This year I am all about books to better my business and myself, the SLPreneur. I love finding book recommendations on Instagram! When I see an interesting read, I save the photo in my bookmarks. When I am reading for a new book, I go through my bookmarks (and a Pinterest board) to find just what I am looking for. For 2019, I already have a list of reading material that is in my Amazon wish list. (You can find that list here!) I started this read back in December. Then I had to restart it during the holiday break because life happens. The book is “The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work” by Dr. Christine Carter.
Do you ever read a book and you wish the author was sitting right there so you could hug her neck? When you read a book and utter the words, “Oh my gosh, FREAKING YES!!!!” because duh, why didn’t you think of that? That was me throughout this book. I liked that the author made note that this does not have to be a book you read cover to cover. She suggested you pick the chapters that apply to the place you are in your life at this moment. For me, it was most of the chapters! In the new year, I am all about setting new habits. I was tired of feeling tired and run down. My gut was telling me my health was not in a good place…fast food for lunch 5 days a week is not good for the waist line or pocketbook. This book helped change a lot of my bad habits. It gave me a new way to look at things that have also carried over into my business.
No one can ever borrow my copy because it is tagged and highlighted like a college textbook. Chapters 3-5 were big for me! I think they would apply to most of the SLPreneurs out there. Chapters 3-4 were all about habits and cracking the code. I knew I needed to start watching my diet and exercising. Sodas were a HUGE player in my day, 4-6 Dr. Peppers if we are keeping count. Dr. Carter breaks down the habit code to the point of you start thinking, “Of course, when you put in that way, I can do!” She spends a lot of time talking about triggers. Triggers tell your brain to go into auto pilot and which habit to use when it does so.
Triggers can be anything from emotions to objects (like my 32 oz water bottle or my lunch box) to certain times in the day (like when my app reminds to me to work out or drink water), sounds, smells, etc. Whatever it is, the trigger is what sets the habit in motion. She goes into more detail with the habits. At the end, comes a reward. My reward after drinking water all day is that I sleep better and I don’t have the extra bloat from so much soda sugar. My newly discovered reward after eating my packed lunch is I am not as hungry throughout the day and I am not experiencing the afternoon crash.
To me, this book just reprograms your way of thinking. I prepare those triggers now each day so that I can rewire brain into my new habits. Did you know the “21 days to make it a habit” is not true at all?! I didn’t until I read this book! It’s more like 66 days to set a new habit.
So how does this apply to the SLPreneur?
For me, it was quite simple! I hate the paperwork that comes with being a self-employed therapist. Report writing, insurance billing, note writing, etc.-NONE of it is fun! But, when I keep my desk tidy and have a set reminder on my phone that goes off every evening at 6pm, my triggers are in place. I find it easier to complete that not so fun stuff because my reward is checking it off my “Productive” app. (You can find more of my organization tips here.) That reward of how many perfect days in a row feeds my competitive spirit. I’m only in competition with myself. There’s no one in the world, I want to beat more than my “yesterday” self. I no longer have to think about my social media marketing. It’s all written out for me. Each morning, I know what is on my “to do” list. There is more about this in last week’s blog post about organization.
The chapter (chapter 5) about overwhelm hit home too, as I am sure it will with most SLPreneurs. We tend to take on way too much and then become stressed. We get stressed because we can’t get everything done. She gives great tips and quotes some great studies to help with overwhelm. I love the study that suggest planning is the best way to manage stress. Yes, prevent stress from even occurring! DUH, right?! To do this, I have a reminder to make my lunch at night. My workout clothes are already in my bathroom ready for me the next morning. I’ve started turning my phone on silent and placing it face down when I am working on the computer (like while I am writing this blog post).
I have started auto-piloting dinners. We are only usually home 3 nights a week for dinner. That means dinners are easy but still healthy. Vegan meatball subs, tostadas, chicken tacos, soups in the crockpot are all things that are staples in our weeknight menu. That helps this SLP mom out a TON! My lunches for the week are usually a variation of two things-either a sandwich or cheese/crackers with fruits, nuts and pretzels. A meal prep bar is usually in there to help with that mid-morning hunger. Since I have just started with this habit, I am sure I will add some variation. But for now, I am good!
I strongly recommend this book for all you SLPreneurs out there! Even if you only read the first five chapters, I think it would help you so much! If you are looking for a new book to help with your habits in the new year, check it out! Let me know what you think!