I’ve always been a reader (#onlychildproblems) but I used to find myself racing through books without internalizing concepts - a total waste of my own time. This time last year, it was getting to the point where I was giving myself credit just for purchasing a book or checking it out from the library without even cracking it open. Newsflash to past me, and maybe to you if you’re in the same boat: simply adding the book to your bookshelf does not get you the same results as reading it and engaging with the material.
So I started a new habit: daily reading for 30 minutes to start my workday. Anyone who’s ever started a new habit knows that staying consistent is the tough part. I would not describe myself as a morning person, so an extra to-do at the start of my day was a bit of a stretch. Sometime in the first week of daily reading, I was so inspired by a passage I read that I decided to share it on Instagram Stories. I love sharing my love of reading, and the response from my followers was fantastic. Many people dm’ed me to talk about how they didn’t take time for reading, but one quote a day was the perfect commitment level. Sharing one quote turned into sharing my favourite quote daily, and because I’m a sucker for alliteration, I started calling the series #quartzquotes.
In the act of sharing and starting conversations about the books I was reading solidified the habit for me and made me more engaged. I started to get much more from what I was reading. This should not have shocked me at all… why? Because before I ran my own business, I taught in K-12 classrooms - believe me when I say I’ve spent a lot of time on the research behind reading and learning.
As I kept sharing daily #quartzquotes, I realized I was unconsciously applying everything I knew about reading, ie to get the most out of reading and learning;
- Connect personally to the material and link new knowledge with things you’ve already learned.
- Engage in conversation about what you are reading (it’s called meaning-making!)
- Have accountability to start and finish a book and have clear goals in mind for reading.
- Make learning visible by extending your learning to other areas of your life.
My 30 minutes of reading already brought me joy, but the act of sharing a quote increased my learning and success exponentially. Since I enjoy reading so much, this has been a great tool for me to find alignment before I begin client work or any other behind-the-scenes tasks in my business. I noticed that I was more motivated to accomplish more because of the motivational content I was taking in. I started integrating what I was reading into my business and into my life, instead of just passively consuming content.
WHY MY BUSINESS / PERSONAL GROWTH READING IS NOW SO SUCCESSFUL
I know my ‘why’, and I set an intention for reading:
I start my workday with 30 minutes of reading to better myself and grow in my business, and to share my biggest takeaway with my followers who may not have the time for daily reading.
I have a clear purpose to determine importance:
By forcing myself to determine one thing that was important, I created a focus for my reading, and I upped my own engagement factor. Hunting for the best piece of information feels a little bit game-like, and makes me read more closely while slowing myself down. This means I get more out of each book overall.
I leveraged accountability and social “pressure”:
Knowing that my followers expect a daily quote makes me keep the habit up more often. I make less excuses to skip a day because I know I’ll hear about it in my dm’s if I do! Because my followers have made me aware that they look forward to it, I get the added bonus of creating content that they actually find valuable, and it has become part of my brand message.
I am constantly creating connections that extend beyond the book:
People will write in to share their viewpoint, thank me for the motivation, or tell me a story about how a quote has affected them or what it makes them think of. This means I get to learn beyond my own perspective and go deeper into the content I’m engaging in. Taking in new perspectives and having dialogue is invaluable to my own learning and growth - this is a win win!
In fact, #quartzquotes has been so successful for me personally and in my business that I’m putting together an online book club to share the experience with you! I’ve made a commitment to myself to launch the first beta program by the end of this month, and I’ve already selected the first book! If you want to make reading for growth work within your lifestyle or get more out of the reading you’re already doing, you’re invited to the first book club meeting. Click this link to let me know we’re on the same page - pun intended ;) - and to be the first to know when the first program goes live.
With good vibes and gratitude,
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