Let me start by saying that I love to read. There are way more than five books that I would highly recommend, but I wanted to dedicate this blog post to the ones that have made the most significant impact on my life.
1. Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
I read Girl Wash Your Face a few months ago. At that time I was on my weight loss journey and a friend of mine Jen, who was (and still is) leading my accountability fitness group, has recommended the book to us. And I am so glad that she did.
The author describes 20 lies in her book – lies that she was told and she used to believe. These are the types of lies that a lot of women were told, myself included. And there were a few of them that really hit home for me and made me evaluate my decisions in the past.
This book was life changing for me because I finally decided that I am ALLOWED to dream big. That I CAN take a risk and follow my dreams. That if I don’t do it, nobody will do it for me – it is my dream after all. This book helped me shift my mindset and start believing in myself. It is why this whole blog started.
So if you are looking to get inspired and stop believing in lies you were told – go grab a copy. She is also releasing another book in March 2019 titled Girl Stop Apologizing.
2. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
I have heard about Dave Ramsey from some of the YouTube channels I watch. That prompted me to start watching his YouTube channel and get Total Money Makeover from my library. I read it in a day!
The book is about personal finance and how to get out of debt (if you have any), buid wealth, and become in charge of your money. He provides a simple framework with step by step instructions to your financial freedom.
This book completely changed how I look at money now. My mindset changed from ‘it’s ok to have a car loan, everyone has one’ to ‘I am not buying another car until I have cash to pay for it’.
It was a huge wake up call to realized that we tend to look at money as a way to reward ourselves every chance we get. You had a challenging day at work? Why not go shopping? You don’t have any money in your bank account for a shopping spree? What are credit cards for? We look for instant gratification and we have this sense of entitlement that we deserve things even when we cannot afford them. Well not after reading this book!
3. Start with Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
This is a leadership book that was recommended to me during a training session at my work. I read Start with Why a few months ago and realized that it is not only applicable to leadership and organizations but to personal growth and development as well as entrepreneurship.
The author talks about the importance of defining ‘why’ for each organization. Specifically why a specific entity/business was created in the first place. Too often organizations and small businesses are either not clear of why they exist or they lose sight of the reason why they were established once they become successful. Ultimately only the businesses with a clear why will thrive. And he provides a long list of great examples.
Defining my why was the first step that I took to finally lose weight (after multiple failed attempts). You can read about it in my previous blog.
4. Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod
Elrod describes the importance of mornings to your personal accomplishments and success. The Miracle Morning is waking up an hour early each day and spending that time on self growth and self-development. He, along with many of other people who implemented the miracle mornings routine, has found it to be transformational.
I start my miracle morning 4:30am and begin my day with a workout. Afterwards I eat my breakfast, drink my coffee, and work on self growth and development, which consists of journaling (I basically write my overall goals), reading a personal development book, and working on my blog.
At this point my miracle mornings are usually cut short when my daughter wakes up, which is usually around 5:30am, so about the time I’m done with my workout. So I usually do the other activities while I’m making her breakfast and answering the millions of questions the almost 3-year-olds have 🙂
I’m hoping that one day she will decide to start sleeping a little longer or I will be able to go to sleep a little earlier (and start my days earlier) and my mornings with myself will be a little longer. But for not, I do what I can.
And even with those distractions, implementing the miracle morning technique has been life changing. Starting each morning with doing something for myself allowed me to start believing in myself again and to take first steps towards realizing my dreams.
5. The Three Signs Of A Miserable Job by Patrick Lencioni
I read The Three Signs of a Miserable Job about 10 years ago. I received it from my co-worker as gift to celebrate my Master’s degree and it was the first leadership book I have ever read.
The author talks about the root cause of underperformance among employees. Rather than simply associating that with laziness, we really need to take a look at motivating factors of those employees. In majority of the cases we will notice that employees want to be great at what they do, but they are not motivated enough to do so.
My biggest take away from this book was a set of tools for both managers and employees to use to increase productivity and enjoyment of their jobs. Lencioni highlights the importance of setting your own performance goals, self-evaluation, and performance metrics. And I really loved that he provides specific examples in a variety of industries and types of jobs where his method was applied successfully and increased people’s productivity at work. I have been using those tools an an employee for the past 10 years.