4 of My Top Books For Self Improvement

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There seems to be a lot of self-improvement books out there this days-no matter what kind of self-improvement you are looking for!  But, what about those of us who sometimes have a hard time staying motivated?  Or, what about those of us that are easily distracted?  No fear, there is hope for us too!

Self-Improvement Books

All the books on my list are books that I have personally read and feel strongly about.  I have not incorporated every idea they present, but I always take a lot away from them.  And trust me, some of the books here are effective even if you only take only one thing away from it and incorporate it into your life!  I have taken only one idea from one of these books in particular, but HOLLY COW has it made a difference in how I do things!  Can you take a guess which one it is?  Ps-These books are not in any certain order 🙂

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How To Make A Vision Board For Goal Setting

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At the end of January, many people feel frustrated with the lack of progress on their goals.  I know I am one. But, what if we are approaching it wrong?

These are the things that many people say you need in order to be successful in reaching your goals.  I do believe that all of them play an important role and the top 3 I found were:

  • Find an accountability partner
  • Write your goals down on paper
  • Do frequent check-ins

Again, all these things are important for many reasons, but they are missing the visual effect…

vision board

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Getting Back On Track With Goals & Resolutions

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You know that feeling-the one wondering what happened?

You were so excited and ready to challenge yourself with your new goals.

Well, life happened.  Maybe you ate chocolate and your diet was done for.  Or, maybe you decided not to get up one morning to work out and that same thing happened every single morning after that.

Sound Familiar?

If so, you are not alone, I fell off the boat too.


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My Own Happiness Project-Themes

My Own Happiness Project-Themes

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Every few years I find myself going through a rut in my life where something(or many things) need to change.  The last time I went through this, I felt as though I was going through a mid-life crisis.  (If you want to check that out, I talk about that here.)  When going through these ruts, I find myself always wondering if I am happy and what I am doing to be happy?  When I start doing this refection, I find that I am coming up short on what I consider being happy.  Then comes the part where I need to do some digging, what am I doing that is perhaps causing my unhappiness?  What leads me to happiness?  What things could I do to change it?  These are deep questions that take some time to ponder.  During this time of when I was thinking(this last time), I started reading books of others journeys to happiness. My two favorite books have been(click on for more info):

Both books have helped me self-reflect and make a change for the better.  Many years ago Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia was very inspirational as I was needing a drastic change in my life.  Currently, I need a change, but not as big of one that was needed many years ago.  The change I needed now is more of a lifestyle change.  After reading The Happiness Project (Revised Edition): Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. I knew it was something I wanted to do not only for myself but everyone around me.

What Next?

After deciding to pursue my own Happiness Project, I needed to come up with a name for it-something to make it my own. I had a name immediately and it was quite obvious.  “A New Ending”  would be the name of this new project of making a lifestyle change.

The next important step was picking out my theme and goals for every month.  In the Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin works on a new theme every month with “bite-sized” resolutions.  I personally think this is why I resonated with this book so much because I can do that!  If it isn’t working after a month, I do not need to do it anymore, but at least I tried it.

My 12 Themes were:

  1. Gain My Sanity Back
  2. Learning To Be Better With Money
  3. Love My Significant Other More
  4. Work-Focus On Me
  5. Steps To Be a Better Mom
  6. Don’t Take Myself So Seriously
  7. Be a Better Friend
  8. What Religion and Spirituality Means To Me
  9. Do Something I Love
  10. Take An Interest In Others Around Me
  11. Have an Attitude Others Want
  12. Reflect

    Happiness Project-A New Ending
    My Partial List

Setting Up a Plan

Now that I had set my themes, I knew some resolutions that I wanted to complete in some months, so I wrote them down under the appropriate title. Overall, I did not want to put down too many resolutions so I had room for “growth” for my everchanging life!

After all this thinking about my themes for each month, it was was time for a mental break.  I knew it was important to take a mini break to let myself reflect on my ideas so I did not feel so overwhelmed.

Then it was on to the next step, the “Rules To Live By.”

Stay tuned…


Mid-Life Crisis…Already?…

Can you have a mid-life crisis in your early thirties?

