February 27, 2015

Improving Me Book Review - Living Well Spending Less

I started reading this book in January because of a book club challenge with Blog Bliss an amazing community for bloggers that want a little support with improving their lives.... if your a blogger you should check it out! Anyways I fell in love with the book the second it showed up on my door step. Not only is the cover really pretty but it is soft... I know that sounds weird! Anyways! The material inside is life changing so I couldn't help but share!

There is so much I have taken away from this book that I know I will be referring to its pages often for reminders and inspiration. 

The challenges Ruth has at the end of each chapter are ones that make you stop & really evaluate your life and your goals. Here are the 12 challenges:

1. Define your good life
2. Choose Contentment 
3. Identify your sweet spot
4. Plan your long term vision
5. Take back your time
6. Purge your excess stuff
7. Freeze your spending
8. Establish a family budget
9. Save on food
10. Clean your house
11. Embrace the things that matter most 
12. Share the Good Life

The chapter I loved the most was "We all get the same 24 hours" or the #5 challenge above. She asks:

"What if self-discipline & time management skills are something that can be strengthened over time? What if self-control is not an innate character trait bestowed on a select few but something we all need to develop? What if willpower is actually a finite quality, one that runs out over the course of the day? Wouldn't that change the game? Wouldn't we want to be sure we used our energies well?

She then goes on to discuss self-discipline & goals & setting good habits, while breaking bad ones. She asks this:

"Do our choices match our calling - our vision, goals, passion & dreams?"

I can honestly answer yes to this question about 60% of the time my choices do match my goals but I struggle in rising early & I'm a pretty excellent procrastinator. 

In the "Spending Less" section she gives you budgeting & shopping tips. Access to free printables for couponing & how to save as well as homemade recipes for cleaners, etc. 

There are many things I will be incorporating into my daily life. All brought on by reading Ruth's book. Here are a couple I'll be focusing on right now.

1. "have daily conversations about the blessings in our lives & the things we are grateful for. We call it our Attitude for Gratitude." This is something I want to do with my girls.

2. Make daily tasks/habits that will get you to your goals. I have already started breaking my big goals down into daily & weekly tasks and am working on my habits such as reading scriptures daily and taking the time to ponder/meditate. 

3. Visualize & write down my future success. I have done this already but I am realizing that I need to be more specific. Especially when it comes to how I feel in the future. One of the printables she offers for free is the Goal Workbook I already have my copy and am excited to use it!

4. I'm also going to accept the challenge to make a commitment for 1 week to get up 30 minutes earlier every day & spend that time working on one of my major goals! I love my sleep right now being 36 weeks pregnant but I can see the HUGE benefit of doing this! Hopefully it will set the tone for after baby girl arrives as well! 

The last 2 chapters "Best things in life are free" & "We get more when we give" just top off an amazing read & unbelievable inspiration to continue improving & live the good life! She says:

"Inspiration is everywhere, although sometimes it is just a matter of opening our eyes to see the beauty right in front of us... the Good Life is one of service. It is based on who we are rather than what we have."

I highly recommend you get your own copy of this book to read & grow from! And no I do NOT have any affiliation with the sells of this book I just sincerely enjoyed it & learned a lot. 

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