I have to be honest, I LOVE this time of the year. Not only because it feels like a new beginning (because let’s face it, I understand that it’s really not), but mostly because of all the optimism, enthusiasm & the sheer zest for life I see around me during this time of the year. Every one is busy making resolutions, and setting goals, and I love the resultant infectious positivity in the air!
However after years of going through this loop, I know that sooner or later, reality will strike, or life will get in the way (however you want to phrase it) for most of us, in achieving the lofty goals we set for ourselves.
BUT I also know that if we set our mind to it, we can combat this, and actually achieve our goals, and live the life we envision for ourselves. So long as we are willing to work on it right from the very beginning.
And so today I am sharing with you two book recommendations to start your year right. One will inspire you, and fire you up to take charge of your life, and go after the life you want. And the other will show you how you can actually create this new life – one habit at a time.
So now without further ado, let’s get on to these books..
Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
This first book will provide just the kind of inspirational jump start your attitude needs right at the beginning of the year. But, and I am going to say this right away, it’s NOT anything you haven’t possibly heard a 100 times over, especially if you are a mass consumer of personal development content.
Though in my opinion, that doesn’t (and shouldn’t) mean that it provides no value. As one popular saying goes – repetition is often the best argument. Sometimes you have to listen to things over and over again, for the message to sink in. Moreover, more often than not, it’s a timing thing. The message is only powerful when you are ready for it.
This is why, in this genre of personal development, while the message is usually consistent, different things work for different people. We, with our unique personalities & quirks, connect with different kinds of people, their stories, and how they package & deliver the message.
And I have to say that, Rachel Hollis, and her brand of inspiration through tough love is just the thing I connect with, and maybe some of you will too.
“Your life is supposed to be a journey from unique place to another. It’s not supposed to be a merry go round that brings you back to the same spot over and over again.” – Rachel Hollis, Girl Wash Your Face.
Even before becoming an author, Rachel was already a mega online influencer, inspiring many women to live a better life, through her no-nonsense brand of honesty & humor, displayed in how she fearlessly revealed (and continues to reveal) the chaos of her own life.
“Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face begins with a specific lie Hollis once believed that left her feeling overwhelmed, unworthy, or ready to give up. As a working mother, a former foster parent, and a woman who has dealt with insecurities about her body and relationships, she speaks with the insight and kindness of a BFF, helping women unpack the limiting mind-sets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward.”
That being said, I have to mention that there were times in the book when she came across as slightly tone-deaf to her own privilege. And also to be completely honest, some of her stories, especially the one where she recounts how she and her husband first got together, made me more than a little uncomfortable, and concerned as to how an impressionable audience will take it. But be that as it may, I cannot deny that the value this book provided me outweighed my concerns.
Which is why, if you can overlook the things I mentioned, this can and will be just the concentrated shot of inspiration you need to start your year right!
Great Audiobook Alert!! I heard this book on Audio, and I highly recommend the format, because it’s narrated by the author, and she has really good pacing and comedic timing. But then again the format is immaterial, the inspiration is very real. So you can go with your preferred choice of format.
GET THIS BOOK HERE – PICK YOUR FORMAT:
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
This second book, like I promised, will empower you with the one tool you need to create the life of your dreams, because it will show you exactly how to form good, functional habits.
I know, I know this might sound really simple and basic. But think about it, aren’t we all a product of what we repeatedly do? Whether that is consciously or unintentionally? And so it makes sense right, that habits hold a power that can be the key to unlocking the life of our dreams?
“Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision making, but they’re not. They’re habits.” – Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit
And honestly, at the very core, what we really need to succeed are good habits that will serve the goals and vision that we have for our lives, and not sabotage them. Because whether we like it or not, most of us will agree, that the road to the life of our dreams is paved with good habits.
But even though it’s as simple as that, habits, whether good or bad, are super sticky! And once formed, are really difficult to get rid of. And depending on whether the habit is good or bad, this can be a great or terrible thing. Especially with the bad habits, it’s easy to lose hope of ever being able to change them.
“Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.” – Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit
And this is where this book comes in. It presents a framework for understanding how habits work,
by breaking down the elements (cue – habit/routine – reward), and also serves as a step-by-step guide on how to change habits; more specifically, it shows us how to replace bad habits/patterns with good, functional ones.
And I cannot overemphasize the value this book has provided to me. Once I was able to understand how habits work, it was easier for me to identify the good/bad habits and patterns I had formed, and then evaluate how to change them.
“The truth is, the brain can be reprogrammed. You just have to be deliberate about it.” – Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit
The only grouse I have with this book is quite possibly just a personal preference. Because here’s the thing – this book speaks about both – individual habits, and organizational/societal ones too.
Now I personally was only interested in the former. Even though I’ve to admit the latter did have some scary/interesting case studies (my favorite one being how Target uses predictive analytics and behavioral research to spy on us – it was scary impressive!).
But be that as it may, there was a lot of repetition, and whole sections that I wasn’t interested in, which made it a slightly tedious read.
BUT that doesn’t change the fact that I still highly recommend this book, if for nothing else, then for one thing alone – to understand habits, their power on us, how they work..AND how to show them who is the boss! 😄
“If you believe you can change – if you make it a habit – the change becomes real.” – Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit
GET THIS BOOK HERE – PICK YOUR FORMAT:
That’s all from my end, folks. I would love to hear from you guys. Have you read these books? Do you have book recommendations that are best suited to this time of the year?
And have you started with Audiobooks yet? If not, I highly recommend you give them a go. I will do a more detailed post on Audibooks for Beginners, but I’d say starting with non-fiction is always a safe bet.
And Audible is the very best when it comes to audiobooks. They usually offer 1 to 2 books in the Free Trial, which I highly recommend you check out. Also, in case you don’t like the book you pick in the Free Trial, you can always exchange it – even after you have started listening.
I remember the very first book I picked (back when Audible was only giving 1 free book in the Free Trial) was a fantasy book which I simply couldn’t keep up with on audio. So I exchanged that one for Bossypants – Tina Fey’s non-fiction memoir, and ever since then – was hooked for life!
So even though you may feel that audiobooks aren’t for you, I’d say give the Audible free trial a go. For one, these books are the most well produced ones, so you’ll get a glimpse of the best there is. And moreover, you’ll be able to do this at no cost to you. Win-win!
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