2. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
Of course I had to add at least another book by Brené Brown. In this book Brene Brown talks about the steps a person can take to start living wholeheartedly. Wholeheartedness is a by product of being vulnerable and embracing our imperfections. Once again she focuses on real people, people who intentionally battle with shame and pursue a wholehearted life. She found that these people cultivate courage, compassion and connection along with many other things.
3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Although this is a short book it was nothing less than life changing. Coelho creates a story about a Andalusian shepherd that has a dream in which he needs to find a treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. The dream is so real that he believes he sets out in search of the treasure. The reader basically journey with the shepherd on his mission. They grow with him as he learns to trust his intuition and follow his dreams.
4. 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin
I first learned about 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by watching a Tedx talk by Amy Morin. Amy Morin has gone through some very difficult moments. She lost her mom when she was 23 years old and then 3 years later on the anniversary of her mother’s death she lost her husband Lincoln. Although she is a therapist and knows how to encourage others to get through these type of situations these loses of course hit her very hard. A couple of years later she remarried an amazing man and then unfortunately finds out that her father in law had cancer. Afraid of the grief she would experience again Morin was inspired to make a list of things she should not do if she was actually going to get through this experience. Although the concepts are simple they are definitely revolutionary.
5. You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
I’m going to be honest at first I was a little bit turned off by this book. When I first read the book I didn’t know much about spirituality and didn’t understand the purpose or believed in the validity of some of the practices she wrote about such as chanting. However after going through and reading the book I understood and appreciated the way Sincero delivered the message and the overall theme of the book. Sincero explains that the life we want is available for us to have but we don’t have it because we’re too busy accepting lousy lives. We do that by thinking and speaking negatively about ourselves and others and also by not working hard for what we want. With a tough love approach she explains that we should think and speak positively, visualize what we want, and get rid of all of the BS we believe/accept and wake up to the life we have always wanted.
I hope you find some of these books helpful!
What are some personal growth books that have been beneficial to you? What books are you already looking forward to reading?
Are there any of habits that you would like to commit to this year? What are some wellness habits that you already practice? Let me know in the comment section.
Two years after beginning my journey of self-discovery and self-love I can tell you that gratitude is an essential part of my life. I’ve learned that gratitude isn’t just listing a couple of things/people you are grateful for. Although that method is very helpful.
“But in fact, gratitude is the practice of appreciating all of the moments we experience in our lives and releasing the power the Universe has given us to manifest the desires of our hearts.”
Practicing gratitude is a deep and also spiritual practice if you allow it to be.
- It is a catalyst for physical manifestation of change in the world.
When you speak gratitude over something as if it has already happened you manifest that thing in the physical world. I can say, “I am grateful for my new car” everyday and if I have faith and let my subconscious work it out for me, I will actually manifest my new car.
- It brings mental relief.
I can express gratitude for my friendships and speak life into other people and things. The act of focusing on something or someone other than yourself gives that much needed mental break.
- It makes space in your life for awareness.
It is about focusing on the positive rather than the negative. You can be grateful for a seemingly unfavorable situation and actually notice that the situation wasn’t as bad as you thought. Maybe your friend upset you when they called you out about not being there for them. If you focus on gratitude you may realize actually I am grateful for this friend. This friend always had good intentions for me and maybe they make a valid point.
- It increases your over all well-being.
It is so good for your outlook on life when you practice gratitude. Your mindset positively changes and you start actively seeking moments to express gratitude. You realize life is more amazing than you thought.
Some ways you can practice gratitude in your everyday life thid 2018 is by:
- Establishing a gratitude journal.
The key is to actually feel gratitude for each of the moments or things you’ve journaled about. You can simply make list or you can even write a letter explaining how your day went and what things caused you joy. Feel free to get creative with your journal.
- Meditate on what you are grateful for.
Take some intentional time to stop everything your doing and express gratitude for the things that have taken place in your life that day. For example, you can sit down and say or think ‘Today I’m grateful for x, y, and z because…
- Create a Gratitude jar or box.
Write what you’re grateful for on a piece of paper in put it in a jar or box. At the end of the month or even at the end of the year go back and look through it.
- Discuss with a close friend the things you are each grateful for daily.
There’s something so cathartic about having conversations about positive things. It changes the energetic atmosphere of your life.
I am so grateful that 2018 is a year full overflowing gratitude for each and everyone of you!
Let me know, what are some ways you incorporate gratitude in your life?
Now that 2018 has entered and the hype of the New Year will eventually die down, the weight of new years goals and resolutions can be hard to carry. See when we are caught up in the awe that a whole year has passed us by and we are excited by the thought of starting fresh and accomplishing our dreams we tend to come up with many goals but no plan to actually stay motivated to follow through with them.
You know that 3 weeks into the new year feeling of ‘ugh I don’t want to get up to go to the gym. I’ll just go tomorrow ‘ or ‘I’ll eat out just for today and bring my lunch in tomorrow’?. I remember that feeling all too well. I was the type of person that was always excited for New Year. I would spend the week before the New Year entered thinking of various lofty goals that I wanted to accomplish. I.e working out 5x a week, getting all A’s in my classes, praying for an hour every single day…you name it.
