Last year I made a New Year’s resolution to read one book each month making it a total of 12 books a year. I thought it would be a reasonable goal to achieve, but I was not accounting for the month of Ramadan and being pregnant which is in itself work already. However, I stuck to my guns and never gave up on my goal. There were some months where I fell behind and other months I skyrocket and read a book in a record time. At the end of the year when I’m about to set a new goal, I couldn’t stop wondering what I’d learned from reading so many books. Needless to say that I was surprised and was not expected to learn what I did.
The first thing I noticed was the increase in critical thinking skills. I noticed by accident that I was thinking critically after having finished watching Reel. Most videos on youtube and in reels are designed to capture not only the audience’s attention but it’s deliberately done with drama and suspense leaving the audience convinced. I watched one of these types of videos and at first, I was completely convinced by its message but the more I started thinking about the subject, I started to notice flaws and I am able to point out counter-arguments as to why the message was invalid. The best thing about it is that critical thinking came easily without having to put in so much effort, I definitely give tribute to this skill in reading.
The second aspect of reading was discovering your tone through certain styles, for example, my favorite style and tone of voice this year came from reading “Becoming” by Michelle Obama and “I am a girl from Africa” by Elizabeth. Both books are memoirs and transmitted valued experiences that were very much relatable. I was so inspired by their style of writing that I couldn’t help but imitate it.
Third, this one comes with your own opinion which is that self-help books are overrated. When I started to read self-help books or books that claim to teach you something that the majority of the public does know, it mostly leaves me disappointed. Not to say that I didn’t learn anything from these books which I did but the majority of these books like, “Rich Dad Poor Dad“, seem to have monopolized a common sense concept and sold it as his own. I found that memoirs served me better; I didn’t feel like someone was trying to sell their ideas and yet I still learned a lot from reading about the author’s experiences.
Fourth, I was able to combat boredom through reading. I don’t know about you but to me, boredom seems to be the root cause of many things like spending too much money. Not only did I learn about money by reading “The Psychology of Money“, but I also believe that keeping my mind busy enables me to suppress my spending. If you have done any type of fasting then you know that the only way to combat hunger fatigue is to keep your mind occupied.
Last but not least, reading helped me through depression, or the stage of life where you don’t feel your greatest. After having a baby the postpartum period can be daunting and tedious. As well as staying at home mom can bring a sense of being trapped by routine. Reading is a natural way to escape from daily problems to even escape from your physical world and travel into the world of the narrative. A friend once told me that the only way to endure her hardships was through reading.
There you have it the power of setting up goals is actually not accomplishing the goal but rather the experiences and various doors that the journey opens up for you. At the end of the goal whether I achieve it or not, there isn’t a trophy waiting for me but what is waiting for me is even more valuable, a changed woman.
For the year 2023, I am looking to add new habits but eliminate bad ones. Adding habits has its set of challenges but the real work commences by eliminating the bad habits that set you up from reaching your true potential. I look forward to what the end of the year will look like for me and what new lessons I will learn along the way.
What are your 2023 New Year resolutions?
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