When A Book Becomes A Way Of Life
Every book I read affects me. Regardless of whether I enjoy it or not, even if I don’t finish it, everything I read teaches me something. Even if the reading experience isn’t positive, there are takeaways and inspiration to be found.
Then occasionally, a book comes along that does more than teach me, and it genuinely changes how I view the world.
Taking that one step further is a more recent example, You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. This book had been on my shelf for about a year, and on my TBR list much longer than that. I finally got around to it last summer and POW! It was divine intervention which led me to read that book at that exact time in my life.
I was in a low place. Sincero’s no-nonsense tone, addressing concepts I’d heard before, was exactly the kick in the pants I needed to remember I know how to do this personal growth thing, and I need to get off my butt, stop saying “I’m so maxed out,” and actually do something about it.
Fast forward about 6 months: As 2017 was winding down, I was back to feeling overextended, and frustrated for allowing myself to get there. I made some major lifestyle changes in the second half of last year, and couldn’t find my groove. I’d gained weight, felt exhausted and spread thin most days, and wasn’t sleeping well or eating right. Instead of being excited about my new goals, I felt I’d set them too far out of reach.
Then, in the last week of December, an ad for Jen Sincero’s Badass Habits Course showed up in my FaceBook news feed.
I mulled it over for a day, and was leaning toward going for it so I ran it by my husband. He was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Knowing the book had a powerful impact on me, and that I was facing the new year with some anxiety about my potential productivity, he encouraged me to invest this time and money in myself so I felt set up for success.
I completed all 21 days, right in a row. While the course wasn’t as in depth as I was hoping for, in hindsight I see the reason for that. The brief, straightforward, repetitive lessons and exercises kept the daily coursework manageable, so it never felt like a chore or a burden.
On day one’s worksheet, I chose a new habit I wanted to create and focus on for the length of the course. This was scheduling my work days, and following through. No distractions, no bailing on work, no procrastinating.
The first worksheet also walked me through creating my own Personal Manifesto and a Mantra of Mightiness, which I repeated out loud and re-wrote on each day’s work sheet.
My Personal Manifesto: I’m so grateful I schedule my days and stick to it. It makes me feel balanced, productive, and focused. It improves my life because I know I can make time for everything that is important to me. I love myself. I love my life. I am a badass writer who works to support her art, freedom, and self care.
My Mantra of Mightiness: I enjoy my life. I enjoy my days. I choose how I spend my days. I choose how I feel. I have enough time and energy for everything that is important to me.
Each day’s lesson added onto the previous one, and reminded me to focus on the “why” of creating this new habit. And each worksheet asked me to list a new reason I’m excited about creating this new habit.
By the third day I was already noticing an increase in my positivity. And as I progressed through the course this positivity grew. After a week, I was feeling more focused, balanced, and productive than I have in as long as I’ve been working from home.
Even though the course ended over a week ago, my mantras are still in my brain, providing me with support. When I am faced with a decision about how to use my time, I know what my priorities are, and I don’t feel guilty for choosing one activity over another, or for saying no to someone.
A badass is someone who is living their life on purpose. – Jen Sincero
I’ve also noticed that as I respect my boundaries (Such as 9-noon is my work time) my family and friends do as well. The more I repeat my plans and schedule myself so that I have external accountability, the easier it is to continue doing it.
With a week left in January, I had met my goals for the month in regard to my job and my memoir. That’s HUGE, considering one of those tasks was something I’d been procrastinating on for over two months!
After the course, I got a copy of Jen’s newest book, You Are A Badass At Making Money, and I’m incredibly excited to see what it brings into my life!