A blog about the grief after losing a child to Niemann Pick, Type C, a rare disease, and how I'm moving forward with my life.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Book Review: Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

Ok, here it is....my review.  Over the past few weeks I've been posting about the 7-Day Challenge (which I turned into a 7-Week Challenge).  That was just a small sampling of "the small things" that are included in Crystal Paine's new Say Goodbye to Survival Mode.


So what is this book all about?  It is a personal account of how Crystal hit rock bottom by trying to do too much and her path out.  There are so many good points in the book, I want to highlight a few that really hit home to me:

  1. "I had more control over my life than I realized.  I could stop the madness.  I could eliminate the chaos.  I could start setting boundaries.  I could start saying no.  Yes, I was the problem.  But I was also the solution."  (pg. 7)
  2. Create a personal priorities list (pg. 13)
  3. "What works in one season of your life might not work at all in another season." (pg. 15)
  4. "Living with purpose means wisely choosing and committing to a few of the best things for the season of life you're in." (pg. 25)
  5. "By saying yes to the best means focusing and streamlining your time, energy, and efforts on what matters most at the time." (pg. 25)
  6. "No matter your age or aptitude,  you have special talents, abilities and interests - things you love to do, things you do well, and things that make you feel alive." (pg. 28)
  7. "Instead of listing out the many things I wanted to get done in a day and trying to squeeze them all in, she told me to start with the time I had to work with - twenty-four hours - and then divvy up my responsibilities and priorities into time blocks that fit that time period." (pg. 35)
  8. "Don't forget to leave some margin room.  You'll need this breathing space for when life happens." (pg. 38)
  9. "If you want to be more productive, you need to become the master of  your minutes.  Do you have short five-minute windows of time here and there?...Do something productive." (pg. 47)
  10. "We only have one life to live.  In order to make the most of it and live intentionally and purposefully, we have to constantly reevaluate our lives. Creating and monitoring short-term and long-term goals is a life-changing way to make sure we are heading in the right direction." (pg. 55)
  11. "Goals aren't just dreams, wishful thinking, or lofty ambitions. They must be SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound - blueprints to get you where you want to go." (pg. 57)
  12. "Change must come from within. You have to believe you can change. You have to want to change. And you need to have something worth changing for like an inspiring, audacious goal.  The bottom line is if you're not willing to put forth the effort, you're never going to get very far in life." (pg. 88)
  13. "Focused intensity is zeroing in on one specific project and giving it your entire concentration and energy for a determined length of time." (pg. 96)
  14. "...make sure when you are multi-tasking that you are actually being more productive." (pg. 98)
  15. "I think it's important that we have balance and breathing room in our lives - and in our budgets.  If we pack our schedules so full that we never take time to stop and smell the roses, we'll likely end up rushing through life and missing out on some great moments.  We'll also probably be frazzled, stressed, and exhausted much or all of the time." (pg. 126)
  16. "...give yourself grace.  Don't beat yourself up over what you're not doing.  Don't compare yourself to other seeming "supermoms". Don't stress over what's undone....Find the humor in every situation that you can.  Surround yourself with positive people and encouraging messages to help build you up." (pg. 140)
  17. "Either you control the clutter or the clutter will control you." (pg. 141)
  18. "Failing doesn't make you a failure; it makes you human." (pg. 158)
  19. "So much of the time, our exhaustion and burnout are the result of not being plugged in.  We think we're capable of handling life without constantly renewing our power supply." (pg. 201)
  20. "You are never going to be exactly where you want to be." (pg. 223)

Crystal provides her personal experiences along with practical advice and specific exercises that you can do to help you stop surviving and start living.  

One of my goals for this year is to get organized.  If you have been reading this blog for a bit, you know that I struggle with clutter too.  Reading Crystal's book helped me realize that I can't try to do everything overnight.  I have to take baby steps to get where I want to go.  I need to focus on one thing at a time and start making new habits for the "season" of my life that I am currently in.

But I think the biggest moment for me was realizing that I generally only have 2 hours a day to do anything.  Now you are probably thinking that can't be true, so let me explain.  I am a working mom (with an amazing stay at home dad).  Being a working mom means I am awake around 6am, out the door around 6:30am and not back home until about 6:30pm.  By the time I get my work bag unpacked and repacked, it is closer to 7pm.  I usually take over baby duty then.  I try to get Shelby to bed between 8pm-9pm (and for many months she would go down and sleep 12 hours but now we are having fits staying asleep at night).  In order to be able to get up by 6am, I should be in bed between 10-11pm.  So on a good night, I get from 8pm to 11pm to blog, organize, declutter, shower, spend time with my husband, etc.  On a bad night, I get from 9pm to 10pm.  No wonder why I feel so stressed out over things in the house!

Crystal covers many topics - from feeling like a failure to finances to setting up routines and being charitable. She talks about God, but if you don't believe in a Christian God, it isn't overpowering.  

Want a sample before you buy?  Click here to read the introduction and Chapter One. 
**I was provided an advance copy of the book for preview purposes.  All opinions are my own.  My Amazon Associate link is included above. I may be compensated if you click on the Amazon link.**


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