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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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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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?

Super Simple DIY Fruit Cups

My kid is picky.  It is one of the great annoyances of motherhood for me to have a toddler who is SO PICKY about food.  My hubby was a picky child, and I am a really adventurous eater, so one of my goals as a mom is to raise an adventurous eater like me.  I’ll pause here so fellow parents can laugh at that goal.

I know that I can’t control my kid’s pickiness, but I CAN control how much or how little I give in to it.  So, I’m constantly on a quest to figure out how to transition my child off of junky processed foods and onto healthier options and more variety.  Sometimes it goes well, and sometimes it doesn’t, but I want to do a better job being consistent in my efforts and in sharing them.

This switch is so simple that I hesitated to even share it with you.  My kid LOVES fruit and would eat it all day every day if he had the choice.  But, I hate buying fruit cups for him.  I don’t like all the sugar that comes in the syrup, even the “no sugar added” kinds.   Even if the fruit is in fruit juice instead of syrup, there is so much sugar in there that he just doesn’t need.  So, one day I finally realized, “Hey!  I can just make these myself!”  Duh.

His favorite fruit cups are mandarin oranges and peaches.  So I bought a bag of clementines on sale and a couple of bags of frozen sliced peaches (no sugar added, of course).  Then all I had to do was peel and cut up the clementines, and let the peaches thaw before I chopped them up.  Easy peasy.  Plus, using frozen peaches saves me a step in prepping, so I’m winning all the way around.

If your kiddos like fruit cups, try making your own fruit cups–you can even buy pre-cut fruit in the produce section to make it easy on yourself.  It’s definitely not easy to switch your kids from processed to whole foods, but it is worth it to help instill those healthy habits early on!

Banana Oat Pancakes (make-ahead and toddler approved!)

I love breakfast, ya’ll.  It’s funny because I normally just have my super shake for my breakfast every day, but I love all things breakfast.  If it’s filling, yummy, healthy, and quick, even better!

These pancakes are so good, really easy to make, and they keep well in the freezer so I can make a big batch over the weekend and eat on them all week long.  You can easily add blueberries or chocolate chips, or just eat them plain with a drizzle of maple syrup.  My son loves these, too!  Win for everyone!

Banana Oat Pancakes (from Fixate)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 large eggs
1 large ripe banana
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 dash sea salt
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until well mixed and smooth.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat with 1/2 tsp coconut oil.  Measure out 1/4 cup pancake batter and pour onto skillet, cooking for 3-4 minutes or until the top of the pancake starts to bubble.  Flip and cook for 2-3 more minutes until cooked through and golden brown.  Repeat with all remaining batter.

Top with fruit, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, and/or pure maple syrup.  If placing in freezer, let cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap or put in zipper sandwich baggies, then place in a zipper freezer bag and freeze.

Each serving is 2 pancakes (1 yellow container).

The Simplest Motivation Hack EVER

It happens to all of us–you have something you want to accomplish, you have a plan to make it happen, and then…you snooze a million times.  Or you lay on the couch binge-watching Stranger Things.  Or you scroll through social media and realize an hour has gone by.  And you haven’t gotten anything done!

It’s so easy to fall into that procrastination trap, where anything and everything is more important than the one thing that REALLY is important to us–and we continue to not accomplish our goals.  Now, I don’t really believe in “motivation”–I think sometimes you feel really energized to work towards your goals and sometimes you don’t, but not feeling energized isn’t a reason to not do the necessary work.  But some strategies and techniques are crucial for those times where you’re just not feeling it.

This technique comes from the great Mel Robbins–you can watch an awesome video of her explaining it here–and it’s so simple it almost seems like it wouldn’t work.  But it does!  All you need to do is count backwards from 5–think of it like a countdown to a rocket launch: as the countdown is happening, the rocket is building up energy from its fuel and engine, and then when the countdown ends, it has the energy it needs to take off!  We are the same way; counting down from 5 allows our brain to recognize that a transition is happening, to build up energy to make it happen, and to launch us into whatever activity we need to get done.

That’s it!  You can use this 5-second rule to help you get up with your alarm instead of snoozing, to push play on your workout, to start that conversation that needs to happen but you’re scared to have, or whatever else you are putting off.  And try it with your kids to help them transition from one activity to another without meltdowns!

Whatever it is you need to get done, try this hack to make it happen!  5-4-3-2-1 GO!