So I have certain go-to books to help me when I’m in a funk. And, granted, I’ve read a lot of self help stuff, but these ones I come back to on a somewhat regular basis.
- The Happiness Project and Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin — Gretchen left her job in law to become a full-time writer, so that immediately got my attention. But the amount of work and study she has put into what happiness is (and isn’t) has really opened my eyes to figuring out what that means for me, too. Her book on habits has also been very, very helpful for me in figuring out how to set new desires in motion.
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert — The Eat, Pray, Love author brought out this fantastic book last year that focuses on the creative spirit and combined both memoir and advice, making it both an entertaining read and also very enlightening.
- Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work by Austin Kleon — More books on creativity and how to be true to yourself. I also follow him on Tumblr. Very smart and interesting guy with, hands down, the least offensive weekly newsletter.
- How to Be Interesting by Jessica Hagy — a fun read for the Venn diagram lover in everyone that somehow manages to also remind me that I’m not as boring as I think I am.
What are your favorite self help books that have got you through difficult times? Tell me about it on the Facebook page or in the comments!
1. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. That’s a long time, but you have to start somewhere. This is that starting point for me.
2. I’m using a super fun app called “HabitRPG.” It makes a game out of getting stuff done that you are trying to form into habits and daily tasks. You earn money and buy items for your character as you complete things, but on the other side of that, if you fail at finishing tasks, you could die. Very fun and surprisingly effective!
3. I had a moment of clarity a few minutes ago: when approaching your daily, weekly, monthly, etc. goals, you should think of them the way you would think about a life list or an agenda for a trip. If you’re going to NYC, you’re obviously not just going to put down “Visit a museum,” right? You would look at which museum is most interesting to you, the hours, the cost and so on.
4. SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound.
5. Something is better than nothing. I recently read on “The Happiness Project” blog the following mantra: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. It means that you shouldn’t put off doing things because you are not in the exact frame of mind/place to do something or have the perfect conditions. The example used is “the 20-minute walk I take is better than the 3-mile run I never start.” I got a lot out of this one, simple phrase.
How do you feel about habits?