Habit Formation, Vision and Patience

Hi there,

I have not been a good reader until two years ago, when I started reading more consistently and increasingly more. I have a certain ideal person to be and that ideal person is one that reads well. But I struggled with consistency when it came to reading. I would read one book fast and not read anything for months after. Two years ago, I decided to change that and read consistently. I made a Goodreads account for that because I wanted to force myself into accountability. I set a small goal for the year and I reached it by the end of the year (partly due to the satisfaction that comes with marking a book read on Goodreads lol). This year, I set a higher goal. I reached it the day before and felt good about it because I thought I was not going to make it. But by this time, reading is becoming an inevitable part of my life, so I picked up a new book and finished it in one day (not long, though, roughly 175 pages)! This is a first for me! And honestly, I didn’t even think about finishing the book but this is a result of me now spending most of my leisure time reading and willingly so!

This is a trait of the ideal person I wanted to be: enjoying reading and making it a major activity in daily life. But it started making an entrance to my life after I stepped into my 30s and settled there in two years. This made me think of two things that are important in habit formation: vision and patience. What drove me to pick up reading as a habit in the firs place is my vision for the ideal person and it is this vision that kept me going when I felt like falling back. Then, patience. It took me about two years to start truly enjoying reading and making it a part of my daily life. I am glad that I was patient enough to give it this much time. I believe this habit will stay and I want it to.

What are your visions when you form habits? What does your habit-formation process look like? Also, do you like reading? Any suggestions? I will set an even higher goal for 2023 (and my ultimate goal is 52 books for some year in the future!).


18 thoughts on “Habit Formation, Vision and Patience

  1. I too haven’t read as much in the past few years other than online things, and I found I missed reading books. In the past probably ten months or so I went back to reading books, both physical copies and ebooks, and found that I have devoured a large list of both fiction and non-fiction! I didn’t think of making a list or setting up an account to measure my progress though, thanks for the tip! I might do this for the new year.

  2. I get all you set out. And, I see how it is excellent for you. Stealing from Jerry Garcia, I will give you a view from 180 degrees across the Wheel. Any habits “I” form are strictly initiated by instinct and not planned by me knowingly.

      1. More walking, less sitting! Break up sitting time with periods of physical activity. I am already doing these things, but I need to do them more consistently.

        I am not very good at keeping life in balance and have a tendency to focus intensively on one thing at a time. The older I get, the less energy there is to spread the across priorities.

  3. Hi, Betul. I enjoyed reading your post. I also struggled with making reading a habit, so I started to put it on my weekly to do list. This method really worked for me. I succeeded in reading more books than I did last year (and actually that was my goal). I mostly read self-development books, I especially enjoyed the ones talking on Ikigai (finding purpose). I loved these ones particularly: Ikigai. The Japanese secret to a long and happy life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles, A little book of Japanese contentments by Erin Niimi Longhurst and Ikigai – giving every day meaning and joy by Yukari Mitsuhashi. Thank you for this post and have a great day! 🙂

    1. Ah, thank you for the suggestion! I will add it to my reading list for 2023! And putting reading on to-do list is a great idea! It makes it something you have to do!

  4. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas!!.. I just wake up every morning and follow my heart… each day is different with new adventures and challenges so I let the day, and my heart, determine how I will proceed… whenever I start a to do list or a goal, the words of Rose Milligan come to mind… 🙂
    Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
    to paint a picture, or write a letter,
    bake a cake, or plant a seed.
    Ponder the difference between want and need.

    Dust if you must, but there is not much time,
    with rivers to swim and mountains to climb!
    Music to hear, and books to read,
    friends to cherish and life to lead.

    Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
    with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
    a flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
    this day will not come round again.

    Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
    old age will come and it’s not kind.
    And when you go, and go you must,
    you, yourself, will make more dust!
    (Rose Milligan)

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful New Year filled with peace, love, happiness and life is all that you wish for it to be and until we meet again… 🙂
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

  5. Fantastic achievement Betul, keep on going with reading, I think books are very good companions of one’s life. Remember that Daniel Pennac (a French contemporary author) established the reader’s rights among which there is the right of stopping reading when you don’t like a book. This is one of the best way to continue to love reading, not forcing you into something that you don’t like.

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