My Favorite Personal Development Books

Personal development was not something I was familiar with before I started my business.  It kind of sounded hokey to me at first–I’ve always been very wary of anything that sounds like “self-help”.  When I found out that personal development was one of the vital behaviors that my company encourages for being successful, I knew I had to at least give it a try.  And I’m so glad I did!

Personal development has helped me in so many ways; it’s helped me better live out the Scripture that talks about only thinking on those things that are lovely and true (aka positive and worthy), it’s helped me with my confidence, it’s helped me with my discipline, and it’s helped me shift my perspective from depressed and negative to more positive and optimistic.  All of those changes within me have positively affected every other area of my life, especially my relationships with my husband and son!  I’ve learned that by working on ME, I become better in every area of life and EVERYONE around me benefits from that!

I’ve read a lot of books over the past few years dedicated to working on ME, so I wanted to share some of my favorite ones and categorize them–that way, you just look for a category that fits the area of improvement you want to focus on for yourself, and there is at least one suggestion to get you started.

Do you already read personal development?  I’d love to hear your recommendations, too!  Share them with me in the comments!

Fear of Failure/Fear of Getting Started

Start by Jon Acuff

Go for No by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz

Make It Happen by Lara Casey

Failing Forward by John C Maxwell

General Discipline

Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

The Miracle Morning for Network Marketers by Hal Elrod

The 5-Second Rule by Mel Robbins

Emotional Eating

Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst

Confidence

Get Over Your Damn Self by Romi Neustadt

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Start by Jon Acuff

The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John C Maxwell

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C Maxwell

Overall Wellness

Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson

The Me-Tox by Beth Behrs

Superlife by Darin Olien (my ultimate favorite choice!)

Nutrition

Superlife by Darin Olien

Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso

It Starts With Food by Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig

Fear of Rejection

Go For No! by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz

The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon

Being overwhelmed

Start by Jon Acuff

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

The Go Getter by Peter B. Kyne

Business/Network Marketing

10x Rule by Grant Cardone

Go Pro by Eric Worre

Get Over Your Damn Self by Romi Neustadt

Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

 

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Shakshuka — Savory Poached Eggs

Since I started getting Obsessed, I’ve been really utilizing the Fixate cooking show I get on my streaming workout system and LOVING IT.  They have been releasing some new recipes that work with exactly the portions and macros I need for the program, so that just makes my meal planning even simpler!

When I saw this recipe, I was very skeptical at first–I’m really not a huge egg fan, so I wondered how that would go as a main ingredient.  But, I love olives and I love not having to figure out a meal myself if someone else already did the work.  And I’m glad I tried it because it is SO GOOD.

Since you poach the eggs, you can really decide how runny or not-runny you want them, so just cook them longer if you don’t want runny yolks.  When you’re getting your kalamata olives, be careful to get olives that have already been pitted–I accidentally bought unpitted olives and it was such a nuisance to pit them. The recipe calls for whole wheat pita, but I’ve been eating this with my sprouted grain bread just to save a little money and not buy two different carbs when one would be fine.

The recipe calls for cooking all 8 eggs at once in a large skillet, but the idea of eating leftover eggs is really gross to me, so I cooked the sauce all at once on Sunday afternoon, then measured out the 4 different servings into different containers.  Each night when I was ready for this meal, I heated up 1 serving of sauce until boiling in a small saucepan, and then picked back up with the steps of poaching the eggs–I just used 2 eggs instead of 8.

The second time I made this, I tried to give myself a shortcut with buying a bag of pre-chopped kale, but I actually don’t recommend that because when I bought a bunch of kale and tore it up myself, I was able to get rid of the woody stalks much easier–the chopped bag had a lot of the stalk and it was hard to eat.  Next time I will get baby kale to make it simpler.

I also chopped my olives 10 at a time and kept them in separate containers since I cooked each servings separately.

**I couldn’t find a 35-oz can of crushed tomatoes, so I bought a 28-oz can and a 14-oz can and only used half of the smaller can.

Enjoy!

