in one area is other areas of your life can suffer. My reading did.
I never officially counted how many books I completed in 2016 but it was a lot less than previous years.
At one point I was really struggling to find time to read anything at all and started listening to audio books in the gym. I’m not saying that audio books are good or bad, but for the pleasure reading gives me, I felt like there should have been more.
So for 2017 I will read 52 books
It will be the first time I have placed a number on a New Year’s resolution and plan on monitoring the results.
Finally, what happens if I fail?
Well at the end of the day it’s only a New Year’s resolution. Although I’m going to try my best to finish it, it’s not going to obstruct relationships with friends, family or business.
The good news is I’m fired up and looking forward to my reading time.
- 1) Building the Gymnastic Body
- 2) Treasure Islands
- 3) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- 4) Tools of Titans
- 5) How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You
- 6) Van Diemen's Land
- 7) Muay Thai Fighter
- 8) The Elements of Style
- 9) A Tale of Two Cities
- 10) A Fighter's Heart
- 11) Hide and Seek
- 12) The War of Art
- 13) Bachelor Pad Economics
- 14) The Zombie Survival Guide
- 15) Death In The Afternoon
- 16) Blast the Bush
- 17) Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know
- 18) The War That Was Called 'An Emergency': Malaya 1951-1956
- 19) Steve Jobs
- 20) Getting Stoned with Savages
- 21) Lost on Planet China
- 22) A Short History of Nearly Everything
- 23) At Home: A Short History of Private Life
- 24) Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
- 25) Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
- 26) Sailing Alone Around the World
- 27) Eating Smoke: One Man's Descent into Drug Psychosis in Hong Kong's Triad Heartland
- 28) Remote: Office Not Required
- 29) A Tiger in Eden
- 30) The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot
- 31) One Thing Led to Another
- 32) Love with a Chance of Drowning
- 33) Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
- 34) Marketing on a Beermat by Chris West
- 35) Einstein: His Life and Universe
- 36) A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony
- 37) 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi
- 38) Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot
- 39) Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions
by Christopher Sommer
by Nicholas Shaxson
Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
by James Boyce
By Paul Garrigan
By William Strunk Jr
By Charles Dickens
By Sam Sheridan
By Ian Rankin
by Steven Pressfield
By Max Brookes
by Ernest Hemingway
by Len Beadell
by Ranulph Fiennes
by Syd Kyle-Little
by Walter Isaacson
by J. Maarten Troost
by J. Maarten Troost
by Bill Bryson
by Bill Bryson
by Seth Godin
by Joshua Slocum
by Jason Fried
by Chris Flynn
by Robert Macfarlane
Mark "Chopper" Read
by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
by Chris West
by Walter Isaacson
by Mitchell Zuckoff
by Jodi Compton
By Russell Brand
Please note: some of the 52 books links featured in this post are affiliate links.