Are you a ‘power of positive thinking’ kind of person? I definitely am. Words and thoughts matter, people! My favorite book on the subject is the classic The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy. It speaks to me more than others. But I have to say that Jen Sincero, a relative newcomer to the genre, is up there, too.
First, please don’t let her Badass theme deter you. I promise it’s not a schtick she carries through her books, it’s not all ‘badass this’ and ‘badass that.’ I don’t mind it at all, but I can see how it might be off-putting to some.
Good habits are about who you decide to be, not what you decide to do.Jen Sincero
Sincero has a knack for taking ideas that you may have encountered before, and writing about them in a way that suddenly makes sense. She’s direct, humorous and quick to use herself as an example. She’s only been doing this for about 10 years and is quite open about her financial struggles up until she was in her 40s. Using her own examples as well as those of her coaching clients, she’ll make a believer of you.
Badass Habits is her fourth coaching / self-help book. The subtitle is “Cultivate the awareness, boundaries, and daily upgrades you need to make them stick.” The chapter on boundaries was unique and interesting. I’ve read several books on habits and I don’t remember anyone else talking about them.
That’s the difference between Sincero and other authors. She digs pretty deep. She wants you to explore how you feel when doing this work. Feelings guide the way. The quote above reminds me of something I read a long time ago:
Be. Do Have.
I wrote it down and kept it in mind, but it took a years for me to really understand what that means. It’s not ‘fake it ’til you make it,’ because that’s fake. Being who you want to be means taking actions that match that person.
Sincero’s book is really a workbook, with a 21-day plan to developing habits that actually stick. I know there is some debate about how long it takes for a habit to become, well, habitual, but to me it’s personal. It might take me three months and you just one. It’s the effort, the progress that counts.
She starts with creating a mantra for the habit. What, you don’t believe in mantras and affirmations? Are you sure? I’ve found that a lot of people who scoff at repeating positive thoughts to themselves, at the same time go around saying things like “That’ll never happen” or “I’m not cut out for that” to themselves. Negative mantras are insidious and should be noticed and cut off whenever they pop up.
I’m impressed with her chapter on mantras because she actually takes the reader through creating one, step-by-step, with plenty of examples and insights. She was working on better money habits and finally came up with Money flows to me easily and freely. Perfect for her because she took the time to examine her feelings and actions, play with words and new ways of thinking and edit until it felt right. This is a super-useful chapter!
There are 21 chapters for 21 days to get your habit to settle in. 21 sets of thoughts and ideas, strategies and exercises, things to look out for. It’s kind of a fun read, but serious, too. When I finished I immediately went back through to certain parts; worked through an exercise, copied something down. It’s that kind of book.
I won’t go through all 21 days, but I like that Day 2 is for setting yourself up for success. Which reminds me of another quote (Quote person here, can you tell?)
Position yourself to feel good.Bobbi Brown (makeup artist)
There’s that feeling factor. It’s taking the time to pause, reflect, think: what can I do to make (life / habit / thing) easier, better? What pivot can I make, what other habit can I glom onto (or mooch off of, as Sincero puts it 🙂 )
Are you thinking right now about a habit you’d like to have? One to revive? Read Sincero’s short, sweet guide and give her method a try. Something is bound to click.