How To Set And Achieve Realistic Reading Goals As An Adult

Reading is important for all ages, and it can be one of the most rewarding hobbies we have. Reading as an adult is especially critical to exercise your brain. Reading can have a huge impact on brain health as well as mental health. Reading can become a key part of a daily routine, and it is a great way to shake up your day by throwing yourself into a fictional alternate reality. By challenging yourself to read, you'll get a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from completing a book. Reading is also an excellent source of entertainment.


Of course, if you've fallen out of the routine of reading regularly, it can be hard to get yourself back in the habit. This is why setting reading goals can be so important. By making attainable reading goals for yourself, you'll be able to not only ease your way back into reading, but you'll also find yourself feeling more motivated to read and likely reignite your passion for books.

So, how exactly can you set realistic reading goals for yourself as an adult? It's probably easier than you think, and can also be a really fun way to reconnect with yourself as well as others who share your same interest.

How to set attainable reading goals

The first step to setting realistic reading goals is to figure out exactly what you want from your reading journey. Sit down and list out the number of books you want to read, the authors you'd like to check out, or the genres you want to explore. Then, figure out what your goal truly is. Do you want to read so many books in a year? Perhaps you want to read the collective works of a specific author or read for a certain amount of time each day. Whatever your goals are, be clear about them. However, it's important not to be over-ambitious when setting these challenges for yourself. You want to set yourself up for success, and if you do more than your goals, you'll feel better than if you hadn't met them.


After you know what your goals are, make another list to help you stay on track. This is where you can list books you plan on reading. Having a rough copy of your reading plan allows you to get some idea of how your monthly or yearly goals will shake out if you stick with them.

After you know exactly what you want to get out of your reading goals, it will be time to find a way to set those goals into action.

Finding time to read is key

One of the biggest reasons that people aren't meeting their reading goals is that they believe they don't have enough time to pick up a book. However, a little digging into your daily routine can expose more free time than you think. Think about all of the things you do in your free time that are counterproductive. Are you endlessly scrolling on social media or watching hours of television each night? In addition, you can likely find little pockets of time to read during other daily tasks as well.


Maybe you can make time for reading by cracking open a book while you wait in a carpool line to pick up your children or during your lunch break at work. If you find yourself with a tedious commute to or from the office, an audiobook can help you achieve your reading goals. You can even swap an audiobook for music while at the gym. Of course, picking up a book just before bed is another option. Reading before sleeping can help you stay away from technology, calm your mind, and promote more restful sleep.

So, part of your reading plan should be figuring out when and where you will read to achieve your set goals.

Track your reading

One big way to make sure you're sticking to your reading routine and achieving your goals is by tracking your progress. Keeping a reading tracker doesn't have to be difficult. It can be as simple as dedicating a notebook as a reading log to list the books that you've read. You can also use the Notes app on your phone, a spreadsheet, a planner, or even buy a specific reading tracker to make the experience more fun. In addition to listing the books you've read, you can also give each book a rating to indicate how much you enjoyed reading it.


Adding fun things about the book such as your favorite characters, quotes, and thoughts on the plot can enhance your tracking as well. You can decorate your book tracker with stickers, markers, photos, and more to make it more creative and colorful, or keep it in a journal-like state to look back on in the future.

If you choose to share your thoughts on a book by leaving a book review, starting a blog, or adding a summary to book websites such as Goodreads, you may also be helping others decide if reading that book would be a good fit for them.

Shake things up so you don't get bored

For some, getting into the habit of reading consistently can be difficult, so it may be important to shake things up when it comes to your goals. For instance, choose books that are of interest to you. Pick authors you know you like, stories that will keep you interested, and characters to whom you think you'll be able to relate. However, mixing things up will also keep your reading journey interesting. Maybe you enjoy reading romance novels, but are a bit bored of the nonstop love-fest. Try picking up a thriller for your next read.


In addition, if you find yourself feeling less motivated to read, try moving your reading location. If you've been lying on the couch during reading time, maybe consider moving to your backyard or a park while enjoying your book. Being in nature and the sunlight while reading could be just the thing to refresh your reading routine and help your circadian rhythm as well, per CGI Outdoor. Doing something different like making yourself a special snack to eat while reading may also enhance your reading time and help you achieve your goals.

If you still find yourself struggling, maybe joining a book club is for you. Not only will you be able to talk with others about the book you're reading, but hearing others' opinions and interpretations may get you thinking about the story further and have you itching to pick up the book.


Organizing your books may inspire you

According to Brewing Writer, having an organized bookshelf is an essential part of achieving your reading goals. So, make some time to get all of your books out, and go through the ones you want to keep and which ones you want to donate or sell. Then, set aside a pile of books you haven't read yet to see if you still find them interesting enough to add to your To Be Read list. Having an organized reading space will allow you to find books more easily, see what you have in your collection, and simply make reading less chaotic.


There are several ways to organize your bookshelf, including separating fiction and nonfiction books. You may also want to group all your books by the same author or organize your shelves in alphabetical order. Perhaps organizing by genre is the best way for you. Separating the hardback and paperback books is also another option, or even going color-coded for an aesthetically pleasing look.

However you chose to do things, by listing out your goals, organizing your space, finding time to read, keeping things interesting and exciting, and tracking your progress, you're sure to achieve your reading goals in no time.