2016 was a good a year for me in so many ways. It wasn't without some major challenges, but I worked hard at making some healthy changes in my life.  I learned that healthy changes don't always mean food and nutrition. Healthy changes can include emotional growth, spiritual development, and learning to set good goals. 

One thing that has helped me through some major and minor obstacles in my life is reading. I love to read. I always have. I am constantly on the lookout for good book, especially nonfiction. 

I picked up some great nonfiction this year. Six of these books really had an impact on my life. These books helped me through some mental barriers and forced me to think outside the box. As a result, I have less clutter in my home, growth in my business, better nutrition, and so much more. 

Would you like to make some changes to your life this year? Check out the 6 books that changed my life in 2016.

David Schwartz believes that the secret to financial security, influence, and a happy life lies within our thoughts. This wildly popular book isn't just fluff, but real practical advice on how to set goals and make them happen. David gives sound advice for how our thought patterns dictate success in many areas of our life and how we can overcome destructive habits. It is full of one-liners I can't stop thinking of each day. A must read for an influencer or entrepreneur. 

I heard about this book from Ruth @ EBA. After I read this book, I threw out my business goals and started fresh. I got really focused on a few BIG things I wanted to do. I realized I was too distracted my a lot of little things I really needed to let go. Those things were holding my business back and I knew it. I can now work with focused intensity and not in fear of getting it all done. 

Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours, collected hour-by-hour time sheets from women who make $100,000 a year or more. She found some fascinating things about the lives of these women. Contrary to popular belief, these high earning women worked less and slept more than you would think. They spent quality time with their spouses and kids. They worked out and maintained friendships. Laura includes their time logs in the book as well as tips and trick she has learned from these women. 

In life, you can be unhappy or you can change things. And even if there are things you can't change, you can often change your mind-set and question assumptions that are making life less good than it could be.

I really enjoyed this book and resonated with much of it. The quote above is everything I am learning right now I as I am working more. It probably deserves a whole post itself! I think Laura hits all the right places in this book emphasizing that we probably can't have it all, but we can change the things we can control. Amen.

In 2016, I started delegating the majority of the housework and cooking to each family member. My oldest son does a lot of cooking. All my kids do their own laundry. Brad and I split the cooking, grocery shopping, and meal planning 50/50. We use Target in-store pickup and Amazon prime whenever we can. 

I realized I couldn't work and keep up with all the home responsibilities anymore. I was stressed and miserable. It has been fun to work together and my kids are learning valuable life skills while I get to spend time with them. It is a win-win. Get this book here.

In The Happiness Advantage, Achor leans on his years in happiness research to tell us the secrets to increasing happiness.  Have you ever wondered: What truly makes us happy? How do we cultivate happiness? Does success lead to happiness? Are some people more genetically predisposed to happiness? The answers are surprising and not what I would have thought. Achor covers all these questions with engaging stories and super practical tips. This isn't' a research paper, but a guide to the truth about happiness. It is entertaining and helpful. 

I wrote a post about this book here but in 2016 I changed my mental game in so many ways. I focused more on positive things. I got good rest. This book made me think and work on so many things. I was definitely happier in 2016.

Peter Scazzero, husband and pastor, discovered the hard way you can't grow spiritually unless you grow emotionally. With candid stories and grounded truth, Scazzero hits all the right points in this book. He talks about the 10 symptoms of emotionally unhealthy spirituality and how to really grow spiritually. Being a long-time ministry spouse, this book really hit home for me. It helped me put a name to all the inconsistencies and frustration I've observed in ministry leadership and community. In the same way, it has really challenged me to make sure I"m growing in healthy ways, not superficial ones. Put this book on your list of "MUST READS" for next year. 

I finally got a copy of Kondo's book from the library. A quick read, Kondo gives a rigorous approach to clutter management. She walks her readers through how to eliminate clutter once and for all.  She believes in the elimination approach to clutter BEFORE organization. The second half of the book walks you through a step-by-step approach to the most common clutter areas.

I read this book in 2015 but didn't really do anything with it. It is one of those books that you can't stop thinking of long after you read it. In 2016, I finally had the space to get rid of things. I used what I read in Kondo's book and have almost gone through every room of our house. Clutter was my enemy in 2016 and I am so glad I went after it! My house is easier to clean and peaceful. I am grateful. 

I have been following the green smoothie gals in Instagram for years. I made green smoothies on and off for about 2 years. This summer I finally bought their book. I was skeptical because their Instagram has so much information. I love this book. We have it out in our kitchen at all times. My daughter uses it to make smoothies. She makes one every morning before school. I have had a green smoothie every weekday morning for months now. I feel better and have more energy. This book is worth a buy. Keep it out in your kitchen for inspiration!


What books have changed your life? Let us know!


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