fun fact, when i was little i went through a phase where i was obsessed with reading. i’d spend hours tucked away in a little bean-bag chair at the library, nose deep in a book.
then when it got to about middle school, all the way through to college i was not a fan of delving into a book. it felt like a chore!
i am thinking it’s because as we get older through school we relate reading to homework, and at that age, who loved diving into homework?! no thanks!
but right after i graduated college i got back into reading for enjoyment.
and currently, am an avid reader and have been for years.
books, of any genre, are meant to teach you something. for you to leave them either learning something new about yourself, about others, new vocabulary, new views on the world, sad, happy, excited.. so many great things come from reading!
as of the past 2-3 years i’ve been very much into reading ‘self-help’ or ‘self-growth’ books (what’s the real term?!), spiritual books (not religious) and books on how to simply just be a better person every single day.
my goal is to finish 3 books every 4 weeks. sometimes it’s 5 books, sometimes it’s 2 books within that 4 week period. but no matter what, i always promise myself to at least read 10 minutes a day, a minimum!
i’ve mentioned in the past how important my morning routine is to me and that it’s priority on my list to complete it fully or i won’t be able to give 110% to others if i don’t focus on my self-growth and happiness first thing in the morning.
part of my routine is to set a timer post-meditation and gratitude journaling and read for 30 minutes. i literally set a timer on my phone, nothing fancy, and open up my book and get to it.
the moment that timer goes off, the book gets closed. or i could read for hours, amen?!
then before bed, i do the same thing – but for usually 45 minutes to an hour. as i don’t watch t.v. this time comes easy for me before bed. it helps wind down the mind!
the morning book is always something about business, entrepreneurship, motivational, self-growth, something to be me jazzed for the day and pumped up before i open up my computer or do any work.
the night time book is more revolved around either spiritual, nutrition, something that won’t exactly get me pumped up for life or i won’t get any sleep and will just want to start executing new ideas within my business!
if you follow me on snapchat (@tayloredfitness), i am constantly sharing what my current reads are, my trips to the library, (opening boxes from amazon because the book i was in the middle of reading got pre-booked by someone else so i bought it immediately! how dare they?!) and 2 weeks ago i did a little book review about the ones i completed the 4 weeks prior. and you all seemed to absolutely love it!
by seeing how many people screen shot the books i read, and the response of the verbal review i figured doing an online review every 4 weeks of the books i complete will be beneficial to all!
because self-growth and self-improvement is so incredibly important to living a happier and more successful life. whatever your definition is of either, they’re both very key and don’t just come naturally, you must learn and execute the tools!
so without further adue… here is your first..
What Taylor Read
which i actually got in 5, because 2 of them were really easy reads.
and i can promise i’ll be 100% honest which will hopefully allow you to decide which books you need to bring into your life, or take off the ‘gotta read’ list because of my thoughts on it.
which you’ll be surprised below which one i recommend you don’t bother, but is so popular right now!!
in no particular order…
13 things mentally strong people don’t do by amy morin
this was actually my second time reading this book and i absolutely recommend it times a million! the author goes over 13 things that confident, successful and mentally-happy people don’t do, so that way if they’re on the list of things you do, you can learn tools on how to shift them and not do them. for example: “they don’t focus on things they can’t control” is #4. who gets anxious at the thought of something in their mind regarding the future? maybe you applied for a job and you keep thinking “omg i’m not going to get it” or “i’m never going to lose these extra 10lbs”, or anything where you’re assuming the end result in the future and you just wish you could control the outcome? sound familiar? everyone does it, but you need to learn to get out of that mindset and back into the present. letting go of the need to control your future, because guess what? you can’t! you can only focus on what’s at hand right now, that’s it.
she also goes over people pleasing, resentment of others, expecting immediate results, and soooo many more things that we can all relate to and learn how to stop doing so we can all live a happier and more fulfilled life!
so yes, get this book. read it 3 times through then give it to someone you care about!
