I have a long time friend back in California who has always impressed me with his foresight and discipline. In our spending time together, whether playing hoops, watching movies or eating In N Out Burgers, quite often (and usually out of left field) his goals, dreams, targets and milestones would come up in conversation. It struck me that even amongst our immature youth and fun, that not that he had goals (which hopefully we all have to some degree), but that he had a fairly detailed action plan on which to achieve those goals. I had goals too but they were usually achieved by a loose framework in my head, not written down in a detailed plan and shared. I know now that was the reason behind his success — he not only visualized goals like I did, but he developed a detailed plan and wrote it down. He then even went a step further and shared it with folks that were close to him to achieve a sort of accountability.

One goal I am mimicking from him is book reading. I remember a few years ago at the In N Out Burger in Glendale he shared with me over a Double-Double that his goal was to read 20 books. I found that admirable, especially since I have a very bad habit of picking up a book and tearing into the first third to half of it with gusto, only to have the bookmark in the same location weeks or months later as a failure reminder. I identified this as a personal improvement opportunity a few weeks ago and made some lifestyle changes to be more book focused and less TV and computer focused. As a result, I am about 60 pages away from finishing a book I started at the beginning of November. It is my intent to finish that book by the end of this year in preparation for my 2012 personal book list. I plan to take that book completion momentum into the new year and deliberately and persistently read, learn and enjoy from the books I have identified for my list.

This nicely aligns with a quote I posted a few days ago“In five years you will be the same person you are today with the exception of the books you read and the people you meet.”

Note that at least 5 or 6 of these books are the “failure” books with a bookmark part way through them. Also, a couple are re-reads because they are good and I haven’t read them in a decade or two. If you notice, there are 26 books which divides evenly into a year with 52 weeks. I did not actually do that on purpose — it just happened, although it makes perfect sense. I will have an average of 2 weeks per book to accomplish my goal. Additionally, I added this to our family calendar in an effort to #1 – stay on track and #2 – have some form of accountability. I guess by blogging this I also have achieved the same thing. And to top all this reading off, it is also a goal of mine to read through the Bible in entirety in 2012. I am selecting a Bible reading plan to implement along with the list below.

Dan’s 2012 Personal Reading List

  • Financial Peace Revisited – Dave Ramsey – finished 1/02/12
  • QBQ – John Miller – finished 1/03/12
  • The Servant – James Hunter – finished 1/15/12
  • Switch – Chip & Dan Heath – finished 2/25/12
  • Hurt Healer – Tony Nolan – finished 3/19/12
  • Make It Count – John Kotre – dropped from list; to be reassessed
  • One Minute Manager – Ken Blanchard – finished 4/26/12
  • EntreLeadership – Dave Ramsey
  • The Reagan Diaries – Ronald Reagan
  • The Tipping Point – Malcom Gladwell
  • In Praise Of Slowness – Carl Honore
  • Everyone Communicates, Few Connect – John Maxwell
  • Epicenter – Joel Rosenberg
  • Maximum Success – James Waldroop & Timothy Butler
  • The Leadership Challenge – James Kouzes & Barry Posner
  • Jesus, CEO – Laurie Beth Jones
  • The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
  • Multipliers – Liz Wiseman
  • The Red Badge Of Courage – Stephan Crane
  • The New Rational Manager – Charles Kepner & Benjamin Tregoe
  • Team Of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Better – Atul Gawande
  • The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Gawande
  • Big Ideas – Alex Hutchinson
  • Decision Points – George Bush
  • 1001 Ways To Reward Employees – Bob Nelson

I want to thank my friend, Suitdragon Billiam for the inspiration and for being a model of discipline and persistence.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Posts that refer to the list or books
Early goal success…..
2012 action…..
Doing quote…..
Moving forward, but falling behind…..


  1. Klem says:

    You flatter me, friend. I recall that Sunday afternoon list of goals exchanged at the In-N-Out in Glendale. There are only a handful of folks entrusted with the list. You were vetted out years ago when we were both infants in our professional career and your merit remains impeccable.

    I hope I don’t disappoint you when I admit that the annual book list has been reduced to 14. With family, work, and assorted engagements of varying importance the 20 was taking it’s toll.

  2. Mrs. Aslowerpace says:

    OK me too. First book Heaven is for Real!

  3. A Slower Pace » Blog Archive » Early goal success….. says:

    […] with most people this time of year, I have set some goals for 2012. One of them I posted about here — my 2012 book list. Well, I am happy to already claim my first milestone — last night I finished the first book […]

  4. A Slower Pace » Blog Archive » 2012 action….. says:

    […] have shared with you one of my 2012 goals – my 2012 reading list. I am almost at the end of my third book and am making good progress. Another goal I have for this […]

  5. A Slower Pace » Blog Archive » Moving forward, but falling behind….. says:

    […] another book finished on my 2012 personal reading list. I finished “Switch” this evening. It was a very good book on change and how you can […]

  6. A Slower Pace » Blog Archive » 5th book of the year completed….. says:

    […] unfortunately, as it stands now, I am a bit behind on my 2012 reading list. And this is not my only reading goal for the year — I am pursuing this 24 book list, I am […]