Presenting the first Word Nerd Wednesday post of 2015! With a new year comes a clean slate—a chance to take a step back and evaluate our goals for the year ahead. Like so many others, I'm guilty of making tons of New Year's resolutions but keeping very few. This year, I was determined to change that, so, in addition to my annual vow to eat more vegetables and drink more water, I pledged to read one thing each day.
Let me clarify—I'm a pretty avid reader. (It's hard to work in publishing and not be!) There's nothing I love more than curling up with a good book. But I've found that as I go about my daily routine, I rarely carve out the time to read mindfully (or, more specifically, to read articles mindfully). Yes, I read the news, but I often gravitate toward email digests like TheSkimm, NextDraft, and The Broadsheet—all of which are awesome, but all of which curate top stories and summarize the must-know details. My intentions are good, but I don't usually click through to each of the articles they link out to; a lot of the time I find myself saving articles to read later and then never going back to them. Let's just say my Pocket queue has gotten out of control.
Perhaps because I'm a Millennial, or perhaps because I work in social media, I find myself voraciously scanning links and headlines, dozens of browser tabs open at once but how much of that content am I actually reading? Very little. That fact, coupled with an awesome New York Times piece on faking cultural literacy, made me wonder what would happen if I were to change that? What if I were to take the time each day to inform myself—to fully read just one thing instead of sort-of-reading 50 things?
And so in 2015, I pledged to read one full article, ideally longform, from start to finish (no skimming!). I remind myself of my resolution with a Post-It next to my desk and hold myself accountable by keeping a spreadsheeet of all the links I'm reading mindfully. There are days when I read more than one full article, but still, I'll only log one. By the end of the year, I hope "read one thing each day" is so deeply ingrained that the habit will last a lifetime—and I'll have those 365 links to look back on and thank.
Tell us: what's your Word Nerd Resolution?