Episode 088: Realistic Reading Goals

Episode Transcription

Do you wish you had more time to read? Once we became busy moms, sometimes things we enjoy are the first thing to get axed from our schedule. But if you want to read more fiction, non-fiction, self-improvement, business, or just magazines, we must find ways to make it happen.

In this episode, Diana explains how she created small reading goals to get out of her reading rut and back into finishing books.

We’ll also discuss:

  • How special reading was for Diana when growing up
  • The benefits of trying audiobooks or ebooks
  • How to break down books into small achievable goals

What can you expect from this podcast and future episodes?

  • 15-20 minute episodes to help you tackle your to-do list
  • How to declutter in an effective and efficient way
  • Guest interviews
  • Deep dives on specific topics 

Find Diana Rene on social media:
Instagram: @the.decluttered.mom
Facebook: @the.decluttered.mom
Pinterest: @DianaRene

Are you ready for a peaceful and clutter-free home? Watch my FREE training video “Kiss Clutter Goodbye” to learn how it’s possible! And find all of my resources here.

This transcript is auto-generated. Please excuse grammatical errors.

Diana Rene: 0:06

You're listening to the Decluttered Mom Podcast, a podcast built specifically for busy moms by a busy mom. I'm your host, Diana Rene, and in 2017, I had my second daughter and it felt like I was literally drowning in my home okay, not literally, but I felt like I couldn't breathe with all of the stuff surrounding me. Over the next 10 months, I got rid of approximately 70% of our household belongings and I have never looked back. I kind of feel like I hacked the mom system and I'm here to share all the tips, tricks and encouragement. Let's listen to today's show. Welcome to another episode of the Decluttered Mom podcast.

Diana Rene: 0:54

Today, I wanted to talk about breaking down achievable goals when it comes to reading. So I think that's something that happens when we become moms, or even just adults, as we start to have actual a lot of responsibility on our plates and we start to not do things that are super. We start to put things that are enjoyable to us normally on the back burner right, and typically it's because of time or energy. At the end of the day, we're just tired or we just don't have time because we have so much else going on, and I totally get that. But something that really bothered me as especially as I became a mom, is that I just found myself reading a lot less and I've always been a really, really, really big reader. Like when I was a kid, I would, as soon as I could, read chapter books. I would read like a chapter book a day.

Diana Rene: 1:50

My family for some summers we would go to, we had this like little RV, and we would go to this RV camp in Northern Michigan and we would just stay there for like weeks at a time and it was some of the best memories I have as a kid because it was just so much fun. We were not living lavishly by any means, but we had friends that would come up every summer and so we had our school friends during the year and then these friends at the RV place, and it was just like we just felt like we were on vacation all summer because we would do bonfires like almost nightly and we would go swimming in the lake and we would like we were riding bikes all over, and so the rule was just we had to like stay in the camp area and we had to be home, like when the little street light things came on, and so it was just. It was wonderful, wonderful time in Michigan as a kid. So all of that to say, I just went down memory lane. I didn't even mean to. I just remember we would walk to the laundromat because we obviously didn't have laundry in our little RV and my mom would let us come with her, and so while we were waiting for the clothes to finish their cycles, we would go next door to the library and so we would go and I would pick out like four or five books and then I would read through those in like four or five days, and so we'd have to go back and I'd have to get more. And so I've always been a really big reader. It's been something I've always enjoyed. I became a mom and it's like I just I didn't forget how to read, but it was like I just didn't make time for it or I would feel frustrated that I wasn't reading as often as I would like to, and so I just wouldn't do it at all.

Diana Rene: 3:44

And then audiobooks came out and like audiobooks became big things. And Audible came out and like all those apps and all that Right, and at first I was like really resistant to it and I was like no, like that would be really hard to focus and listen to and like take in and all of that. And then I one day it was like I'm just going to try it. I had a friend that was doing listening to Audible like all the time and she was trying. She was encouraging me to try. So I tried and I fell in love with audio books because I was able to like listen while I was driving and I felt like I was in the car forever, every day, you know, dropping kids off to school and to bringing them to ballet and like all the things right. So I started listening to audiobooks and then that kind of bridged the gap for me to start really getting into like actual books again, which I hate. You guys, people will probably hate me for this. They have hated me for less but I don't really love physical books.

Diana Rene: 4:45

I prefer like eBooks, like on my Kindle. I, hands down, would rather read a book on my Kindle than a physical book, and I think part of it is that I have control over the size of the text. I think that's a huge reason because I have some vision stuff that's happened over the past couple of years and so if you look at my phone, I forget that not everybody has their text so large on their phone. I have to to be able to see it and to not strain my vision. And it's a long story and we'll get into that maybe another day. But I'll forget sometimes if someone will look at my phone and be like what the heck they think I'm like 85 years old based on the size, because it's like my great grandma phone, you know. But I like that on the Kindle I have control over the actual size of the text and so I just will read more if I am comfortable reading it in like actual books, like it's really hard for me to really read for a long time and I will get migraines and so it's just not great. So all that to say, I prefer Kindle and I like also that it's linked to my phone. So if I am stuck somewhere and I don't have access to my Kindle maybe I go to a doctor's appointment, I forget to bring it with me then I can always read it on my phone and it will sync to the Kindle, so it will pick up where I left off and then when I get the Kindle back out, it will re-sync and pick up where I left off. So that was not the point of today's podcast, but I really love audiobooks and I really love eBooks on Kindle and so something that I started doing when I was having a hard time.

