How not to fail at New Year's reading resolutions

This past year I had a resolution of reading more. That is not a very specific resolution. Which is one of the reasons why I didn’t feel like I was accomplishing much at the start. If I wanted to succeed at New Year’s resolutions, I had to start following some principles.

The switch

It took me a while though. I think that by August I have read five or six books only (less than one per month on average). That’s when I listened to the StackOverflow Podcast #261. What was so special about it? The idea of using Trello by Juvoni Beckford as a board to track the books that I’m reading and that I want to read.

My board can be found here and currently looks like this:

My Trello Reading board

If you want to clone it for yourself, just go to the board options, click “More” and then “Copy Board.” Copying a Trello Board

Other things that helped me:

  • Goodreads: as a reference for book reviews,
  • Audible: so now I can also listen to some books at home or during commuting (which is less common during Corona times though).


With these changes, I went from the very few books in 7.5 months, to a total of 14 books in the remaining 4.5 months. So if I would count the month of August as a whole, this puts it at an average of 2.8 books a month for the end of the year. Not too bad given how I started it out.


In this short period I read some books that I feel are being very impactful for me, and will continue to be a frame of reference for years to come, and I’d like to share a bit with you.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey

7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey

A timeless book - based on a study by Covey, describes seven habits found among highly effective people. A guidebook if you want to become better and more effective at what you do.

Influence - Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D.

Influence - Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D.

A guide on the psychology of persuasion. Gives you the tools to get better at it, while also showing you how you can identify if you’re being trapped by any of it and how to avoid it.

Creativity, Inc. - Ed Catmull

Creativity, Inc. - Ed Catmull

You follow on the journey of Ed Catmull as he tells the story of how he helped build Pixar’s creative environment, and learn some lessons on how we can do the same for yourself.

2021 resolutions

It won’t stop here though. I want to continue in this journey, and reading is an important part (for me) of becoming a better professional and a better person in general . So for 2021, my goal is to read a total of 30 books, which makes an average of 2.5 books per month.

I’d love to get recommendations, or give some recommendations to anyone interested.

Published January 2, 2021