I’ve loved reading since I was little.

In my twenties, I became a fan of nonfiction…..something about “adulting” created an unmistakable draw toward the self-help section 😉

Put me in a bookstore and I’ll skip the fiction; instead I’ll spend hours browsing the self-help, business, and diet/health sections.

The Problem

There are so many great books and authors. How do you choose?

If you’re like me, you end up standing in the aisle, arms filled with books, completely deluding yourself that you are going to read them all. By Tuesday.

If you’re looking for your next “gonna change everything” book, let me help you out a bit.

When I look back on the books I’ve read, several stand out as transformational.

Here are six authors that made a measurable, and lasting, impact:

  1. Stephen Covey (For success in all areas of life)

The book: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Dr. Covey’s principles are timeless; the older I get, the more applications they have to life.

My favorite of the seven habits: “Be proactive.”

Who’s in charge of your life? You are.

When you take accountability for your choices in life, and the outcomes, everything changes. His other habits are good too, but “getting” this one is the foundation for all the others.

  1. Dave Ramsey (How to win with money)

The book: The Total Money Makeover

When you can’t handle money,  life is waaayyy more difficult. I’ve lived it, and it’s no fun. And let’s face it; if you can’t handle personal finances, how are you going to handle business finances?

If you struggle in this area, Dave Ramsey’s principles are right on the money.

If you’re early in your adult life, read Dave’s books. Please! I have two words for you: Mathematical explosion.”  (The years are in your favor; I promise).

If you’re already in a financial mess and ready for the way out, read his books.

I would shout it from the rooftops if I wouldn’t get funny stares. Seriously. He knows what he’s talking about.

We intend to be debt-free in two years; the hubby and I are on Baby Step 2 of the plan. And it works. As Dave would say, we’re going to change our family tree.

  1. Dan Miller (For inspiration to do what you love)

The book: 48 Days to the Work You Love

This book opened my eyes to the possibilities in life. It started me thinking “What if….”

And believing in the possibilities comes right before big things happening. I took two “baby leaps” because of it, and now I’m confident that I’m moving in a direction that’s going to be huge.

  1. Greg McKeown (For focusing on what matters most)

The book: Essentialism

This book inspired me to action. However, I’m still working on the the transformation.

My big struggle in life is focus.

I think that many of us struggle with this. There are so many good things, and you can’t do them all. You just can’t.

Deciding what is most important is key.

This book gave me the insight needed to close a failing business. My heart wasn’t in it; and I realized I was spending time and energy on something I hated, for zero return. It was craziness.

Do you have something in your life you need to cut out, to make room for something that truly inspires you? If so, this book is a good one for you.

  1. Dr. Henry Cloud (For personal and business growth through relationships)

The book: The Power of the Other

Because of it this book, I can recognize what makes a healthy relationship and know how to cultivate it. Once you experience a “Corner 4” relationship, in your personal or professional life, you’ll know it, and you’ll seek it.

The action it inspired in business: I jumped at the chance to join a “Mastermind” group of likeminded women.

Through the right kind of relationships we can grow in ways beyond our own capabilities. We will go much farther and much faster.

  1.  Brene Brown (For courage to do big things, with authenticity)

The book: Rising Strong

Brene Brown writes about “being brave, leaning into vulnerability, and rumbling with the challenges that come with living a daring life.”

On the first page of Rising Strong, she uses three powerful words: authenticity, courage, and joy-things we all need more of in our lives. If you’re recovering from any kind of life struggle, and in need of insight and strength, Brene Brown is an author to check out.

The action it inspired: Taking chances. Big ones. Toward living a courageous, authentic life.

You know how some people pick a word to define their year?

For 2017, I choose “courage.”

A Look Forward

Two new books are on my reading list for the first quarter of 2017: The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington, and Mindset by Carol Dweck. I’ve got an inkling that they are going to be transformational too.

If you’re a fellow non-fiction fan looking to overcome obstacles (especially the ones created by your own mindset) and achieve great things this year, I hope you’ll join me in the Facebook Growth Mindset Book Club! It’s a supportive group where we read great books, take action towards our goals, and celebrate our weekly wins. Hope to see you there 🙂

What’s your word for next year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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