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Shakshuka (slightly adapted from Fixate)

Makes 4 servings, 1 cup of sauce and 2 eggs each

1 (35-oz.) can crushed tomato

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped onion (approx. 11⁄3 medium)

6 cloves finely chopped garlic

1½ tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

1½ tsp. ground caraway

1 Tbsp. ground smoked paprika

¾ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

½ tsp. ground black pepper

2 cups chopped bell pepper (approx. 22⁄3 medium)

1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeds and veins removed, chopped

¼ cup water

2 cups coarsely chopped kale

8 large eggs

40 whole kalamata olives, chopped

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (for garnish; optional)

4 (4-inch) whole wheat pitas or 4 slices sprouted grain bread

 

1. Place tomatoes in a medium bowl; crush by hand (or pulse in food processor or blender) to achieve slightly chunky consistency. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in large skillet (or cast iron pan) over high heat, until fragrant.

3. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium.

4. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway, paprika, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

5. Add bell pepper, jalapeño, and water; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft.

6. Add kale and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; gently boil, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

7. Use a spoon to make eight small wells in tomato mixture. Crack an egg into each well as you go; gently boil, covered, for 10 to 14 minutes, or until eggs have reached desired doneness. (I prefer mine with runny yokes, so about 10 minutes.) Remove from heat.

8. Garnish with olives and parsley, if desired. Serve with one pita or bread slice.

Container count: 1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange, 1 tsp

Sweet Potato and Chicken Filling

I’ve been hunting for some new recipes while I’m doing this new fitness program, and when I first saw this recipe, I was very skeptical.  I don’t typically like mashed sweet potato, and I was a little worried about it being such a big part of this meal.  But, I thought that maybe all the other ingredients would help with my texture issue, so I wanted to give it a try.

You guys, this is SO GOOD.  I could not believe how much I loved it!  The original recipe was written for this filling to be put in a collard green leaf wrap, which I liked a lot, but the second time I made this I ate it as a salad over spinach, which was even better! This is pretty simple to make as a big batch and then eat cold throughout the week.

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Make this recipe, you guys.  It’s gluten free, it’s clean eating, and it might even be Whole30 (just double check the sauce ingredients on that one)!  You’ll love it, too!

Sweet Potato and Chicken Filling (from Fixate on Beachbody On Demand)

Makes 4 servings, 1 1/3 cup each

2 cups mashed sweet potato

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. melted ghee (organic grass-fed, if possible)

3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast, boneless, skinless **I cooked mine in my CrockPot with some chicken broth then shredded it

1 cup chopped bell peppers (approx. 11⁄3 medium)

½ cup chopped tomato (approx. 1 medium)

½ cup sliced green onions

Combine the sweet potato and ghee until well mixed.  Add in the chicken, bell pepper, tomato, and green onions and stir until well mixed.  Keep refrigerated.

For the sauce:

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

1½ tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. raw honey

¼ cup fresh basil leaves

½ tsp. + 1 dash sea salt (or Himalayan salt), divided use

½ tsp. + 1 dash ground black pepper, divided use

Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender or small food processor.  Keep refrigerated in a small container and top 2 tbsp of sauce on filling just before eating (if eating over spinach).

If you want to make this as a wrap, put 2/3 cup filling in one large collard leaf green and wrap burrito-style–one serving is 2 wraps.  You can put 1 tbsp sauce on the filling before you wrap it, then wrap the wraps (ha!) in plastic wrap (double ha!) and keep in the fridge to hold it all together.

 

Either way you fix it, this meal is one red, one green, one yellow, one orange, and one tsp for my Portion Fix friends.  If you aren’t a Portion Fix friend and want to become one, contact me!  Let’s chat.

Moving Into 2018 By Getting Obsessed

Happy February, friends!

We are well into 2018 and I have big goals for this year–for myself, my family, and my business!  2017 was a little bit of a dumpster fire for me at times, but the end of the year brought me some really great improvements from #mySADexperiment and it’s been great to keep that going!

