We’ve all heard the phrase: You are what you eat – and as a health and fitness coach I must agree. Funny thing is, in order to find total health and wellness a healthy MIND is just as important as a healthy body. Negative thoughts can actually make you physically sick. Stress, anxiety, rage and bitterness release chemicals and hormones into your brain and body which negatively affects your organs!
On of my absolute favorite things about being a coach is being introduced to personal development books. I always looked down on “self-help” books because I thought they were only for really messed up people who didn’t read the Bible.
I still read my Bible every day and believe that it contains all we need for life and every book I read is filtered through my understanding of scripture, but gosh darn it! There are so many inspiring experiences, brilliant understanding, profound motivation and self-discovery to be found in GOOD books. I have never felt so challenged, motivated or grown so much as I have in this past year.
So, I challenged myself to read 12 books in 12 months – starting in January. As we begin September, I am so grateful to be starting book #10 (I may have to set my goals a little higher next year!)
Here are my reviews of the books I’ve read thus far:
Entreleadership – Dave Ramsey
Of course I had heard of Dave Ramsey, but never read any of his books, listened to his radio show or had much experience with him – all I knew is that he taught people how to budget. This was my first real interaction with him. My my, he is quite arrogant (confident?) isn’t he? But you can’t argue with his passion and success. I learned a lot from this book, especially about integrity, leadership and hard work. Many of the chapters are exclusively for those who are running an actual business (a whole chapter on how to hire and fire someone and outsourcing work, etc.) but on a whole I found it very helpful, lots of good nuggets and some chapters that I will revisit.
21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – John Maxwell
This is Mr. Maxwell’s seminal work and for good reason. It is quite extensive and took me the LONGEST to get through (I racked up some hefty library fines with this one!) but if you take the time to do the self-evaluation work (which I did) and really use it as the tool it is meant to be there’s no way you WON’T grow into a better leader. I HIGHLY recommend this for anyone who wants to grow into leadership, but if you are just looking for personal growth I would go with Mr. Maxwell’s 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth instead (I read this last year).
Notes from a Blue Bike – Tsh Oxenreider
I took a little break from heavy leadership books and really enjoyed myself with this memoir about a family’s pursuit of a simpler life in a culture that screams MORE! Tsh and her family lived in Turkey (a country that holds a special place in my heart) and when they returned to the U. S. were so culture shocked that they determined to make radical changes to how they lived so they could re-capture some of what they loved from their time overseas. I enjoyed it very much and it sparked some great conversations with my husband about how we want to live and gave me courage to not be afraid of making decisions for my family that might be counter cultural, but WE feel are necessary for us to live more simply and according to our convictions.
Eat Mor Chikin Inspire More People – Truett Cathy
This book was gifted to me and to be honest I probably never would have read it if I didn’t already have it, but I was pleasantly surprised by how deeply I was inspired by this man’s life. I can’t say I learned tips or strategies, but autobiographies are always powerful because you can’t argue with someone’s story and I was incredibly impressed by Mr. Cathy’s conviction, work ethic and leadership.
You Are a Badass – Jen Sincero
This book was sweeping the Beachbody world this summer (seriously, at the success club trip in CanCun EVERYONE had a copy to read by the pool!) and I can see why. It’s light, it’s funny, it’s a little potty-mouthed and “tough love”. It’s a great intro to the idea of personal development, especially if you aren’t sure that it’s valuable – she makes a great argument for why it is. I thought it was on the whole a little fluffy but had some very profound moments (there’s a FANTASTIC chapter on how so many of us feel like to be authentic and true to ourselves and our message we have to be “starving artists” and if we make money it means we’ve “sold out” and she reveals that thinking for the lie that is…mind-blowing!). Those coaches in CanCun might have been on to something, it’s totally a “read by the pool to get your butt in gear” book. It will motivate you.
Create: Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Things – Stephen Altrogge
I saw this book right as I was ending You Are a Badass and I liked the idea and the title. The book had some good tips for creatives and those of us who get a lot of ideas but have poor follow through. It was a good reminder, but nothing earth shattering.
The Hunger Fix – Dr. Pam Peeke
This book freaking rocked my world! It combined heavy science (which sometimes I understood and sometimes I didn’t – but I got the general idea) with a very compassionate approach for those of us who struggle with food (sugar) addiction. It explained very well how the brain works and processes food and sugar and why we can’t seem to stop. It made me SO much more aware of what’s really going on when I reach for that piece of chocolate and showed me how I need to not only address my diet, but my emotional state as well and her suggestions for how to overcome this sugar addiction – priceless! (I’ll probably be running another free group on Sugar Addiction in October…it’s a free group where I share a lot from this book along with some of my meal plans that are based on her recommendations! If you don’t follow me on facebook already, you should! I will announce it there)
Platform – Michael Hyatt
I hate to say anything bad about this book because I absolutely ADORE Michael Hyatt! If you don’t follow his podcast, you are missing out. But I found this book a little too technical, a lot of it I already knew. There were a few nuggets I pulled out (having a strong About Me page, and perfecting your “elevator pitch”) but aside from that I was a little bored by this book. (sorry Michael!!)
Start With Why – Simon Sinek
I just finished this book and absolutely LOVED it. As soon as I heard Simon Sinek speak at Beachbody’s Summit in July I KNEW I would be getting one (or more) of his books. Really brilliant and helped me SO much to be clear on how I communicate with others, how to inspire others and the importance of not only knowing your WHY but also taking time to develop a strong HOW so that your vision and purpose can be properly executed. If you are a leader of anything (church, small group, classroom, family) I would put this near the top of your list. If you haven’t already watched his incredible Ted Talk – here is a preview of the book: Click here.
So, there you have it, my book reviews thus far! If you aren’t reading ANYTHING at the moment, I highly encourage you to pick up one of these books – start small, just ten minutes a day is plenty (that’s about all I have time for and I’ve gotten 10 books done so far!) and invest in yourself and your growth. YOU are your only limiting factor <3