How often have you forgotten a New Years Resolution before January 31st? It’s easy to do because new habits are hard to make. The secret to creating new habits that will make your life better is by BEING INTENTIONAL when you make your resolutions. Set yourself up for success by reading (books, audiobooks or videos) more about the area you need help in. Take the goal seriously and take the first steps. Tell some close friends about your goals and ask them to keep you accountable/ ask you questions about how it is going. Finally, use technology to set reminders for yourself (daily, weekly and even a few months out).
The secret to thriving in the future is learning to LEARN.
Helpful resources by topic:
1. Creating Habits: learn about your brain and creating habits that last a lifetime
This section will help you start that new hobby, get fit, finish the race, end bad habits, be more organized… because you’ll learn how to finish resolutions for the rest of your life!
In order to understand more about creating new habits, you’ll want to understand your brain better. Dr. Caroline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist with a PHD in communication pathology. She has several great books and resources, but to begin a new resolution I highly recommend starting with the book: Switch On Your Brain. You will learn how you think and process information, how to create a new habit and how to capture toxic thoughts.
Another great book to read if you have trouble accomplishing resolutions is Andy Stanley’s book: The Principal of the Path (from where you are, to where you want to be). They key phrase from this book is “Direction, not intention, determines destination” – that is to say that you can want to be somewhere, but unless you make steps to get to that point – you will never arrive to where you want to be. Sound familiar? Read the book.
2. Money – give your finances a makeover or get out of debt
This is not something easily done on your own. You’ll need to read a lot from experts and you will need to do some work to see where you really are financially. Luckily, one resource stands above the rest when it comes to learning more about money: Financial Peace University. Dave Ramsey has several wonderful resources to help walk you through wise choices in money. I enjoyed his book Total Money Makeover.
Clark Howard has a radio show that is helpful to start understanding how to save money and how to avoid being ripped off – set a reminder to listen to his show.
If you find it difficult to get your partner or family on board with financial changes, read 8 Important Money Decisions For Every Couple by Russ Crosson. The book is written from the view point of a couple going through changes and gives practical application points.
Groceries and other consistent expenses are good to start cutting down on by shopping smarter. One favorite blog on saving is SouthernSavers.com and TheCouponClippers.com Both of these will help you learn how to cut down your food bill.
Money can be a source of daily fear and stress. You’ll be glad you took steps to change your finances as you regain peace.
3. Health and Exercise – make 2015 the #BetterMe year
While I will not list every diet known to man here, I will list a few resources that I’ve read and believe are helpful.
1. Whole30 – great resource for changing your diet for 30 days and then adding things back in. Whole30 will give you personal insight into how your own body responds to: Gluten, Dairy, Sugar, etc. In 30 days you’ll learn valuable information about your personal response to different foods. That information will be great for you over your lifetime!
You will learn a great deal about the dangers of foods that cause inflammation. The authors attempt to make things easier with shopping lists and print outs to get you started. Pinterest is also full of Whole30 recipes and tips.
2. Trim Healthy Mama – this diet transformed 3 of my cousins before my eyes. They are now 3 Trim & Healthy Mom’s – just as the book promises. Although I found the diet restrictive and less scientific than I prefer, if you are looking for something that will allow you to treat yourself – this diet may work for you. Pinterest is full of “THM” recipes, so you have endless resources once you finish the book.
3. Bulletproof Diet – similar to the goal of Whole30, Bulletproof explores the dangers of foods that cause inflammation. This is a new diet, so there is less to find on Pinterest. He researched dangers in our foods – like coffee grounds full of bacteria. For this reason, you may find this diet expensive – but if it makes you healthier it should be worth it!
4. Leadership –
What Makes A Leader Great – this short book has a powerful message. A humble lesson that is learned by realizing that it is NOT all about you, the leader. Your legacy and how well an organization or mission goes after you are gone will tell the truth about how great you were as a leader. We HIGHLY recommend this short read for you or as a gift for any leader you know.
5. Marriage / Relationships –
The Marriage Builder by Larry Crabb – If you have not read this book, it is a great start for any marriage. Larry gets to the heart of our deepest desires: security and significance. He walks through the dangers of manipulating a partner to get what you want and tells how freeing you can feel when your soul feels ONEness with another.
The 4 Seasons of Marriage by Gary Chapman – Marriage does not look the same every day. We go through seasons. Getting through the tough seasons is a focus of the book. However, just understanding that there are seasons gives you reason to hope!
Summer will return to your marriage, but you have to do the work it takes to get back.
How To Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It by S Stosny- While talking is natural to women, it is not to most men. Marriage can improve dramatically when you understand the communication style of men. This book focuses on the primary issue for women: Fear | and the primary issue for men: Shame. This book not only unlocks key points for each sex, it also explains some of the neuroscience behind our unique approaches in marriage.
The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman – Almost ALL other relationship books are based on theory, this one is based on research. Years and years of research. Gottman’s research is referenced in many books on marriage because he is one of the few who has conducted real studies on couples. Great book for understanding how we work relationally – I especially found his term “bidding” interesting. Gottman noticed that couples send small “bids” for connection to one another and if those are not returned positively from your partner 1/4th of the time – it spells trouble for long term.
6. Parenting –
How To Really Love Your Child – buying presents and attending events are not indicators that your child feels loved. Learning about the emotional needs of your child is vital. Ross Campbell teaches you the techniques that will help your child feel loved and accepted. Needs of your child that range from physical touch to verbal affirmations will help you parent better.
Logged On and Tuned Out – not only is it dangerous that your children can access the whole world (and vice versa) while sitting beside you at home, but there are dangers to a generation that is so digital they are loosing relationship skills with others and with YOU. Kids are far more digital savvy than parents in today’s society. A parenting book that addresses this topic is timely.
Praying Circles Around Your Children – Mark Batterson shares practical advice through stories of other parents, just like you. He will teach you how to create prayer lists that are unique for your family, claim promises of God for your children, turn your family circle into a prayer circle. Give your children a legacy of prayer! Start this year.
7. Success at Work – prepare this year to get promoted next year!
Learning new habits on attending networking events in your area on a regular basis as well as discovering a few great blogs to keep you on top your game. You will need to set reminders for yourself to schedule time to read your list of blogs, so that you build the habit. Over the next 6 months, you will become a subject matter expert and it will show at your company. Books will not aid you in this area nearly as well as blogs because of the length of time it takes to get a book out. Blogs have the latest thoughts, technology and offers a wide variety of authors.
A few books that will help you find success and motivation at work:
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell – often when looking to imitate a highly successful person it is their ambition and intelligence that is the focus of study. Gladwell argues that the people around that person are as important to look at as the individual themselves. This book is a blueprint for his unique perspective on success.
Drive by Daniel Pink – money is not the only motivator. In fact it is not the highest motivator for many people. Learning what drives you and understanding that drive could change your life! Great book for 2015 and making you more successful.