15 Life Changing Books

Hi friends! I hope y’all are having a great week!  It’s our first day of school!  Cue all the feelings!

I’m definitely that mom that bawls her eyes out after drop off, but gimme about an hour and I’m good.  It’s just so hard sending them off after enjoying months of being together at home.  I actually like my alone time and then I’ll be sooo excited to pick them up and hear about the first day and how it went!

We’re still doing drop off and pickup from the car, as opposed to walking the kids inside, so that makes it a little bit easier to say goodbye.  I know they’ll have a great first day and be so happy to see their teachers and friends again!

And speaking of teachers, I’m giving our wonderful teachers an Amazon gift card with this sweet printable card as a little back-to-school gift.  I was so happy when I realized you could order Amazon gift cards online!  They arrived the next day! How easy is that?!

15 Life Changing Books

With back-to-school in mind, I’m sharing 15 of my favorite books today.  Many of these I’ve read and reread and they bring so much pleasure and strong life lessons.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

15 Life Changing Books

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Give Yourself Margin

I shared this book in a recent Tuesday Goodies and liked it so much that I immediately bought three more copies to give to friends as gifts.  It’s an easy, quick read with vibrant illustrations.  The book encourages you to rediscover and reconnect with your creative self and it could be just the boost you need without getting too heavy or cheesy.

“We move too fast.  We cram too much of the wrong stuff into our days.  We prioritize speed over quality.  We don’t leave a lot of space in our lives to think, to try something new, or even to fail. . .  We need more white space.  We need room to stretch. To grow.  To dream. To pivot.  To change direction.  We need more margin.”

The Miracle Morning

I was never a morning person, bartending my way through college, I tend to be a night owl naturally.

But having kids and a full-day each day made me want to wake up early so I could have some time to myself each day.  The Miracle Morning helps with your goal  to wake up each day with more energy, motivation and focus to take your life to the next level.  It struck me right away in reading this book that, when we lie in bed in the morning, not wanting to get out of bed, we are actually sending a message to the universe that we’d rather lie there in our beds—unconscious—than consciously and actively live and create the lives we say that we want!

The author says, “When you delay waking up until you have to—meaning you wait until the last possible moment to get out of bed and start your day—consider that what you’re actually doing is resisting your life.”  That really hit home for me.  I don’t want to resist my life. I want to get after it!

The Miracle Morning Routine consists of 6 daily rituals “SAVERS” : Silence, Affirmation, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Scribing (writing).

“Remember, the moment you accept total responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you claim the power to change anything in your life.”

The War of Art

You might not realize it, but I sometimes struggle to GSD.  And I thought it was just me until I read this book where Steven Pressfield names that inner force that comes against you when you’re trying to accomplish something.  He calls it resistance and we all battle it.  Here, he gives us tools to overcome it.

“Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. . .  This second, we can sit down and do our work.”

Eat That Frog

This is one of the single, most practical books to help you achieve the goals you want in life.

The ability to concentrate single-mindedly on your most important task, to do it well and to finish it completely, is the key to great success, achievement, respect, status, and happiness in life. This key insight is the heart and soul of this book.”

Five Love Languages of Children

We all know this cult favorite for adults, but did you know that your kids have love languages too?  Knowing your child’s love language can be used to show them love in ways they feel, help them learn better and disciple and correct more effectively.

“You schedule other people into your calendars – why not your children? They will appreciate the fact that you value your time with them so much that you are willing to say no to other activities.”

The 5 Second Rule

I’ve heard of the 5 second rule and was hesitant to read this book because I thought, how can there be a whole book about it?  But, my sister-in-law insisted it was really good so I read it.  And it was.  There’s more to it than the rule- it’s about how to use it, why it works, and all the changes you can make by implementing it.

“Anytime there’s something you know you should do, but feel uncertain, afraid or overwhelmed, . . . take control by counting backwards 5-4-3-2-1.  That’ll quiet your mind.  Then, move when you get to 1. . . . Physical movement is the most important part of the Rule, because, when you move your physiology changes and your mind follows.”