the mindful manifesto by dr. jonty heaversedge and ed halliwell
ok, so this one got a low score from me because after reading the subtitle “how doing less and noticing more can help us thrive in a stressed out world” i was disappointed that it really didn’t share the tools i was expecting to be within. the book goes over the scientific facts, findings and tests done to people who practice mindfulness and meditation on a regular basis. i have been meditating and practicing mindfulness for over 4 years so i personally am pretty well informed on the science behind the benefits of meditation (which are amazing) so this book was kind of a little ‘boring’ for me, but if you are new to meditating or what to learn more about it and the major benefits of it then i do recommend this book for you. as it really does share some great case studies to see how much mediation and mindfulness can really make a major positive impact on your daily life. but all in all, i was happy when i hit the last page.
big magic by elizabeth gilbert
i know i know…. this book is all over social media and has great reviews online.. blah blah blah… so i was indeed so excited to get my hands on this book after reading all the hype on it!! i want to start off by saying i understand that the ‘point’ of any book can be applied to anyone in any situation… that you’re supposed to take it and sort of shift it around to fit your life and for you to relate it to your journey and yourself. but i just couldn’t with this book. i was loving it through the 1st half… turning each page waiting for it to ‘begin’… and it never did.
she’s a writer and an artist and pretty much just talked about her history of her ‘big magic’ on always sticking to her dream of becoming a writer and her passion behind it. never wanting ‘success’ to be what drove her but to appreciate the little things along the way. she gave examples of other friends who dropped out of wanting to become a writer because they weren’t finding their ‘big magic’ and having immediate success, but she hung in there.. she talked about how meeting different authors and some coincidences with them and they were always her ‘sign’ that she was on the right path and sticking to writing. it referred so many times to being in art school, and to never give up. it was really redundant and again, i know the point was for you to leave feeling inspired and “wanting that big magic moment to happen to me” thing – but i found she made herself really not relatable by always talking about her different approaches with starting a new book, or a new project. so if you’re a writer and you want some extra motivation to stay on course and never give up with your passion and need to hear that over and over… then this book is for you!
i appreciate the topic, because everyone deserves to create a life around their passion no matter what their passion is. i just found this to be somewhat boring. i guess the thousands and millions of others who have raved about this book don’t – but to each their own, ha!
the compound effect by darren hardy
i absolutely loved this book for one main reason: at the end of each chapter he does a full page on what he went over. like action steps. because you know when you go through a book, love everything you’re reading and excited to put those tools into place in your life, but then forget over half of them?! you won’t with this book because he lays everything out for you at the end of each chapter so you can either take a photo of it, write them down, ear mark them, whatever works best for you.
now onto what the book is about: how important daily actions, habits and rituals are to building a happy life and a successful business. he goes over the importance of a morning routine (ah hem!), how to break bad habits and create new ones: ie if you spend too much money on clothing he gives tips on how to stop that habit.. there’s tons of charts and hands-on ‘activities’ to do within the book. how to set goals and approach them one by one so you get the most out of them. my favorite chapter was probably about gaining momentum in your life and just riding with it. vs. wanting to control the future, being present in the project you’re working on and keeping at it will roll into other projects and the success of them as well. when i say projects, i mean anything in life not just business.
little tiny actions you make daily add up to big ones!
definitely read this book if you need some motivation and a jumpstart to creating a life you want to live and love to life!
vagabonding by rolf potts
this has been on my ‘must read’ list for years and am so happy i finally bought it and read. it’s all about long-term traveling “vagabonding” and how to do it successfully so you can get the most out of your time, money and the tools to do so. being a tourist vs. being a vagabonder is a big difference and he goes over them in depth. like instead of going on a guided set-up tour through a company, choose to stay at a local bed and breakfast and wonder the town on your own to really see what their culture is like and what the location has to offer. my favorite tip i got was to get one of the brochures where they recommend the top 5 hotels (or restaurants) to go to in that area and don’t go to them.. because that means there’s a hidden gem somewhere in that town that’s 10x better who just didn’t have the money to put themselves into that brochure. brilliant right?!
he also explains how to travel on a tight budget, what you need to pack, and so many more insightful tips about taking the plunge and getting outside of your bubble!
anyone with wanderlust.. and ready to take action or needs the push to take action to travel more, read this book!!
so there you have it!! what i read and my thoughts! setting aside time to grow your mind, your heart and yourself is not selfish, it’s key to being able to build a happier life which means happier people around you because you have the tools and heart to do so!
make a promise to yourself to finish 1 book every 2 weeks or every 3 weeks.. just keep that mind learning ya’ll!