Diana Rene: 6:36

I set a goal a couple of years ago for like crazy amount of books that I wanted to read, and part of it was because I was getting so many business books that I really wanted to read, that I was really, really interested in and I knew would help me just as a business owner and all of the things that go into being a business owner but I felt like I just wasn't getting through them. So I felt like I was collecting these business books that had great ideas that I knew would help me, and I wasn't getting through them. And so I was like how can I figure this out? How can I make this big goal of mine to be reading all of these books a manageable, achievable goal for me? And so I did something that felt really silly at the time and I was like this feels dumb, this feels dumb. I don't know what I'm doing, but I tried it and I was like, okay, hold on a minute, this worked. So what I did?

Diana Rene: 7:30

It's very, very simple, like most things that I do right is I just took the total amount of the book and I divided it by the time I needed to read it in. So what I mean by that is, let's say, for example, it was a physical book. When I say physical book, you know, for me it was a Kindle book. So let's say the book had 300 pages in it and my goal was to read this book in one month, because at the time I really wanted to read 12 business books a year and then 12 personal Not personal Anytime. I say business, then I think of personal to be the opposite but just fiction books, like books that were enjoyable to read and just where I was reading, for the story, right. So that was my goal.

Diana Rene: 8:16

So if I had a book that I wanted to finish in one month, and let's say it was 300 pages, then I would just take the 300 pages and I would divide it by how many days were in the month. So if there's 30 days in the month, then it would be 10 pages a day. So I knew that, to stay on track with that goal, all I would need to do was read 10 pages a day, which I'm a pretty fast reader, and so that's not very scary to me. If you hand me 12 business books and you say you have to read all of these this year, that feels intimidating. But if I break it down and I'm like, oh, I just have to read 10 pages a day, then heck, yeah, I can do that. And so that was like a light bulb went off for me. It was such a simple thing. And then same thing for audiobooks. So say it's six hours, so 360 minutes. Right, I think that's right. Don't DM me if my math is wrong. We all know my math is terrible. But let's say it's 360 minutes, then that would be 12 minutes a day.

Diana Rene: 9:25

So, and audio books are even easier for this, because for like the 10 pages a day, you have to find time to be able to like, open the book and stand there and read it. For audio books, you can multitask a little bit more. So I listen to audiobooks all the time. While I am driving, while I go for my daily walks, while I'm sitting in driveline, I will bring my AirPods to Costco, and so while I'm grocery shopping, I will listen to an audiobook. So there's all these different times of the day that I can fit an audiobook book in versus like sitting down and reading.

Diana Rene: 10:03

So nine times out of 10, unless it's something I know I'm going to want to reference later I will pick an audio book for a business book, and then I will usually pick fiction books for like my Kindle, because I know I prefer to read those like at night before I go to bed. So I know I'm going to be like laying in bed anyway, it doesn't matter, I don't need to be walking around or doing anything. So I prefer fiction for those kinds of books. So after a while I didn't need to do this very long. Only a couple months is all it took for me to just get back into the habit of being able to read for myself, for pleasure, for just being a human outside of a mom right and like a business owner, and I was able to take the ideas I was learning and actually implement them, instead of just having this pile on my shelf of things I wanted to read but just felt overwhelming and so I just didn't start.

Diana Rene: 10:59

So I don't know if this is helpful for you. If you're in kind of like a reading rut, I think that's kind of the best time to put this into practice, and it doesn't have to be a month Like, even if 10 pages a day feels super overwhelming to you, then maybe read one book every three months, right, like, break it down even more. But here's the thing Once you start reading, or once you start listening to a book, most of the time you're going to keep reading, especially if it's a good book, right. So you might read like 100 pages one day and then 10 pages the next, and 10 pages the next and then 50 pages the next. So, like, most of the time, you end up finishing books sooner because you're not going to always just like read the 10 pages and be like, oh, I'm done, like my time's up. I only did the 10 pages, especially if it's a book that you're enjoying. So I hope this is helpful. I hope this can just help you to take something that maybe you enjoyed at one time but now feels overwhelming to you and put the joy back into being able to read again.

Diana Rene: 12:04

Thanks for hanging out and listening to the Decluttered Mom podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean the world if you could write a review or share this episode with a friend or your Instagram stories, and if you're on Instagram, be sure to follow me at thedeclutteredmom and send me a DM to say hi. I'd love to hear what you thought about today's episode. I hope you'll come back next week and hang out with us again.