Your Best Year Yet: 7 Simple Ways to Shift Your Thinking and Take Charge of your Life.
Kelly Exeter RRP: $3-$10 (depending on the version)
Buy online at Kelly’s blog: A Life Less Frantic
There are probably already too many self help books in the world. And yet they continue to appear, again and again, like motivational cat memes – except you have to pay for them! Thankfully Kelly Exeter’s Your Best Year Yet is a breath of fresh air within this very stale genre. It’s succinct, productive and positive – with none of the usual waffle. I read it over breakfast in fact (speaking of waffles!) and I’ve re-read it a couple of times this week, dipping in and out of the sections that rang the loudest bells in my mind. In the spirit of the book itself, I’m taking my first steps towards efficiency and control by reviewing it in point form!
Things to love about Your Best Year Yet
- It’s quite short. 7 big points made in 50-odd short pages.
- It’s easy to understand. Kelly blends her own lived experience of stress and depression, including business, health and family struggles, with some more general examples to which many of us can relate.
- It’s productive. Every situation is presented with a concrete, functional mind solution. You can’t completely avoid stressful or negative situations in your life, but you can change your mindset and respond to them in a more productive way.
- It’s interactive. Although this is a quick book to read, it also offers opportunities for you to take away Kelly’s suggestions and create your own notes and lists that might help make sense of your existing unhelpful thought behaviours.
- It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it. This book doesn’t necessarily present any earth shatteringly new ideas, but the simple and effective way in which Kelly communicates her suggestions makes them potent and memorable. She doesn’t claim to be a guru; Exeter is simply someone who has faced some very dark times and found her way out of the fog, and is now in a position to share her strategies.
Top things I learned from Your Best Year Yet
Everyone will take something different from a book like this because we all have our own personal demons. For me, a couple of game changing thoughts were:
- Old habits are incredibly hard to break. So, why not change focus? Stop beating yourself up and instead try creating some new habits to take their place.
- There is often no such thing as a bad decision. Decision making can paralyse us when, in many cases, either choice could equally provide a path to happiness. Just pick a path and make the most of it.
- “The only person who should get to write the story of your life is you.” You can take or leave what other people think, say or suggest about your choices. You need to shape a narrative around the person you want to be.
Each of these thoughts has sat with me through the week, popping up in different conversations and scenarios. None of these ideas is a magic bullet for instantaneous bliss, but they do provide some tools for gradually adjusting that inner monologue that so often prevents us from reaching our goals. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen!
There are times in life when we all face true tragedy, grief, illness and suffering and it’s incredibly hard during those times for anyone to tell us to ‘stay positive’. But outside of those significant life moments, an awful lot of us drift along harbouring feelings of inadequacy, self doubt, resentment or frustration that result from stagnant, unproductive thought patterns. This book is a fantastic little detox for the mind! Use it like your morning yoga stretches to liven you up and make you more flexible! You probably send your kids off to school in the morning reminding them to ‘make good choices’ – perhaps it’s time we grown ups learned to do the same?
With thanks to Kelly Exeter for my review copy.