Every January I create a wish list of New Year’s resolutions. They range from health and wellness goals to financial targets, areas to improve my relationships with family and friends to spiritual and personal development goals. What I noticed about this year’s list was how prominently reading played a role in all of my goals – one way or another.
I want to lose weight this year (I’ve successfully lost over a thousand pounds over the years; the problem is that I have gained over 1210 pounds for a net gain of 210 pounds). I want to earn more money. I’d like to spend more time with my wife and kids. Can any of you relate to these humble aspirations?
Interestingly, reading is the route to achieve all that I want to achieve.
When I write this blog I like to provide tips for parents of young children interested in boosting their children’s reading attitudes and aptitudes. Providing a lot of wonderful reading materials is crucial, and reading aloud to your children is essential. What a lot of parents fail to understand, however, is how important it is for children to see their parents reading for pleasure.
In 2013, can you resolve to show your children every day how important reading plays a role in your life? Here are some ways I plan to show my children how enthusiastic I am to read this year.
Health and Wellness. I resolve to learn how to cook ten healthy meals this year. After reading a lot on the subject, watching a couple of videos and enjoying a few wonderful talks at a TEDx event I recently spoke at in the San Diego area (be sure to check out my talk at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll7Va0V4mJQ), I want to learn how to cook vegan meals. I’m not a cook, and I am overweight. I figure if I am going to learn how to cook some dishes, they might as well be healthy. In order to cook decent meals for my family, I have already been scouring a number of vegan cookbooks (Da Capo books, in particular, features a lot of wonderful vegan cookbooks) and Googling a variety of websites. By educating myself, I hope to provide healthier options for my own children so they do not grow up with the junk food carvings that I have battled all of my life. What can you read to promote a healthier household?
Financial Matters. I have been blessed to have a number of influential mentors enter my life to help me grow my speaking and consulting business these past few years. While I know some of these mentors personally, a great many more line the shelves of my libraries at home and in my office. They are authors whom I have never met personally, yet they have influenced my work in countless ways. It used to drive me nuts to sit in the living room with my kids as they watched their programs on television. Now, I actually relish that time as an opportunity for me to read something new to help enhance the way I conduct business.
Spiritual and Personal Development. It was Rick Warren’s suggestion in The Purpose-Driven Life that prompted me to finally read the Bible in its entirety.
suggests that if you read ten minutes of Scripture each night, it should take
you about a year to finish. It actually only took me ten months, although I
think the Book of Leviticus may have lasted a month itself! With so many tragic
events on the news every evening, I have decided that watching the news just
bums me out, so I am going to re-direct my attention to more positive works,
like the book I am reading now, Unstoppable
by Nick Vunicic, who was born with no arms and no legs and convinces me that
there are people who are put on this Earth to inspire others. I am a happier
and healthier person to surround myself with positive literature, and I hope it
rubs off in all that I do.
Relationships. My children are growing up so fast! Kate is 9, Sean is 7 and Samantha is 3, and all of them melt me! I wish I could control my life with a remote control slow-motion button, as I cherish time spent reading in bed with my kids. Roald Dahl is a treasure, and my two oldest and I get a kick reading and giggling at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda or The BFG before going to bed. Samantha and I have read just about every Berenstain Bears book ever written (if that is possible). And, since I purchased a Kindle for my wife’s birthday, I am trying to keep up with whatever she reads. I even found myself not entirely finding Nicholas Sparks to be as painful as I had anticipated.
To truly impress upon your children the value of reading, you need to be reading in front of your children as much as possible. Yes, it is very important to read aloud with your children. It is equally important, however, for your children to see how much you value reading in your own daily life.
So I resolve to incorporate more reading in front of my children this year, and I hope you will join me in doing the same. What are some areas of your life that you’d like to improve in 2013 where reading can play a vital role? Please share your comments.