Tuesday, January 15, 2019

12 Books in 12 Months: A Year of Books for Moms & Teacher-Preneurs

Hi Friends!

Any other avid readers out there? I've always loved reading, but as I've gotten older, responsibilities started mounting up, and two kids joined our ranks, I've had to be much more intentional about carving out "me time," which also includes time to read. I enjoy many different genres including, but not limited to, mysteries, Christian-fiction, historical fiction, fantasy (Harry Potter & Twilight, anyone?), and adventure when I'm reading just for fun. There's nothing better than curling up with a hot cup of coffee and an extra-soft blanket, and getting swept away in a good book! Here lately; however, I've found a lot of joy and motivation from reading more inspirational and business-related books!

At the beginning of each year, I like to set new goals for the year. These aren't generally big goals, but rather smaller "short-term" goals if you will to help me reach bigger goals. One of the goals I sent for myself this year is to read one book a month (at least). I'm not just a book lover...I'm a book collector! I'm constantly buying new books or adding books to my list when someone suggests one, so I already had quite the stack that needed to be read. I looked over my yearly goals and chose 12 books that I felt like would fit in nicely with my goals for 2019, and I'm going to work my way through these 12 over the course of the year. You can see which books I chose below:

Some of these books are teacher-related, some are business-related, some are related to life style, some motherhood, and even some financial. A few of these I've read before and felt like I needed to read them again, and ALL of them come highly recommended by a lot of really important people. The complete list with their affiliate links are below:

1. Grace Not Perfection, by Emily Ley
2. A Simplified Life, by Emily Ley
3. Girl Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis
4. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell
5. Building a Storybrand, by Donald Miller
6. Female Chauvinist Pigs, by Ariel Levy
7. She Wins, You Win by Gail Evans
8. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki 
9. The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson
10. You're a Bad*** at Making Money, by Jen Sincero
11. What Got You Here Won't Get You There, by Marshall Goldsmith
12. Teaching With Love and Logic, by Fay & Funk

13. Hanging In: Strategies for Teaching the Students Who Challenge Us the Most, by Benson
14. Walking With God in the Season of Motherhood, by Kruger
15. Awakened, by Angela Watson 
16. Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill

The plan is a review each one on my Instastories as I read through it, so if you're interested in following along with my instastory book reviews, be sure to follow me (@whitneyslp) on Instagram! (I'll save the books to my highlights in case you want to go back to them!)

First up, Grace Not Perfection, by Emily Ley! (I've read this one before, but this time I'm going all in with my highlighter!!)

Have you read any amazing business-related or life-style/self-help books lately? Or have you read any of these?  I'd love to hear what you think!!

Monday, January 7, 2019

One Word: 2019

Happy New Year, friends!

About 5-6 years ago, my family read One Word That Will Change Your Life, by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon. We loved the idea of choosing a word to focus on for the year instead of goals/resolutions that we had a hard time sticking with. We started a tradition of meeting on January 1st (we're already together because it's also my birthday), and reviewing our word for the previous year, discussing what worked, what didn't, how we thought we did with our word, etc. and then revealing our new words and any thoughts behind our new word to our family members. I love this sweet tradition because not only does it give family members the opportunity to hold us accountable and check in from time to time to see how our new words are going (we try and meet once a quarter), but it also allows people the chance to speak into each other's' lives about things we may not have even realized or things we did well that we ourselves had forgotten about! It's such a sweet tradition that I look forward to now at the start of each new year.

I won't bore you with all my words from the past several years, but I will tell you that my goal last year was Grace. Actually, it was more of a phrase: Grace, not Perfection. I'm as type A as they come. Also known as 100% Type 1 on the Enneagram. (Click here if you have no idea what that is and are interested.)  Now, I happen to think that Type A people are awesome, but we are known to have a (ahem *few*) flaws. One of the most difficult things for me is rest. True rest. Like, where I'm not actually doing something while I'm "resting" kind of rest. (Does anyone else not ever "watch" tv but just listen to it as you work around the house or work on the laptop?!?!)

Even when I'm resting, I'm usually discontent and thinking about what all I could be doing. Positives: I enjoy working. I get a lot done. I'm successful because I hustle. Negatives: I'm tired a lot. I get frustrated easily when things don't go as planned. I sometimes have agendas that annoy my family. And I have been known to struggle when things aren't perfect.

I've been on a mission over the past year to work on that. To give others AND myself Grace. To work hard and strive for greatness, yes, but to also relax. To enjoy life and be present.

It was a difficult word for me to choose. Especially when I have A LOT I want to accomplish. But I feel like made good progress (as evidenced by the fact that we're a week into January and my Christmas decor is still up!)

2018 was a good year. When I simplified my life in a lot of areas, gave myself and others grace, took time to relax and regroup, and allowed myself the freedom to put down the to-do list for a little bit, an interesting thing happened: I found peace while also dreaming up some pretty big goals for the future. I learned that sometimes you need a break. Instead of doing all the things, you need to step back and reexamine things to determine what really matters. Then you can get clarity on your next steps....even if that means you're headed down a path you'd never have imagined before while you were too busy doing everything to find the time to dream!

With my newfound peace and clarity (just to be clear, I still need reminders from time to time to chill out), I'm entering 2019 with an incredible amount of drive, motivation, and determination. Now that I've identified my biggest goals and have developed a plan, it's time to implement my new word for 2019: TRUST!

I believe wholeheartedly that the Lord has brought forth some desires of my heart that I didn't really dare to admit before. I believe that He is calling me to pursue some dreams that I used to think were too big. It's not going to be easy, and it will definitely require lots of hustling. Sometimes big dreams and change can be scary, but I'm relying on this verse to go along with my word this year: 

When I am afraid, I put my TRUST in you. Psalms 56:3 

I'm so excited for 2019. I can't wait to share some new and exciting things with you soon, and as always, I'm so humbled and honored that you choose to follow along with my little part of the speech world.

One more thing: There is a local jewelry artist in my hometown that makes gorgeous handmade jewelry. Each year, she runs a campaign in the month of January for a ONE WORD jewelry line. You can purchase necklaces and bracelets with your word on them as a constant reminder of your word throughout the year. I've bought one each year, and I love having something tangible to remind me of my words over the years! She currently has a discount code for all of the One Word jewelry items that runs through January 31, 2019. All of the One Word items are 50% off now through the end of January! You can use the code DUSTMADE to get free shipping on all orders $35+! Just go to www.dustmade.com to shop! Here's a picture taken from their site that shows one kind of the dainty necklaces!

Do you choose a word for each year? If so, I'd love to know what your word is! 

PS: Affiliate links are included in this post, k?