The beginning of every year is a natural time to start thinking about the hopes and dreams you have for your future. This is not about resolutions, which are often tossed out before the last of the holiday cookies, but planning and achieving goals that will help you move forward in the direction of your dreams. One of the best ways I’ve found to be inspired and informed is through books. Here is my round-up of the most thoughtful, helpful, motivational and inspiring books I’ve read or reread recently. If you are or want to be a high achiever, these books can help set you on a positive path forward.
This book is a great guide for women, who often hide their brilliance behind self-doubt, perfectionism, fear, and other habits that hold them back. Mohr empowers women to use their inner wisdom and be confident in their knowledge and experience. If you want to live a larger, more confident life and move forward with your aspirations, this book will be your mentor. Mohr will encourage you to own your brilliance and let your life shine.
If you are caught in the trap of working harder and harder, trying to get everything done and craving balance in your world, this book will speak to you. McKeown makes a case for getting off the hamster wheel and filtering life’s options to select only the best. Once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, and choose only the best and most important things, you can make your highest contribution towards things that really matter. McKeon reminds us that if we don’t prioritize our lives someone else will. Changing our frame of reference towards only the essential will guide us to a life of impact and fulfillment.
We all want to know that our time on earth means something. We want to enjoy our lives, feel peaceful about our actions and choices and contribute something of value to the world. Goins will help you identify and understand your calling so you can avoid going through the motions- working to earn a paycheck and living for the day we can retire. He contends that your life, when well-lived becomes your calling, and ultimately, your magnum opus.
Coach Yourself to Success, Revised and Updated Edition: 101 Tips from a Personal Coach for Reaching Your Goals at Work and in Life by Talane Miedaner
If you have always wanted to have a personal life coach, but couldn’t afford to spend the money, here is your answer. Miedaner offers many suggestions for ways to close the gap from where you are to where you want to be. Some suggestions are common sense (Stop Shuffling and Start Organizing, Pay Off Your Debts) but others are less obvious and more empowering (Design Your Ideal Life, Raise Your Standards). If you are just starting down the path to self-improvement, this is a good choice.
What are you doing well, and not so well? What excites you and what doesn’t? What reflects your genius, calling, and expertise and what doesn’t? What makes you different? The answer to these questions is the key to your success. If you learn to identify and focus your one big thing, you can standout, communicate your ideas and find success. This is a short, easy to read book with many inspirational quotes and stories.
This is a classic self-help book and one of my favorites. Imagine yourself a year from now, feeling that you are on top of your game. What would that look like? What qualities would you need to develop in order to achieve this vision? Ford focuses on behaviors, habits and choices that help you to become the person you hope to be. I love Ford’s question, ” At the end of the day our life is in our hands. What will you do with yours?”
This is an older book, but it is still wise and relevant today. Berman helps you discover what you really want in life and then offers practical, exercises, check-lists, and concrete actions to help you give yourself what you want. Fortgang operates from the premise that deep down, you already know what needs to change in your life, this book helps you to do the work.
Parker Palmer is among the wisest people I have ever met. This is not a loud or flashy book filled with actionable to-do items for how to lead a better life. Instead, it is a quiet, reflective conversation as Palmer shares his own stories as examples of how examining your life can to lead you to follow your natural talents and limitations. If you are willing to do some soul-searching, Palmer can guide you to find meaning and understand your own life.
I hope you find this list useful and helpful in inspiring you to meet your goals this year.
What other books have you found to be helpful as you create your ideal life? I would love to hear about them in the comments.
Michele Meier Vosberg, Ph.D. is an educator, freelance writer and speaker. She is redesigning her life to live more simply, happily and well, and working to help others do the same. She lives and works in Madison, Wisconsin and blogs at http://liferedesign101.com.