Happy 2010 (and a book suggestion)

The Mr. and our dog, walking up Mt. Tabor on Christmas day.

This year has been a good stretch for me. Right now, I feel genuinely appreciative of all that I have and all that I accomplished this year. My husband and I bought our first home in 2009, got our finances together, I started this blog and, for the first time in my life, I have specific long-term goals and plans. I’m especially grateful for the health of my friends and family. All-in-all, I feel very blessed.

I don’t really have resolutions for 2010 just yet. Maybe I will in the weeks ahead. I feel like 2009 was a paradigm-shifting year in many regards for me, so really I’d just like to refine my new habits and goals and continue towards them in 2010. I want to keep creating a healthy financial picture, a comfortable home, five-times-a-week blog posts, and more DIY projects for home and gifts. I’d like to get back to painting and exercising more, so those are certainly goals to work towards.

In the spirit of the New Year I’m going to recommend a somewhat off-topic book. If you’re looking for a way to jump-start your year and you’re feeling open to change, I highly recommend The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

Now, I don’t really enjoy or subscribe to self-help books for the most part. On the few occasions I’ve picked them up, I last about twenty pages before sentencing the book to the “donate or sell” pile. Self-help books just aren’t my cup of tea. I generally find them boring and condescending. Except for this one.

Seven Habits is not new. It was first published in 1989. Many of you have probably already heard of it or read it. But it did change my life, so I’m willing to go out on a limb a bit. Here were my takeaways from this book (everyone’s will be different):

  • Relationships are fundamentally peaceful.
  • Most people pay little mind to the details of my life.
  • I can be open.
  • I can behave in more trustworthy ways.
  • I want to understand.
  • I like peaceful interactions and collaborations.
  • Love is a verb.

I should be clear, these are not the messages of this book. In fact, I believe it is marketed primarily as a business book. These were just my takeaways. They are simple paradigms that have dramatically re-directed the way I live my life. The book and the “habits” led me to these conclusions, but didn’t dictate them. If you read this book, your takeaways will be different. And that’s why this book is as good as it is. You have to make it relevant to your life and your goals. It’s not really an easy formula or prescription. It’s a model that you can make your own, to further your own goals, and better your quality of life and the lives of others.

So, that’s it for my off-topic post. I’ll be back to blogging about decorating, cooking, budgeting, and DIYing on Monday. I’ll also be sharing pictures of my new dining room paint color next week. Happy 2010!

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3 Responses to Happy 2010 (and a book suggestion)

  1. Oh I second the book suggestion! I read that a couple years ago and thought it was full of really helpful tips for figuring out where to spend your time to be most effective. That’s one on my to re-read list!

  2. MM says:

    My take on a great self help book is how long it has been around. When one has been around as long as this one, it has stood the test of time and a wide and varied audience.

    I’m currently re-reading Scott Peck’s A Road Less Traveled. It is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary and I’m finding that I’m taking new things away in this reading than I took when I read it about 20 years ago.

    Thanks, Lindsay, for the off topic post. I have a new book to look for!

  3. Lindsay says:

    Elizabeth and MM – I can imagine I’ll want to re-read this at various stages in my life. He also has one, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families that I plan to pick up sometime too.

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