With a new year upon us, it’s time to look back and reflect. To meditate on the things you want to improve in your life while daydreaming of where you would like to be at this time next year. While goals are a fantastic start, having a solid game plan of how to achieve the "new and improved" you one year from now infinitely decreases the likelihood of your falling off by February.
How do you figure out your course of action? Books. Really great books. Books that challenge you, encourage you to see things from a new perspective and push you to act. Books that soothe the soul and reveal a quieter place where you can feel that much more connected. Books that give you the tools to become… a better you.
"No matter how small you start, start something that matters." - Brendon Burchard
If you let it, this book will quite simply change your life. The author, Brendon Burchard, is an experienced performance coach and personal development trainer. In researching High Performance Habits, he spent more than 3 years studying what makes high performers truly GREAT. He focused on which of their habits had the most significant effect on their lives and really "moved the needle." He learned that high performers are not born...they are made.
The result of his research is a wonderful, highly actionable book on how to think and live a more productive and fulfilling life. Whether your goals are focused on your career, relationships or personal growth, this book breaks down step-by-step the exercises and habits you can practice and adopt to help you become a high performer, too. It's full of tips on things like how to maintain high energy levels throughout the day, how to create a sense of "I must accomplish this" to drive you forward, and how to maintain a sense of gratitude while still striving for more. If there is only one book you read this year on how to do and be "more", I would highly recommend this be it. For you audiophiles, the audio version read by Brendon himself is also fantastic!
"People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses." - Brené Brown
If you have ever spent time binge-watching TED talks, you have most likely come across Brené Brown. Her TED talk on the power of vulnerability is as watchable for its humor as it is compelling for its insight into why most people shy away from vulnerability. For the literary-minded though, her books are where her insights truly shine. One favorite that will challenge the way you think about courage is her 2015 work, Rising Strong.
This book is for anyone who has ever struggled to come back after a fall or a loss. By sharing both personal and professional stories, Brené’s book gives you insight into those who have walked this path before, faced similar struggles and come out triumphant (and more self-aware) on the other side. Whether you are getting over heartbreak, a career setback or family hardship, Rising Strong will help you tap into your inner strength and give you the courage to begin the process of rebuilding your self-love and confidence.
"The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom." ― Tara Brach
So much of the New Year's mentally of "New Year, New You" stems from an unhappiness in the present. But what if this year you chose to focus on how to have yourself truly accept the present and what is wonderful (and painful) about it instead?
Focused around guided meditations and "fresh interpretations of Buddhist tales," Tara Brach’s book Radical Self-Acceptance is a mix of how-to meditation techniques and supporting stories of how others left their own cycle of feeling they weren’t enough. With an incredibly relatable writing style, this book is an equally wonderful read for those who have practiced meditation before and for those who are just curiously starting to reach into that world. If you have always wished you could approach yourself and your own mistakes with the same compassion and understanding you would offer a best friend, this book is a fantastic place to start and a beautiful way to kick off 2018.
Wishing you all a beautiful and loving New Year and happy reading!