For me, there hardest part of reading a self-help book is turning the advice into daily practice. Out of habit I usually end up reading straight through a self-help book the same way I would a novel or skim through it too quickly, a bit overwhelmed yet eager to soak up sage advice.
How can we bring this self-help wisdom into our everyday lives in small, manageable, actionable steps? How can we empower ourselves to take action from what we’ve learned? Over the years, I’ve devised a few strategies. Here they are:
1) Magnetize it! My copy of Danielle LaPorte’s Fire Starter Sessions came with a magnet: “Everything is Progress.” I liked it so much that I made about 20 more magnets with all of her quotes. They’ve been stuck to my refrigerator for the past two years, where mantras etch themselves into my brain each time I’m in the kitchen for a snack. To turn your favorite quotes into magnets, print out your favorite quotes through your printer, or hand-print on pretty card stock. Next, stick them onto an adhesive magnet sheet (http://www.amazon.com/Flexible-Magnet-Adhesive-Length-rolled/dp/B005HY990G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1395260659&sr=8-2&keywords=magnet+sheets). Laminate one site, and then cut into its final shape. Voila!
2) Bookmark it! Love a reason to make a craft? Here’s one! Make bookmarks with your favorite bits of wisdom to use in all your regular reading no matter what the genre. Here’s a craft idea for a beautiful bookmark on card stock, using scrapbooking supplies (http://kgiron.blogspot.ca/2012/08/taylored-expressions-release-party.html)
3) Join a community. One of the best ways to reach your goals is to do it with friends. Join or start an online community. The Desire Map has a fantastic, active Facebook group. Entheos (http://www.entheos.com/) is starting a whole community centered around life optimization. There are groups around the country based on Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, as well as Tony Hseih’s Delivering Happiness. Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly, has an eCourse with Oprah (http://www.oprah.com/own-brene-brown-course/brene-course-bundle-landing.html). Want to start your own new community, based on the philosophy of a book of your choice? Meetup.com is a great place to start your own group.
4) Get absorbed in an app. See if your favorite books have an app. The Secret has an app you can download here (http://shop.thesecret.tv/Shops/iPhone-App.php) so you can read daily teachings. Eckhart Tolle offers Eckard Tolle TV here, where you can access teachings and meditations. (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/eckhart-tolle-tv-teachings/id504463521?mt=8). The Life Organizer by Jennifer Louden has a fully interactive app that walks you through self-help steps and provides accountability. It guides you through her five steps of life organizing, answers questions and more. (https://lifeorganizer.critter.co). If there’s no app available for your favorite self-help book, Critter.Co (critter.co) has the next best thing – a Web and mobile app you can customize to your heart’s content. Set up actionable check-ins, store your favorite quotes, write in a virtual journal and more.
What strategies do you have for taking action from self-help books? Please share below.
Featured Photo: http://www.daniellelaporte.com/