I used to think I didn't have time to read. Looking back, I realize that even though I was a busy gal, that was a lie I was believing. I used to teach middle school & work about a million side jobs. This was before kids, but I was very involved in both our school and church and was a class plate-overfiller. I didn’t read much (even though I wanted to) because I thought I didn’t have time. Jonathan didn’t read
much at all because he (*thought*) he didn’t like to read.
Still, several mentors in our life told us over and over that “leaders are readers” and encouraged us to start reading more. We finally gave in and now we are both avid readers, even with a “busy life.” (Although I don't work in a workplace anymore, I do still have a very full day. I run a pretty large business with my husband, I have 2 kiddos under 3 and the 3rd on the way, and I cook & clean a LOT. So, my time is consumed. Y’all know how it is.)
We started small though, and here’s how we did it. We decided to start with either 10 minutes/10 pages a night. (I honestly can’t remember which it was.) That's it...That small. That’s not too overwhelming, right? We committed to that, & it worked! We did it consistently (usually ended up reading more than that) and it became a habit. A few months later we had cable shut off completely (saved over $1200/year) and had even MORE time to read. Then we added the Audible app and started listening different times of the day as well. Jonathan listens during his commute or his workout and I listen in while making meals/cleaning. We recently bought a Sony BlueTooth speaker so I can hear it even while doing other things. (Most of the time we listen more than once, & I still buy books to keep on my nightstand and read at night too.) We both prefer to read our Bible in the morning and other books (listening included) throughout the day or before bed.
If you track the time you spend on social media & watching tv, you'll be amazed at just how much time you can waste there! (That was true for me anyway. Both were a total time suck because I would get lost in it.) I have found that reading has added so much more value to our life than those two things. (Not that you have to eliminate either completely, but just being more conscientious of how much time you spend doing those two things creates MORE time for important things you think you "don't have time for.") It has been especially neat to see my non-reader husband become an avid reader and see how that has helped him grow. Most people who know him well would agree that his thinking/attitude/mindset/faith/leadership has grown tremendously since he started reading. Even though he’s always been awesome (that’s why I married him, duh!), I am so proud of his growth.
I wanted to make a long list of the books we read in 2016, but our library is packed up in storage & I can’t remember all of them. Honestly, that has been one of the most annoying things about having everything in storage. It doesn’t really bother me and I’m learning we can live with wayyyy less (it’s actually kind of nice), but I did like always having access to my books so I could reference them when needed. (Especially the parenting/pregnancy related books!) Anyway…Here are some books we read in 2016. Some are my reads, some are Jon’s, and some we both read.
- 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
- You and Me Forever
- Raising Men: Lessons Navy Seals Learned from Their Training and Taught to Their Sons (warning: Jon listened to this one- warning: language alert)
- H3 Leadership
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- Extreme Ownership
- Chop Wood Carry Water
- Beach Money
- The Compound Effect (one of my FAVES of the year)
- The 5 Love Languages of Children (one of my FAVES of the year)
- The Carpenter
- Above the Line
- The 10X Rule (one of Jon’s FAVE of the year)
- Love & Respect
- The Power of a Transformed Wife
- The Magic of Thinking Big
- The Truth About Cancer
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
- Burn Your Goals
- The Christian Childbirth Handbook
- Revolutionary Parenting
- The Husband Project
Would LOVE to hear your FAVORITE book of 2016 and your biggest takeaway from it!
Anything we need to add to our list for 2017? We’d love some recommendations!