As an adult, it’s so easy to push everything onto time. Everything. I didn’t have time. There wasn’t any time. I ran out of time. I wasn’t watching the time. I would do ____ if only I had time. This is perplexing as we all actually have the same amount of time. No one invented more time, however, again, it’s a matter of how we manage what we are given.
Thirty books in one year shouldn’t actually be difficult. I decided on jotting this goal with the rest when I realized I hadn’t been actively reading (hadn’t been actively growing my brain in one of the best ways possible) since I had graduated college. I was only skimming articles. I had only been reading what was required, and my goodness, I’m 30 years old, why in the world can I not read when I want to read?! Well. Simply because I didn’t make time for it. Didn’t schedule it in. This was the goal to remedy all of that.
Comprehensively, this seems noble. Like, heck yes, 30 books in one whole year. The reality is I read about seven books through August and now I’m cramming the rest in the last month of the year. I have 10 to finish.
Below I reflect on what I’ve read, what I have yet to read, and how I feel about this ambition currently. The book theme of the year morphed into a personal development + exploration and adventure. Interestingly, I feel this could be the definition of my life in 2015.
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Wilson – this one was slow but had a lot of interesting information. I liked to see how she mapped out her year and the revelations she came across. Probably the best book to kick off a new year. If you haven’t read it, you may want to give it a go, but don’t pressure yourself to finish because as I mentioned – s l o w.
- The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy – currently the best book I’ve ever read. Seriously. It took a minute to gain momentum in reading, but soon I couldn’t wait to finish the book so I could re-read it again. I haven’t yet because of my crazy book goal, but will be returning to it soon! If you want to live a better life – read this book.
- Today Matters by John Maxwell – oh how I love Maxwell! I started reading his work upon recommendation and now I’ll happily soak any wisdom he offers (through books, email, anything). Today matters, not yesterday or tomorrow.
- Be a People Person by John Maxwell – pretty decent book. Quick read.
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed – another life changer for me. Her honestly made every word rich and more valuable than it could have been if she focused on writing politely. I laughed, I cried, I related in so many ways. Nigel and I rented the movie afterward and came to the pretty frequent conclusion that is – the book was better.
- The Winning Attitude by John Maxwell – Attitude is everything and he explains it all perfectly. Read this one!
- Tribes by Seth Godin – this was a quick read. It’s a small book and I highlighted several concepts of his. Not earth shattering but worth picking up sometime.
- The Best of American Travel Writing 2013 Edited by Elizabeth Gilbert – I’m one chapter in and finding it difficult to keep reading for pleasure. This would be a better read under less pressure.
- Guide to Becoming Rich by Robert T. Kiyosaki – my dad used to read these books years ago and I always thought, “geez, Dad, money doesn’t matter why are you pursuing it so fiercely?” I could not have been more wrong. All of his books are on my ‘must read’ list because he has loads of financial wisdom.
- Cashflow Quadrant by Robert T. Kiyosaki – opened my eyes to why it is important to own your own business. How money is a mindset like everything else. You have to learn the correct way to think about it and then you will know how to manage it most effectively.
- The 8 New Rules of Money by Robert T. Kiyosaki – another eye opener! As a society, we expect our lives to be handed to us. We expect the government to take care of us, and we expect to live happily ever after. When so much is working against us, we need to learn to take ownership and to work smarter.
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer – This book was hard to push myself through even though it was interesting.
- Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer – I’ll admit, I’m not completely finished with this one. It’s taken back seat to other books I can breeze through more quickly.
- The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey – Not finished with this one either. It is thick. But what I love about it is that it discusses the importance of finding your voice and the importance of not buying into the scarcity mindset.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People – in progress
- The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes – Fantastic read, especially if you want to organize your life and develop a clear and succinct vision. You know – I even have one for you!
- Becoming Odyssa by Jen Pharr – I enjoyed this book even though I felt her writing was too polite (also see – too Christian). The story was fun to follow.
- Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell – Another I plan to re-read. Solid info that can be quickly and easily implemented.
- Put Your Dreams to the Test by John Maxwell – I’m a dreamer by heart. Good info but didn’t feel Earth-shaking.
- The Process of Living Your Dreams by John Maxwell – see above
- Do Over by Jon Acuff – this guy is hilarious. He also lives in Nashville. So when I saw on Twitter he was speaking at a local college, I decided I’d be there. Crazy thing – he gave everyone there a free book. I had already planned to read this so he made my life so much easier with that kind gesture! This book is a fun read. Lots of humor. Check it out.
- Start by Jon Acuff
- You’re a Badass by Jen Sincero – many of the coaches on my team have read this one and absolutely love it.
- Secret Laws of Attraction (unsure of author, could be a problem)
- I Am That Girl by Alexis Jones
- Thrive by Arianna Huffington
- Success Principles (author?)
- Vagabonding by Rolf Potts
- The Go Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann – I wanted to end the year with a few books centered around something I found so invaluable which is generosity. I want to lead with love and generosity ranks close to number one on my list.
- Love Does by Bob Goff – This seemed like another perfect end of the year book. You’ll have to let me know if you’ve read it!
Those I’ve listed in italics are those I’m speed-reading through December 31st. I do not recommend it and don’t plan to hold myself to this type of standard in the future. Because of this, I’ll spend the month of January skimming through the notes I’ve made throughout these books. What good is digesting so many books if I’m extracting nothing from them?
Lastly in 2016, my focus will be 100% on health from the inside out – this means I want to fill my brain with all those good health reads. I’ve heard suggestions like Grain Brain and Skin Cleanse. Any good books surrounding health you think I should put on next year’s list?