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Johannes Holmberg

UI developer & designer

One and a half year ago I had a new years resolution to read three books during the coming year. Reading was something I'd lost from my youth and wanted to pick up again. One year later I hadn't completed a single book. How did that happen?

Frankly, three books during a whole year isn't really that much and all of you bookworms must be laughing at me by now. I analyzed why I didn't achieve such a simple goal.

Was it because I simply don't like reading? No, that was not it. I actually love reading but still I didn't do it. No, it was not because of a lack of passion, I found out it was because I had created an environment full of distractions.

It was so much easier to scroll some pages on Facebook. It felt more comfortable to put my feet up in front of an episode of How I Met Your Mother. It was better to spend a couple of hours on Tiny Wings.

This was not what I wanted to do but it was easier, so I gave in.

But my goal was never to get better at Tiny Wings, it was to complete three damn books in a year.

So I conducted an experiment.

This year, instead of putting up a new goal to read a certain amount of books, I started off by reducing distractions instead.

I quit Facebook (btw that's a complete own story), I put gaming away for a while and sold my PS3. I took some time to clean up my iPad so it would invite me to read instead of procrastinate.

If I only keep the iBooks app on the iPad the probability that I actually would read my book, instead of checking Twitter, is much higher.

And the result? I've read almost 10 books in three months now and they keep coming. I realized that the easiest way to succeed was simply to create a healthy environment where my aimed goal was in focus. By reducing the distractions, success became inevitable.