Younger Next Year for Women

Y’all, I promise, get this book.  For you, a friend, your sister or mom.  It definitely changed how I think about my health and fitness and I still think about it to this day! It’s one I highlighted the heck out of and definitely need to reread.

Parts of it are medically based and difficult to digest, but, for the most part, it’s wildly informative, educational, intriguing and funny!  I especially love it when they refer to “old Fred!” and you may have one in your life!

“The truth is that most of us will live into our mid 80s or 90s, but HOW we live those years is largely in our control.  We can be vibrant and strong and in good shape with clear heads and (guess what?) sexually active!, or be shuffling around on walkers, depressed and fatigued.”

Atomic Habits

If you want to break bad habits and build good ones, read this book.  It’s wild to realize that just the tiniest change in your habits can lead to major success and improvement.

“When the moment of decision arrives, instant gratification usually wins.  You are no longer making a choice for the Future You, who dreams of being fitter or wealthier or happier.  You are choosing for Present You, who wants to be full, pampered, and entertained.  As a general rule, the more immediate pleasure you get from an action, the more strongly you should question whether it aligns with your long-term goals.” 

10% Happier

After news anchor Dan Harris had a panic attack on live national television, then sought to heal his anxiety through meditation.  His journey is honest and being a former broadcast journalism major, I enjoyed all the behind the scenes details about the news media/news stories and news anchors you’d be familiar with.  I really liked hearing his take on Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra too since he was able to meet and interview both of them.

“Make the present moment your friend rather than your enemy. Because many people live habitually as if the present moment were an obstacle that they need to overcome in order to get to the next moment. And imagine living your whole life like that, where always this moment is never quite right, not good enough because you need to get to the next one. That is continuous stress.”

The One Thing

I’m about halfway through this book right now and it’s making me reflect on some areas of my life.  For instance, intuitively I know that a balanced life isn’t really possible.  We might be juggling certain things at certain times or giving priority to something, so something else suffers.  Think of when you’re tending to young kids at home or aging parents, which might mean that your own health is on the back burner.

But hearing the authors flat out say that a balanced life is impossible is freeing.

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“Extraordinary results require focused attention and time.  Time on one thing means time away from another.  This makes balance impossible.”

The overall premise is that “knocking out a hundred tasks for whatever the reason is a poor substitute for doing even one task that’s meaningful” but the book is full of more wisdom.

Rising Strong

If one book helped me through my divorce, it was this one. I read it during a particularly hard phase of the process and it put things in perspective and helped me look inside and be less angry.  There’s so much helpful insight on grief and forgiveness.  I highlighted and made notes all over the book.  I put a star and heart by this passage:

“The most compassionate people I interviewed also have the most well-defined and well-respected boundaries.  It surprised me at the time but now I get it. They assume that other people are doing the best they can, but they also ask for what they need and they don’t put up with a lot of crap.”

Lessons from Madame Chic

Let’s pull up for a minute into this fun read!  I love this book!  It’s about an American girl who goes to Paris to study abroad and lives with the “Chic” family while there.  She learns valuable life lessons from Madame Chic that she happily shares with us, who feel like her girlfriends.  I found it fascinating to hear about how the Chic family lived, the evening rituals they enjoyed, and the food Madame Chic seemed to effortlessly prepare from scratch everyday!

If you like this book, you’ll love At Home with Madame Chic too.

Eat, Pray, Love

Have you read this one?  It was #1 on the NY Times best seller list and remained on the list for a whopping 187 weeks – over 3 years.  When you read about Liz Gilbert’s trek through Italy, India and Indonesia, you feel like you are there with her and she describes everything she experiences so well.  Just hearing her talk about the food in Italy alone makes me want to book a trip. But, it’s her inner growth, honesty, and pursuit of God and love that really captivated me.

“Now, this was a first for me.  And since this is the first time I have introduced that loaded work — GOD — into my book, and since this is a work which will appear many times again throughout these pages, it seems only fair that I pause for a moment to explain exactly what I mean when I say that word, just so people can decide right away how offended they need to get.”