These goals weren’t bad but they were sure as heck unrealistic. I would work hard at each goal for the first couple of weeks of the year but would quickly end up burnt out and super discouraged. Over time I have learned that accomplishing your goals and dreams starts with a fundamental change to the way you approach life.
1. Look at each goal you want to achieve as a journey you are embarking on.
When you look at your goals as journeys you take the pressure off of achieving perfection in every step. Journeys are not perfect. There are so many obstacles that we are presented with. We get sick, we lose motivation, etc. But if you stay committed and pick yourself up each and every time you fall not only do you get stronger but you make it.
2. Make your action steps small and attainable.
If you make your goals lofty like ‘I’m going to work out 5x a week every week for the whole year’ you will easily be disappointed. You can eventually build up to it. However, if you’ve never worked out a day in your life that goal is nearly impossible. Instead set the goal I’m going to work out at least 1x a week and crush it. Then build up from there as the time passes.
3. Cultivate a positive mindset.
Have you ever heard the saying “the quality of your life, depends on the quality of your thoughts”?. It’s so true. Establish some positive affirmations which you repeat to yourself daily (I am strong, I am intelligent, I am capable, etc.). Focus on what you are consuming, in terms of food and knowledge. Eat food that makes you feel good, give your body that good energy. Watch shows, listen to podcast, videos or music that build you up. Keep in mind that it took whatever amount of years you’ve been alive to create the mindset you have now and it will take time and commitment to create a new, positive mindset.
4. Practice self-compassion.
Nobody’s perfect. Rather than berate yourself with negative thoughts (I am stupid, How could I be so dumb?, etc.) comfort yourself the way you would comfort a loved one. Tell yourself you’re going to be okay, your short comings don’t define you, and you are capable of getting back up.
5. Establish a good support system.
Nobody should be a lone wolf. In the words of Brene Brown, “human beings are hardwired for connection”. Find yourself a good group of people that you can count on to be there for you when you’re not at your best. If you’re feeling unmotivated to go to the gym by yourself text a friend you know will go with you, and will hold you accountable.
It is totally possible for you to accomplish your goals and resolutions. Go on and slay 2018.
Let me know in the comment section how you stay motivated to accomplish your goals and resolutions.
I love this time of year because not only are some of us blessed to get to spend time with loved ones and eat delicious food, but it is also a time of closure and new beginnings. A whole year has passed us by and we are about to enter into a brand new one. On top of that some of us live for this time to actually slow down and reflect on everything that has taken place in our lives this past year. We marble at how quickly it flew by, reflect on where we were this time last year, and plan out what we want to accomplish in the following year. It is exciting.
I have recently been caught up in the whirl wind of emotions of it all and have found myself unsure of how to debrief 2017. This year has been unlike any other. This year I graduated college, moved into my first apartment, consistently tried out counseling and made mental health and self-love a priority among other things. I have experienced the most personal growth I have ever had before in my life and I do not want to just quickly glaze over it.
I am compelled to dig deeper and revel in gratitude over all that took place in 2017 but also figure out how I can improve 2018.
With that in mind I of course hit up YouTube and found some great videos that helped me do just that. Some helpful channels have been Lavendaire, Coffee with Jo, and Kalyn Nicholson. They each provided some sort of self-reflection questions to break down 2017 and/or action steps to implement in 2018. Then, after doing my research and considering all of the wonderful advice I found I came up with a few ideas of my own for effectively self-reflecting before entering 2018.
1. Reflect on all of the things you accomplished this year.
- Was it one of your goals/resolutions from last year?
- How did it make you feel?
2. Reflect on all of the things you were disappointed by or did not accomplish this year.
- What actions or inaction led to this disappointment?
- If you would have done things differently, would you have gotten different results?
- Is this something you are still interested in pursuing? If so, what are you going to do differently this time around?
3. Reflect on your relationship with yourself.
- How do you feel physically, mentally and emotionally?
- Did you incorporate any practices to love yourself and take care of yourself this year?
- If so, what practices worked and what practices did not?
- What are you going to do this year to better love and take care of yourself?
4. Reflect on your relationship with others.
- Who are the people that you have interacted with consistently or inconsistently this year?
- How do you feel when you think about each person? Does the sound of their name make you feel drained or energized? Happy or sad?
- Based on the kind of energy that each person brought into your life are there any relationships that need to addressed? If so, are these relationships worth saving?
5. Pick three areas of your life you would like to focus on in 2018.
- Based on what you did or did not accomplish in 2017, what do you want to give your attention to this year?
- What are 2-3 specific goals you would like to accomplish in each of those areas?
- What steps do you need to take to accomplish each of these goals?
Well, I hope these questions are helpful. I advise you to take time and meditate on them maybe even journal the responses. Dig deep and see what you find.
I am so grateful for all of the amazing things we accomplish in 2018.
Happy New Year!!