By focusing very intentionally on my nutrition and my fitness (plus continuing the medication my doctor prescribed me last spring, of course), I have been able to manage my depression and anxiety SO MUCH BETTER than last winter.  I have been feeling more confident and more even-keeled, and not dealing with some of my usual issues like bloating, indigestion, and poor sleep.

I knew I wanted to keep up my progress with this going into 2018, so I committed to something I have NEVER done before–and honestly it kind of freaked me out.  A brand new fitness program launched in January, and at first I really wasn’t sure if I wanted in or not.  First of all, it’s longer than any other program I’ve done before: 90 days total with 80 workouts.  That’s a lot!!!  Second, the workouts themselves are longer than I’m used to, ranging between 35 min and 60 min, where I usually stick to 30 minutes.  I was pretty content to let this program go by without getting involved; it was way out of my comfort zone and I honestly didn’t think I could do it.  I didn’t believe in myself or my ability to do hard things.

As soon as I saw the before and after pictures from the test group, however, I was in.  Like, got super excited and ready for a challenge, ALL IN.  I committed not only to doing the program, but doing it full out, exactly as written.  That means following the meal plan for the entire time, doing all of the workouts, not skipping a day, not talking myself into a sweet tea during week 2, not having some birthday cake for my kiddo’s birthday.  ALL IN.

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I mean, come on!!! Who doesn’t want results like these????

Plus, this program was created by my absolute favorite trainer, Autumn, so that made it easier to say yes to it.  My biggest motivation for doing this, besides continuing my progress from #mySADexperiment, is the trip to Mexico I’m taking in April with my hubby.  I earned an invitation to this trip, and will be there with other health and fitness coaches–and I’m really excited!!  But I also know that I don’t want to spend my time there around a bunch of other really fit women and compare myself–all that will do is make me feel bad about myself, and that’s goofy.  Doing this program, regardless of my outcome, will help me build confidence and feel awesome, and I know that will help my confidence on the beach in April, too.

I’ll be sharing my progress after I finish Phase 1 (out of three) next week, and I’ll also give some more info about the nutrition plan for this program–because it’s different than what I’ve done in the past and I am loving it!

Here are my starting pictures.  I don’t have specific goals as far as weight or inches lost by the end, because I really want to focus on just doing the process as written and see what happens.  I’m excited for the journey!  If you need some badass results in your life, too, contact me!  Let’s chat and get you in to my next group!

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Having a Healthy Mindset for the Holidays

A lot of people have been asking me some questions about how I deal with the holiday season as someone trying to be mindful about my health and fitness, so I wanted to answer some of my most asked questions about this time of year.

Are you going to eat ANY traditional holiday foods?

This is a tricky question, and one must know thyself to know what works best for you.  For some people, they have no problem treating themselves to a few pieces of fudge or sugar cookies throughout the month while sticking to a clean eating plan the rest of the time.  For me, that doesn’t work very well.  I have to stay pretty strict with my meal plan if I want to get the results I’m looking for, so I will be very picky and choosy about what I indulge in.  I used to view the holidays as a total free-for-all and just whatever I wanted for about 2 straight months, but that doesn’t make me feel good, so I won’t be doing that.  For me, I need to be very aware of what I’m eating during this time of year, but there are certain foods I know I’ll eat, like a cinnamon roll on Christmas morning–that is our tradition, and I want to participate.  You have to make that choice for yourself, but the important thing is to own your choice and not feel bad or guilty about it either way.

It’s the holidays!  Just relax and live a little!  Don’t you deserve to treat yourself??

I totally understand this mentality, because I used to live it every holiday every year, but again, I don’t feel good about myself when I don’t eat well.  I feel bad mentally, emotionally, and physically–I deserve to feel awesome all the time, and if I know my nutrition is a part of that, then I need to eat accordingly.

What should I do about my workouts during this busy season?