Colin Cowie Chic

I’ve had this book the longest, since I was single and lived in an apartment.  Do you remember Colin Cowie from his wedding planning and lifestyle segments on Oprah?  That’s how I first heard about him.  He’s an amazing and talented interior designer and event planner.

Whenever I read this book, I immediately want to get up and clean and organize my whole house and style it up with pretty things!

“Whether I’m at home, in the office, or traveling, I always go that extra mile to treat myself and the people around me with the same about of generosity, courtesy, and mindfulness that I’d like to receive from them.  I live by this principle.  Style is all about being conscious: of yourself, your surroundings, and especially of the people in your life, both friends and strangers.”

Joy in the Little Things

I had to end with this delightful book I’m currently reading.  It’s almost like a treat to myself to sit down with this book and read a few pages at a time.  It feels like I’m indulging in a decadent dessert and I want to savor it!

The book is so lovely and beautiful inside with gorgeous, original illustrations and is all about finding happiness in style, home and everyday rituals and routines.  It would make a thoughtful gift too.

15 life changing books

15 Life Changing Books

I’d love to hear what books you recommend.  If you have a school aged-child, my son gave his book recommendations for 8 year-olds here.  It was his first blog post and he wrote all the content, planned out the photography, and added the links! #proudmama

Until next time, you can always see what books I’m reading on my Amazon Bookstore. My favorite coffee table books are in there too!

And, you can enter to win my August LOVES Giveaway by subscribing to my blog here.  I only send you happy things, never spam!  You also get free access to my printables library and the fitness content in my weekend newsletter when you subscribe!

if you’re reading this post via email, click through to my blog to see the shoppable images

Have a fantastic day friends! 

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11 Comments

  1. Siobhan
    August 12, 2021 / 5:44 am

    Hi Megan,

    I read Madame Chic a few summers ago, because you recommended it in a post 🙂 It was a fun read, and lightened my mood during a rough patch that I was going through. I actually follow the author on YouTube now -thanks so much!

    • Megan
      Author
      August 12, 2021 / 8:29 am

      I’m so glad it helped you Siobhan! I find that it lifts me up too!

  2. Jennie
    August 12, 2021 / 7:08 am

    I just read The Lazy Genius Way and it was life.changing. The author lays out a set of principles to help you focus on the things that matter most to you-they are different for everyone-and lazy genius your way through the things that don’t matter as much. The author also has a podcast and FB page. Highly recommend!!

    • Megan
      Author
      August 12, 2021 / 8:29 am

      Thanks for the recommendation Jennie! I’ll definitely check it out- it sounds right up my alley!

  3. Lori C.
    August 12, 2021 / 10:27 am

    I just snagged Atomic Habits from the local library. I’ve made small changes over the last few months, but I know I can do better. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. Amy
    August 12, 2021 / 11:37 am

    Thank you! This is one of the most helpful posts you have written. I feel like I am at a crossroads right now, and I am trying to figure out what I really want from life, what aspects of my life I should retain, and what traits I need to eliminate or modify. Blame it on the pandemic or entering a new phase in life, it really does not matter. All I know is that I need to take action and make some changes. Hopefully, these books will help me evaluate things and make some decisions.

  5. Pam
    August 12, 2021 / 6:14 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! I love reading and sometimes don’t make enough time for it!

  6. August 13, 2021 / 5:43 am

    The Miracle Morning was life changing for me and got me out of a slump I was in at the time. I love Brene Brown and always feel encouraged when I read her books. I have some of these on my TBR list. Thanks for sharing.

  7. RC
    August 14, 2021 / 10:59 pm

    I love this post! Thank you so much for giving us your input on books. I also discovered Madame Chic and the author through you from a post you did years ago.
    Thank you for inspiring our inner journey as well as our outer one, Megan!

  8. Allison
    August 15, 2021 / 6:58 am

    Always looking for good book suggestions so I really appreciated this post, thank you!!

  9. Tiffany Devens
    August 15, 2021 / 8:37 am

    Megan, thank you for these recommendations! I went to my library the same day I read your blog post and checked out “Atomic Habits”. It is so good that I decided to purchase my own copy. There are several others on your list I can’t wait to dig into. I really appreciate you reviews as well of the works. So helpful!

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