New Year’s resolutions can be positive ways to start the year but they can also be daunting with the pressure you might feel to complete your goals.

I’m not usually one for setting a New Year’s resolution but I do sometimes set goals for myself to try and improve on areas of my personal life.

This year though, I want to get back into reading as it’s something I enjoy and didn’t make enough time for in 2023.

You could say I've been stuck in a rut when it comes to reading but I'm aiming to be stuck in a book instead.

Oxford Mail: I'm trying to get back into reading this yearI'm trying to get back into reading this year (Image: Newsquest)

So, that’s my resolution for 2024 – to read every day. This is how it’s gone so far and how I'm making it work.

My New Year’s resolution – what is it?

While I’ve set a loose goal of reading 20 pages per day, I’m also more than happy to just pick up my book and read, whether that’s for five minutes while dinner is cooking or 30 minutes before I go to sleep at night.

So, I’ve not been too strict with myself – I find this is helping me achieve my goal of reading every day as there’s less pressure on putting an exact number on it.

In 2023, I read only four books but in previous years I’ve read as many as 47 books in a year.

As you can see, my reading took a backseat in 2023 and I’d like to completely flip it on its head and read more in 2024.

Oxford Mail: I got two new books for Christmas so these will be added to my TBR (to be read) shelf for 2024I got two new books for Christmas so these will be added to my TBR (to be read) shelf for 2024 (Image: Newsquest)

Why I want to do more reading

But why? Well, reading for me is really enjoyable – I love nothing more than sitting quietly as I get lost in a good book whether that’s in a cosy spot at home as the rain falls outside or at the side of a pool on holiday with a cocktail in hand.

Reading is also a chance for me to relax without using a screen which I’m sure you’ll agree is difficult nowadays.

I use a laptop for eight hours a day for work and then my downtime is also mostly linked to using screens whether I’m watching TV or scrolling social media.

For this reason, reading would be a better activity for me when I’ve got some spare time. I’m hoping it’ll help reduce the strain on my eyes and the amount of headaches that I often get due to lots of screen time.

Reading is also a good way for me to escape from the real world which is nice from time to time.

How is my New Year’s Resolution going?

So far, I’ve read each day of 2024 and I’m finally getting through a book which I started a few months back so I’d say it’s going well at the moment.

Most days I’ve read for around 20-30 minutes but others I’ve read for about 10 minutes.

How am I making my New Year’s resolution work?

I’ve found a few things are motivating me to read at the minute so I thought I’d share them in case you’re also trying to pick up that book that’s waiting eagerly on your TBR (to be read) shelf.

Oxford Mail: There are a few ways I'm hoping to achieve my goal of reading more this yearThere are a few ways I'm hoping to achieve my goal of reading more this year (Image: Newsquest)

Have your next book lined up

It goes without saying that the competitiveness in myself to achieve the goal I’ve set is a motivation but I’ve found that knowing I have some books on my bookshelf that need reading is also helping – I’ve paid for them so I should read them!

They are also books I've picked so I'm looking forward to reading them.

Having said this though, I’ve had a full bookshelf before and found this can be a bit overwhelming so I’d recommend having just a few books ready and waiting.

Use a book budgeting method to save for your next book

I also found a tip online that has helped me with the motivation to read and it also helped me buy my next book.

When I've finished a book, I add £1 to my savings from my current account to allow for more book purchases in the future.

If you want to give this a try, you can change the amount you add.

Ask for books as gifts or treat yourself

Christmas was over a week ago and I was lucky to receive two books that I wanted as gifts so I’m excited to get stuck into them but I know I must first finish my current read before I can which, if you’re wondering, is The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn.

Like I said, I started this book a good while ago but got distracted with other things. At the back end of last year, I was determined to pick it back up.

It’s not my favourite book but I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends.

Use an app to track reading

I also use an app called Goodreads which tracks your reading for you and allows you to set a goal for how many books you’d like to read in a year.

In 2024, I’ve set myself the target of reading eight books – double what I read last year.

The app also lets you log what page you’re currently reading and eager bookworms like me can also find new books to read and add them to ‘shelves’ so you can keep them all in one place.

My current shelves are ‘Want to Read’ so I know which books to buy when I’m done with my current ones and ‘Read’ so I know which books I’ve already read – you can also give them a rating.

You can create your own shelves too so I’ve got one called ‘own’ which simply means the books I own so if I’m out and about and tempted to buy another book, I’ll know which ones I’ve already got.

At the end of the year, Goodreads will give you a simple report which includes how many pages and books you read and more.

Recommended reading:

The report can be viewed at any point during the year and in years to come as it stays listed within your account.

You can also interact with other bookworms on the platform too and see what they’re reading.

Don't add too much pressure to yourself

I'm also making sure I don't add too much pressure to myself because as with other resolutions or goals, pressure can take away the enjoyment of doing something you want to do.