Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How to get inspired for 2009...

I love being inspired. I have to admit, I am some what of a self-help junkie, but not the typical self-help stuff. I like the ones that really try and improve you or inspire you to follow your dreams. So today, I thought I would put together a list of books and blogs that truly inspire me. 

1. O Magazine. This magazine is always full of good stuff. Articles that make me think and want to be a better person. I love the variety, the book suggestions, and just the general style of the magazine. I nearly always come away from the magazine having gained something and January's issue is no exception. I was most impressed however, with Oprah talking about how she has gained weight again. She was so open and honest about it, and for someone in her position to be willing to open up like that is huge. I admire her for being human and going through life's ups and downs. I hope her attempts at a healthier life are successful for 2009. I know she is inspiring me to be successful!!

2. You Can Do It - The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls by Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas. It's basically a book of badges that you can earn, in all sorts of different areas. Learn to take a really good picture, go parachuting. There's all kinds of stuff in there, basically encouraging you to follow your dreams.

3. How To Think Like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael J Gelb. It's a book full of exercises designed to expand your mind, develop your senses and try new things. It's fantastic and you learn a lot about one of humanities greatest thinkers as well. 

4. Simplify Your Life - 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter by Elaine St James. There are all sorts of decluttering type suggestions for various facets of life. It's a great jumping off point for making life about what really matters.

5. 1000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz. I love travelling and there are so many cool places I'd like to see. I have a list, but it seems to get longer every year. Luckily, I have been able to accomplish some of my goals, like walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. Silly, I know, but it was really neat to do!! The website has great stuff on it too. 

6. The Beginning Runner's Handbook by Ian MacNeill and The Sport Medicine Council of British Columbia. It's a great book for anyone who has ever wanted to start running. It was designed for people who have either never run, or who haven't run in awhile. It's great. It reduces the likelihood of injuries by slowly building running into a program. I intend to use it in about 5 or 6 weeks, whenever I get the all clear to start exercising again after my surgery. 

7. Zen Habits. It's a fantastic blog with ideas to make your life simple and more productive. It's written by a guy who used to be overweight and smoke, and has since become a vegetarian who no longer smokes and now runs marathons. It's very inspiring. My husband actually found this blog and I've been addicted ever since, and one of the most recent posts "The Single Secret To Making 2009 Your Best Year Ever" was fantastic. I highly recommend you check it out. 

8. Marc and Angel Hack Life. This is another website about productive living. They have had all sorts of neat posts. Books you should read before you turn 30, things to do before you have kids, questions to ask yourself every Sunday, really good stuff, and it just makes you inspired to want to do things. 

9. On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman. Okay, this gives away the fact that my life often revolves around my 2 year old, but it's a great book. It's all about different things in nature that happened on the night you were born (geese honking, lady bugs staying, bears sleeping in the zoo etc). It makes you appreciate these small things and, in our case, the book brings tears to my eyes nearly every time I read it, because our son's beginning was so rocky and he really is a miracle, and this book makes sure that I don't forget it. 

10. Only In Dreams by Parker Jacobs. It's another kids book, but it's all about how when you dream, you can do anything you want and be anything you want. And really, maybe some dreams might be a little too imaginative to really happen, but it can be a true springboard for following your dreams when you wake up too!!

So, there's some things to get you inspired and following your dreams for 2009. I'll be posting my goals one of these days, but want to do a little more soul searching first (actually, life is sort of busy with our impending arrival, and I'll use my time in the hospital to sort out some of my goals for this year). So, have fun checking out these books and blogs. They are certainly worth your time!!

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