My 11 Day Reading Challenge has come to an end!! What an 11 days it has been. I have to admit, there were THREE days when I did not get a full hour of reading in. I am a little ashamed to admit that because for a such a short challenge, you would think it would be easy to not miss a day. But I am proud of myself for not letting those days get me down, and continuing the challenge until Day 11.
During this challenge I finished the book Mildred Pierce, which I seriously started TWO MONTHS ago and had yet to finish. I STARTED AND FINISHED the book Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut, which I will do a review on this week. I also STARTED the book Shoe Dog by Phil Knight which I have been meaning to read since it was first released about a couple months ago. I love reading, and am glad that this challenged inspired me to actually sit down and do it. Reading calms me down and helps me focus. I love reading because it requires my full attention. When I watch netflix I can easily text and check my email and get distracted by other things. When I read, that’s all I do. I don’t check my phone. I can’t open a new tab and quickly check facebook. It’s just me, words and a story. In this day and age of multitasking, I really value that reading is an activity that must be done by itself.
Although the 11 days is up, I am going to challenge myself to go on to 30 days of reading an hour everyday! As strange as it sounds, making this into a “challenge” really encouraged me to follow through with the hour everyday. If you are interested in reading more I challenge you to try and read for a full hour everyday for 11 days!! Most people can find a free hour in their day simply by eliminating the amount of time they spend online or cutting down on the amount of TV they watch (maybe only do one episode of Homeland, instead of 3). I’m looking forward to the next 19 days of more reading… who knows maybe this will turn into a 365 day challenge.
I recapped each day of the challenge below.
Day 1: On the first day I started this challenge I had a day off, which I thought was perfect because how hard could it be to find a free hour when you have the entire day off right?! Welp, I managed to put off reading for almost the entire day. I kept finding other things to do like check my email, go to a workout class, and getting a pedicure with my roommate. Finally around 4 pm I started my timer and picked up the book Mildred Pierce. I am embarrassed to say that I started this book TWO MONTHS AGO and still had about 80 pages to go (I thought it was more like 30 pages but nope.. closer to 80). I read for 35 minutes only to get really sleepy so I paused the timer and I ended up taking a little nap! When I woke up from my nap I had to get ready for my plans that evening but promised myself I would do the final 25 minutes before bed. That night I did read for another 25 minutes and got sooo close to the end of the book but not quite there! I almost pushed it and read for longer than an hour just to finish the book but stopped myself. I have a tendency to over-do things and I don’t want to tire myself out of reading by overdoing it one day, only to not want to read the next. So I set the book down and went to bed really satisfied that I had reached my goal of reading for an hour.
Day 2: So I actually really enjoyed my reading time on Day 1 and work up Day 2 kind of excited to read more. I think since I was sooo close to the end of Mildred Pierce I woke up really determined and curious to finish it and see how it ended (CRAZY ENDING!). I made some coffee and started my timer and finished the book before 10 am. That only took about 25 minutes so I paused the timer with intentions of reading more later in the day. I finished up my other 25 minutes later in the day by starting the book Timequake by the one and only Kurt Vonnegut.
Day 3: Okay. So… Sometimes its hard to kill old habits. By this I means, sometimes when you are someone who doesn’t read for an hour every day it can be hard to start reading an hour every day. Sometimes you get off work at 5 and bike to the beach with a few friends and end up going to a bar to watch the basketball game and don’t get home until about midnight. What I’m trying to say here is.. I didn’t read for one minute on day three. Life is a work in progress ok?!
Day 4: Like Day 1, I put off my reading today. I had a lot going on in the morning but around 2 in the afternoon I suddenly had a two hour pocket of free time. No work or other commitments! So I curled up with Timequake and read for about 45 minutes. I brought the book along with me to meet up with a friend a little later, and since I showed up early to that meeting I was able to squeeze the final 15 minutes in easily! I’m noticing that although the payoff from reading a novel is slower than watching a TV show, it’s almost more satisfying. The book I’m reading is all over the place but I’m starting to get the hang of it and theres moments when it makes me laugh and moments when it really makes me think about life as I know it.
Day 5: Oh my goodness. So today I started my day by reading for 20 minutes. Then I went to work and then I got home and made pizza and watched the bachelorette with my roommate, and then I messed around on the internet for like TWO HOURS and before I knew it it was 11:30 pm. Yikes. Even though I kind of wanted to just go to bed, I made myself actually read for 40 minutes. I’m proud of myself for following through even if I may have pushed it to the next day by a few minutes…
Day 6: This Wednesday was kind of a blur. I got in most of my reading earlier in the day before heading out for work. Then I came home after a long day and finished my final 10 minutes.
Day 7: This Thursday I was very busy all day long. After dinner I tucked into bed around 10:30 pm so my hour of reading got off to a later start. I have found that I really enjoy reading before falling asleep. Obviously it’s not news to anyone that being on your computer and phone right up until you close your eyes for bed isn’t the smartest idea for a relaxed night of sleep. I’ve really found that reading before bed, especially for a long period of time, fully relaxes my mind and makes me drift of to sleep much more easily.
Day 8: So today I had the opportunity to go see Bob Dylan for free. I worked all day and then sped out in an uber up to the venue which was pretty far north. Low and behold, I got home around midnight incredibly blissed out from the magic that was Dylan, and then since I had to be up at 7 I allowed myself to skip reading for the sake of a good nights sleep.
Day 9: I feel like I’m failing on a lot of levels because today I was only able to get 30 minutes in. I feel like the problem is that a lot of times I think that I will do the reading before bed. And I would do the reading before bed if I didn’t do anything that night and was just relaxing at my apartment, BUT the problem comes when I make last minute plans and suddenly am not coming home until around 11 or 12. I’m a person that requires (honestly) 8-10 hours of sleep a night of feel my best, so when it gets to be that late I have to put the importance on sleep rather than reading. That’s what happened last night! I let myself read for a little, but went to bed as soon as I started feeling sleepy.
Day 10: I got my hour of reading in right before bed! Yay me!
Day 11: The final day has arrived!! I read for about 35 minutes at lunch time, and then for a full 25 minutes before bed. The past two days I felt really determined to finish these 11 days on a strong note so I easily fit the reading in.