I love books and they have changed my life. But I realize not everyone has the same love of reading I do. That doesn't mean you can't take advantage of the gifts of reading.
Let me show you how in just 5 minutes a day you can make a shift in your life.
Even if you like reading, I know most of us feel like we don't have any extra time in the day. And during the past few months, I went from having no extra time to having so much extra time. And I've just been plowing through books that I've been putting off to read.
So let's talk about first, the different ways that you can read a book, right. Nowadays you don't even have to have the paper book. If you have a paper book and you love reading in that way, that's awesome. But I'm a huge fan of Kindle books (I wasn't always, lol). You can take that book with you anywhere. You can get it on your phone, you can get it on your iPad. I also love audio books for much the same reason.
When I was first turned on to audio books a few years ago, I was not on board with them. That was actually my same reaction to e-readers. My boyfriend at the time had bought me a Nook e-reader. And I thumbed my nose up at it because I love reading and I love paper books. And I was like no way and now I'm hooked. (He also turned me on to audio books.)
Even though I was resistant in the beginning, I gave them a shot. I recognized that I didn't always have time to sit down and read the books that I wanted to read. And so being able to take a book on the, go with me, allowed me to fit in more reading into my day, being able to listen to an audio book, allowed me to fit more reading into my day.
No matter if your preference is traditional books, e-readers or audio, the question is, how can we just squeeze five minutes in and how does that benefit us?
The top way I squeeze in 5 minutes of reading is when I find myself waiting somewhere. When I'm waiting to get an oil change, at the vet or at the doctor, I usually have at least five minutes and I'll pull out whatever book I'm reading.
Now I used to think that five minutes of reading couldn't make a difference because I thought that it wasn't enough time to read or retain any information. I thought, by the next time I sit down and I read it and I only have five minutes, I'm not going to remember. It was such a small amount of time. But about a year ago, I committed to reading a few books with a friend. And we decided to do just 10 minutes a day. Well, the funny thing was we really only actually found ourselves having five minutes a day to sit and read. Because, go figure, during that time we had both taken on way too many obligations and we were super busy. And so whenever I was driving somewhere, I live in a place where everything is really close, so most cart trips are less than 20 minutes, usually 10 minutes. So by the time you get in the car, you're driving, you put the book on, you probably get about five to eight minutes of listening.
But every single day, I committed to five to 10 minutes of whatever book we were reading. And what I found was because I wasn't trying to consume an entire chapter in one sitting, I was able to implement easier, whatever I read in that five minutes.
What I find happens is that when you give yourselves that five minutes:
And so for me, I always have a personal development book going on and then I have a fun book going on. And if you know me I have a few more books going at the same time, lol. Because people always ask me what I am reading, I've compiled a list of the most influential books for me. And I would say my top two are Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley and You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. I've read and listened to both of those multiple times and I glean something new each time. When I find something good, I'll go back and listen to it, once a year or so, because it really feeds my soul.
And then, like I said, I always have a fun book. So if you, if you have to pick one or the other, then I would alternate do the self development book and then do the fun book. But what you find is that as you give yourself those five minutes a day, you're able to have a bite sized chunk of information. And you might not consciously think that you're integrating it into your experience. But what happened with my friend and I committing to each other is that we found that even though we had tried to read these books before and we never finished them, we got through the books. We committed to 10 minutes, went down to five minutes and once we consistently did the five, then we got it to 10 and then 15. And then I was up to 20 minutes a day.
The same thing they always say about a meditation practice is true for reading: If you just start meditating, the more time in your day will come for the meditation practice. And that's true for anything, right? Just make the little commitment and more time will come.
Now, why do I think it's powerful and why do I think developing a reading habit can change your life? We can all get stuck in our daily routines. And a reading habit offers others another perspective on things. A book is just another perspective that someone is sharing with you. Maybe you can't get to a monthly class at your local bookstore. Or a live event or seminar. So reading or listening to a daily book helps you develop yourself, helps you commit to yourself, helps you nourish yourself.
And I just think that it's amazing.
I think it's powerful.
And I think if you commit five minutes a day to a book that you are eager to read, that you're excited to read, it's going to help shift your experience of yourself.
It's going to help you shift your experience of the world.
You can go ahead and check out that book list here.* And if you have something amazing you're reading right now, go ahead and put it in this post and share it with everybody.
From my soul to yours,
Liza Jane Wolf