I recently asked this question to one of my friends, and they insisted that it is normal.   I have recently been feeling as though I am walking a tightrope and I am about to lose my balance and fall.  Have you ever felt this way?  I most certainly cannot be the only one. Right?…(Buler….Buler…)

Given this frustrating and stressful time, I have decided to do some self-reflecting to understand myself better to help things fall into place. I am still working on my “self-discovery,” but I have already learned some things that I thought have thought to be helpful and empowering.


I recently started an online course based on productivity by Ruth Soukup.  This course is written primarily for bloggers but has such great information in it for anyone who is looking to set goals.   Ruth’s course will have you dream big and then break those goals down to into bit size goals that make it easier for you to keep working towards those amazing, “big” goals.

You can bet I made some absolute crazy goals, but I thought why not?  Making these huge goals and dreams are part of the “assignment” and I am actually looking forward to the challenge!

What I Learned About Setting Goals

  • When setting goals, start by dreaming big.  Write the goals down no matter how big or silly they may seem! For this example, I will use a common goal of being the healthiest version of myself.
  • Break those goals down into smaller goals and set a “due date”
    • One of my “bite-size” goals is to be drinking more water every day.  I plan to make this a habit within the next three months and have even set a reminder on my phone(I like checking things off lists).
    • My next “bite-sized” goal is to be working out consistently by month six.  I am still struggling with this one some!
    • The last “bite-sized” goal is to not have “overindulgences” three times a week.  I really like to eat, so I partake in over-indulging a lot.  I am giving myself nine months to this goal.
  • After the goals are set, I check in and see how I am doing on my goals frequently.  The hope is that I will make these goal habits so they become more natural!  It does not require as much “work” to do something that is already natural.

If you would like to read some books on goal setting, and turning goals into habits, these are some excellent books (click on the books for additional info)

I am going to say it…Work Out or Do Yoga

I know it is such a chore to work out, especially when you have children.  There are ways to make it easier, trust me.  First of all, you will need to make time…I know, who has time?!  Making time may involve getting up earlier or getting your kids involved to get that work out it(exercise is good for everyone!). I know it is tough getting up earlier but if it is the only time that you have time, try to make a goal of it.  Remove the roadblocks that will just make excuses easy, maybe sleep in your work out clothes or make sure you have to get out of bed to shut off your alarm.  Second, do not bite off more than you can chew-start with a video or program that you can handle.

I personally LOVE Fitness Blenders.  All of their videos are free, but if you prefer a little hand-holding(like me), their programs are very reasonably priced. You do not need any fancy equipment(hello soup cans) and you can do all the workouts in the comfort of your own home.  (…one less excuse…)

After I have worked out, my mind very clear and I feel so much better.  This allows me to tackle my day more efficiently(why, hello to-do list) and I am almost always in a better mood because of it. Win-Win

Personality Tests

This is a different approach, but it has been the most interesting.  The more I have been learning about my personality type the more insight I have into why I react to things the way I do.  I will warn you that some of the things you will learn about yourself are things you may not want to hear.  But, in order to change things we do not like about ourselves, we first need to acknowledge them.

Lately, these personality tests have helped me the most in the “parenting department.”  My stepdaughter has been going through her own struggles, and our relationship has started to suffer due to our very different personalities. Since I am making an effort to learn about these different personality types, I have started to approach these situations and discussions in a different way.

Lastly, the personality tests have been great since I have learned where my strengths and weaknesses are.  Knowing what those are can help greatly when setting out to combat those goals and dreams.  PS- it is just fun to read through the results and say, yeah…that is TOTALLY me.

My two favorite so far have been: Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too) and Ian Cron’s The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery

For those wanting to know, I am an Obliger and a #1

Gretchen also has a Happy App that you can check out here.

The Most Unexpected Podcast

I have really taken a liking to Podcasts lately!!!  Podcasts have been great because it allows me to listen to messages of what others have used to feel empowered.  This may come from things as “easy” as changing routines to taking time for yourself.   Frequently guests on the shows are trying to sell something and have a lot of information to share.  I typically do not buy the things that are being sold, and I feel most of them are good about not rubbing it in your face. Although, their messages make me feel energized and give me hope when I am looking for direction

I have really found that Podcasts are still pushing me towards my goals, which is exciting!

My journey to “self-discovery” is just starting, but I am very excited about the road I am starting on.

Have you ever been ready to hit the reset button?  If so, what did you do to get it under control?


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