OK, I’ll admit it—I like self-help books. Here’s why: I don’t expect them to change my life. Or even the next month. I do expect a good self-help book to have at least one solid idea that can help me see a situation, a habit, or a person in a different way.
A book that gives me a fresh perspective is a book that may move my decision-making machinery in a new direction, one that helps me make better decisions.
Ann LeFevre’s book, Live Your Life, 14 Days to the Best You, takes an interesting approach to self-help. In addition to taking a holistic approach, there is a lot of support, including a downloadable workbook (url is listed in the introduction, another reason to read those.)
In each of the 14 days of the book, you get stories from LeFevre’s own life (which makes the book seem human and the tasks seem achievable. Each chapter has “Thinking Points,” and “Action Items” which allow you to take the lesson and make it yours, just for your goal.
Each chapter is a day, but it can be a week for you, or a month. The book (paperback) is a slim 130 pages, and you can set the pace that works for you. You might find some of it challenging, but that’s the point, right? If your life is not working now, reading a challenging book will seem like the perfect excuse to blow it off. Dig in instead.
Here’s a sampling of the chapters:
- Silence the Voices (Yep, she believes in the inner critic, too!)
- Stay the Course (Making a commitment isn’t hard, keeping it is.)
- Start Somewhere, Anywhere (Dealing with the overwhelmed feeling.)
- Just Breathe (Dealing with stress.)
- Show Yourself Compassion (With the imposter feeling, shame, or guilt)
- Let it Go (Making space in your home and your life.)
- Find Balance (in everything, from bad habits to good)
- Look for Opportunities (you save yourself, no one comes to do it for you.)
- Do it Anyway
Was there any part of this book I didn’t like? Sure. I ran across a few grammar errors and they always trip me up (because I teach grammar and am sensitized to it). There are also a few thoughts that contradict each other, but not in the same chapter.
For example, in one chapter, a cruel professor berates LeFevre (as grad student) for “not being born brilliant . . . you are just a hard worker. . .” In that crushing blow, the professor defines brilliant as the ability to have abstract connections among ideas or emotions. In another chapter, LeFevre advises ridding your space of items that are not necessary, vital, or have a specific purpose. Those are pretty concrete definitions, and don’t leave much room for emotional attachment and just plain liking, but not loving, an item. Those abstract ideas become important in this chapter.
None of those bring down the ability of the book to help. But if I’m reviewing a book, it’s a good balance to point to things I don’t like as well as those that do. These few small imbalances don’t tilt the scale. It’s firmly in the “helpful” category.
The Giveaway, Part 1: On Friday, February 23, 2018, I’ll give the book away. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog. You don’t have to give a reason, just let me know you want the book. I’ll do a random drawing. Winners will come from the continental U.S. for this drawing.
The Giveaway, Part 2: I’m a coach, both a life coach and a creativity coach. I’m giving away three, one-hour coaching sessions, one session to each of three people. There is no obligation, no pressure, no sales pitch and it’s free. Leave a comment. This is in addition to the book giveaway.
Let me know in the comments that you want to try a coaching session. I will do a separate drawing for the book and the coaching sessions, so if you want to try for both, you can do it all in one comment.
- If you are a current or past coaching client of mine, please let someone new try out for the coaching.
- Winner must be able to call me in Phoenix at an agreed-upon time.
- Winners must have phone numbers from the continental U.S.
- Winners must be able to speak to a reason they want coaching–not in the comment. If you are one of the winners, I’ll be asking you.
The book was given to me to review. I am not paid for the review or compensated for the free coaching sessions.
Winners of the giveaway: Kelly Harms has won Ann LeFevre’s book, Live Your Life, 14 Days to the Best You. Winners of the coaching sessions are: Cynthia Pepper, Linda Marsh and Lynn Thompson. Congratulations to the winners! You’ll be hearing from me for details.
—Quinn McDonald is a writer who teaches writing; she is a life- and creativity coach.