Simply put, prioritize them.  I know firsthand how easy it is to fall out of your routine during these busy seasons, and how difficult it is to get back into a healthy routine once you decide enough is enough.  It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually easiest in the long run to just keep up with your fitness routine during the holidays than to give it up completely.  If you usually work out every day, maybe lower that expectation–4 days a week instead of 7, or 3 days a week instead of 5. Maybe consider switching when you workout–would getting up early to get it done keep you consistent?  Consider making that kind of change for just these 4 weeks of crazy, and then switch back to your afternoon sweat session once the holidays are done.  You can also figure out a different way to be active–plan to go to a group class with family when they are in town, or invite them to do your workout with you, or go for a jog with a friend.  If you can find people to be active with you, it helps keep you more accountable.  This is exactly why I love my online accountability groups!  We help each other stick to a routine–email me or comment on this post to get details on my next group!

Is it really that bad to just wait until January?

It’s never a bad time to start a healthy routine with your food and fitness!  But I always answer this question with my own question–is it really that bad to start now?  Is it a bad thing to go ahead and start feeling awesome right now?  Why start January feeling gross and bloated when you can start it feeling energized and amazing?  For me, I’m still focusing on my nutrition and fitness and preparing for an awesome January.  I have some awesome goals for where I want to be by my beach trip in April, and those aren’t going to wait for the holidays.

Maybe you’re feeling the same way about your health–why wait???  I’ve got accountability groups going all through this time of year, and I’ve got space for you!  Comment below or email me at wweaver0@gmail.com to get some info.

Do you have some tips for keeping your health going through the holidays?  I’d love to hear them!  Share them in the comments!

Take the Stairs!

Self-discipline is hard.  Whether you’re talking about food choices, fitness, getting up with my alarm, having more patience with my three year old, or whatever else I’ve got going on in my life, being disciplined is a constant battle.  I’m always looking for an easier way out, or just reacting to situations instead of thinking through the best choice–I’m sure you can relate.  It’s hard to be a disciplined person, and I fall short pretty much every day.

It’s been a few years since I started focusing on being more disciplined, and it’s pretty amazing how far I’ve come in so many areas of my life–but there is always more room to grow!  I’ve been reading (for a second time, actually) an amazing book and just wanted to recommend it to you.

Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden is exactly what I need to read right now–he is all about learning to be disciplined in every area of life, and that has been a great lesson for me over the last few years.  I can choose a specific area of my life to grow in my discipline–focusing solely on workouts, or just on my patience, for example–but to truly grow in discipline, it needs to be something that pervades all areas of my life.  I need to learn to become a disciplined WOMAN in general, not just a disciplined eater or a disciplined exerciser.  I love that idea, and it’s exactly the type of person I want to become.  If this is something you struggle with, too, please do yourself a favor and add this book to your Christmas list.

Also, a bit of encouragement: one of the most difficult aspects of learning to be disciplined (for me, anyway) was feeling like I had to muster up the strength to be more disciplined.  It was overwhelming and exhausting for me to think about trying my hardest every day to be more disciplined!  It made me not even want to try, because who can do that all day every day?  Not me, for sure.  But then I came across this verse that comforted me and made me feel really empowered:

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

If you are a Christian, you already have a Spirit of self-discipline within you–you just have to ask God to help you live that out and choose to submit to that Spirit in your day to day choices.  So be encouraged by that!

What books have you read that have helped you with this idea of self-discipline?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Christmas Advent 2017

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year!  Now that my little man is getting older, it’s getting more and more fun.  For the past few years, I’ve done an Advent calendar for us as a family to serve together, have intentional time together, and to help teach my little man what Christmas is really all about!

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Here are some of the activities we’ll be doing this Advent season–what are some of the traditions you and your family have?  I’d love to hear about them!

Watch a Christmas movie

Breakfast with Santa

Swim party (when we’ll be in a hotel out of town)

Make a leaf wreath

Make Christmas cards and mail them to our cousins

Make treats and deliver them to our neighbors

Choose some toys to donate

Deliver food to a food bank ministry

Have cookies and cocoa at our church’s Christmas service

Have breakfast for dinner

Sing Christmas carols to our grandparents (if he’ll cooperate!)

Drive around and look at Christmas lights

Read the Christmas story together

Do a Christmas puzzle

Color a Christmas coloring page

 

This isn’t the full list, but it’s a great start!  What are your Advent activity plans?