This past year I have been reading a lot of self-improvement books. I don’t know if it is because I’ve finally been converted to reading nonfiction books or because I’m in my 40’s and totally frustrated with my life, but I’m ready for a change. I also realized that my life will not change unless I figure out new ways of doing things and what better way to do that than to read books by experts. I have read some amazing books this year. The little nuggets of information I’ve learned and started to use in my life are beginning to make a difference. If you are ready to make some changes in your life, here are some of my favorite self-help books that you can find at the Provo City Library:
This book is a game-changer for my life. The author talks specifically about setting goals and why most of us never finish them. One of the things that really resonated with me was when the he said that the most important day of any goal is "the day after perfect". It's what we choose to do the day after we don't get our exercise in, or eat the doughnut, or lose the receipt we needed for our budget. Will we do what the majority of people do and quit because we weren’t perfect or will we find a way to readjust and keep going. I listened to this on Libby and highly recommend it. The author narrates this book in a personable and engaging way. He also added some "bonus" material not found in the printed book.
We tend to think that we will be happy once we find success in life. Shawn Achor is a positive psychology researcher at Harvard and he believes it is the other way around. Happiness actually fuels success. When we are positive our brains are better able to cope with life and can become more productive. Don’t worry if you are not a naturally positive person. He shows, through research and example, ways that we can begin to train our brains to look for the positive first. It can be as simple as writing down three good things that happened to you every day for 21 days. This book is targeted for business readers, but his seven principles can apply to everyone seeking more happiness in life. His suggestions are simple but profound.
Rachel Hollis has built a social media business on the premise of uplifting and inspiring women. In this book she talks about the lies that we tell ourselves and let ourselves believe. Things like: I'm not good enough, I'll start tomorrow, I'm not a good mom, or I will never get past this. These and other lies are all things that Rachel believed in her own life. She examines each one and talks about the things she did to overcome the lie. Each chapter addresses a different lie and at the end of the chapter she summarizes three specific things that helped her. The main point of her book is that each of us is ultimately responsible for who we become and how happy we are. It is empowering to have Rachel say, and to finally start to realize, that I have control of my life. We don't need to wait for the right house, the right job, or the right amount of money to be happy. We need to take control of what happens next and we are capable of becoming so much more than we are right now.
I probably shouldn’t have enjoyed reading this book as much as I did. The author admits that she is not naturally organized or clean. For me, this was a breath of fresh air. Most house cleaning/organizing books are written by people who have a natural talent for being clean. They can’t understand why some of us hold on to things for so long, or live with clutter. The author has written this book for the housekeeping-impaired. I connected to her observations and suggestions and she has a really humorous and engaging way of writing. One of my favorite suggestions was to change my house to fit my behaviors instead of trying to change the behaviors I have had for years. Sometimes we don’t realize our problem areas could be changed with a couple simple adjustments to the house to accommodate our natural tendancies.