The Change Your Life Challenge

I have read many self help books over the years - I get flooded with them in review requests. It seems like entire world needs help getting their life in order. I really did find "The Change Your Life Challenge" by Brook Noel to be different and refreshing.

The Change Your Life Challenge First, Brook makes it very clear that you must actually DO the activities she is telling you to do. You might think that was self evident! However, she says that many people read books like this intending to "someday" do the work, and they never get around to it, so obviously nothing changes. She reminds you in very strong terms to STOP and do the exercise. Nothing will change without you making that effort. It really does help! I stopped and grabbed a pad of paper and did the exercises. And yes, she's right, it made a big difference.

Brook has checklists and examples to walk you through exactly how to set up priorities in your own life, how to determine your goals, and how to start moving towards them. Everyone has different goals - family, career, health, etc. - and that is fine. We all need to figure out what our PERSONAL goals are and then make progress towards them.

Brook recommends always having a physical, actual notebook with you. Have it on you 24 hours a day. This is not because she hates electronics! It is because the physical act of writing something down really connects with the brain. You start to involve all your senses. She has you write - and re-write - your to-do lists every day. Why? Isn't this tedious? Actually it reinforces in your brain to actually DO something. If you write down 20 days in a row "clean the kitchen" then finally you just sit down and do it. If it's just a line on your BlackBerry you are far more likely to ignore it.

She wants you to keep your long term list separately. As she says, you need a map of where you're going occasionally, so you know you're heading in the right direction, but you need to watch the ROAD. Your short term list is your road. Your long term list is where you want to end up. Both have to be accurate! You wouldn't want to fill your short term list with random stuff that, in the end, sent you in the wrong direction. Only work on things that you really have meaning for.

You should focus on three main things each day - get those things done! Other junk can come and go, but if you get three main things accomplished every day you can really get through a lot. Shake your addiction to simply being "busy". Being busy with no meaning is a waste of your time. Instead, focus on specific things and get them accomplished.

How you start your day can really affect your entire day. Find a way to have a moment of calm, a focus on peace, an inspirational quote. If you are calm and relaxed your entire day can go well. If you are stressed and angry not only does your own health suffer but so does everyone you run into.

If a new task comes into your world, really ponder it. Don't just say 'yes' because it's easy. Anything you say 'yes' to damages the other things already in your life! It's well worth it to say "sorry maybe another time" and maintain the quality of what you already do. For things already on your list which you dislike, schedule an "ugly day". Focus on getting through those unpleasant tasks and cross them off! At the end of the day, take a moment to write down things you are grateful for. It can really help you focus on what went well and prepare you for a good sleep and a wonderful next day.

Brook has a series of mini-makeovers each dedicated to a certain kind of task. She talks you through cleaning, family relations and much more, helping you get your world in order. There are lots of great, simple tips that can really make a difference in how your daily life goes.

I found a wealth of great information in this book and highly recommend it!

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