The winter doldrums have officially hit and many of us are going through that yearly period where our New Year’s Resolutions are falling by the wayside. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is the time of year when it’s most important to see the big picture. If you get caught up in the cold weather and feelings of failure because you once again failed to stick with your resolutions, you may be at risk of slipping into depression or starting to experience anxiety.
I find that focusing on living a life of intention at this time of year is helpful for many of my clients. What is a life of intention? It’s one based on your values. It involves making conscious decisions to live a meaningful life, rather than reacting to circumstances.
Here are five books about living intentionally that I recommend:
Five Wishes: How Answering One Simple Question Can Make Your Dreams Come True by Gay Hendricks
This short and inspiring read helps you drill down to the five things most important to you to help you focus on creating a meaningful life. If you want to know how to format an intention and begin living your life based on that intention, this book is for you.
The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle LaPorte
This book is about a new approach to formatting intentions by focusing on how one wants to feel each day, rather than setting accomplishment goals. It breaks down how each choice leads to feeling a certain way. It illustrates how making continuous choices based on how you want to feel is much more important than checking goals off a list.
The Right Questions: Ten Essential Questions to Guide You to an Extraordinary Life by Debbie Ford
Debbie Ford is well-known for writing books that help others live lives of meaning. In fact, two of her books made this list. This particular book of hers is one of my favorites because it poses several questions you can ask yourself before making both large and small decisions. These questions help determine if the outcomes of the choices you have are aligning with your values, intentions and best interests.
The Best Year of Your Life: Dream It, Plan It, Live It by Debbie Ford
I love this book of Debbie Ford's for those struggling to keep their resolutions. It really helps you take your resolutions and break them down into a plan that can be accomplished over the course of the year, rather than just dropping them by the end of January. Ford's combination of setting intentions while also setting goals can be very helpful. She offers a concrete journey to follow while also honoring creativity.
This Year I Will…How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True by M.J. Ryan
This book takes a look at why it can be so hard to create and stick with the changes we want to make for ourselves. Ryan explains why it’s hard to change and offers ways to create new habits without being miserable in the process.
If the winter doldrums are hitting you hard, you’re not alone. Pick up one of these five books to get yourself back to a place where you can set meaningful goals and have a helpful path to achieve them.
Jessica is a mental health therapist who specializes in helping women free themselves from anxiety, depression, and other stress-related conditions. She is honored to witness the experiences of her clients and work with them toward meaningful lives.