Say Goodbye to Survival Mode {Book Recommendation}

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My Thoughts on Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

I’m sure many of my readers have heard of Crystal Paine’s new book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life! I was blessed to receive an Advanced Reader’s copy at Allume in October and I finished the book in January, so I thought I’d share my thoughts here with you!

I decided to read this book in January because I’m working on SETTING and KEEPING several goals in several areas of my life right now. I will admit, I am a VERY undisciplined person. The thought of goals and actually keeping them is kind of something I gave up on a long time ago. Ugh. I hate even admitting that…but it’s true.

My word this year is purposeful. I have already felt the Lord gently nudging me to work towards setting some goals and learning the fine art of self-discipline. I have been blessed with a small group of online friends that have encouraged and HELPED me to figure out some goals. This book came at the perfect time for me!!

The very first chapter in this book is something that I have worked fairly hard at accomplishing over the past 2 years. I still have quite a ways to go…because I’m a people pleaser.

“When I say yes to one thing, I must say no to something else. For example, if I choose to make getting up early a priority, I have to say no to staying up late on a regular basis.” Crystal Paine, Ch. 1

Ahhh, yes. Saying YES to one thing very simply means I HAVE TO say NO to other things. Why is this so hard for me to accomplish? I’ve really been trying to take this advice to heart in the new year. I’m spending a lot of time praying about and writing down what I would like some of my goals to be. In order to even *think* about being successful with some of these goals, the fact is, I MUST say no to other things. So, this forces me to, in turn, figure out my priorities. I’m slowly getting there…but it’s a process.

Another suggestion that Crystal gives to help with this process is to make a list of alllll your commitments at this time. Go through your list and determine if each activity is draining or energizing. Consider each activity…and then look for balance. If ALL your activities are draining, you need to make some changes!!

Chapter 2 was equally as helpful and encouraging for me. In this chapter, Crystal discusses “saying YES to the BEST.” This goes along with saying yes/no to certain activities. But, what she points out in this book is that MY best looks different from YOUR best. I have to constantly remind myself that I cannot keep up with every other mom in my church. I can’t teach Sunday School, sing on praise team, help with the youth AND homeschool my children. God has called me {and you} to certain things…we must be aware of what the best is in our own lives!!

“Instead of beating myself up over what I can’t do, I’m learning to appreciate, focus on, and exercise those areas where I have natural abilities.” Crystal Paine, Ch.2

I’ve been learning a lot about personality types over the past few weeks. I am an introvert {INFJ} through and through. I am energized by being home and reading a good book and getting my house clean. I am drained by being around groups of people day in and day out. I do ENJOY getting together with friends…but if I have too many obligations in one week, I begin to dread it. All of it. ha! I am equally sensitive to conflict and  my children fighting nonstop truly drains me. Busy-ness is bad for my soul, my heart, my health. I’m learning to accept this and create my calendar and goals around this knowledge. I’m learning to find ways I can serve that aren’t going to put me in a bad mood for weeks afterward. :) That said, I have gifts given to me by the Lord…I believe these gifts go hand-in-hand with our natural personalities. That is one reason this blog is such an outlet for me that I love…the written word is more who I am than the spoken word. I read books better than I listen to podcasts. I write blog posts better than I have conversations. I don’t give up working on conversations, but realizing that small talk isn’t my gifting – well, that brings peace to my heart, I don’t HAVE to be good at small talk. I can be ok with that.

Chapter 3 helped me to get practical with the idea of setting goals.  You see, in the past, I’ve thought, at the beginning of each year, “I’d like to eat more healthy this year.” Well, that is TOO BROAD, as I am learning!! Chapter 3 in this book taught me that I need to be more SPECIFIC in my goal setting!!

“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.” Crystal Paine, Ch. 3

So, I very, very obviously needed to work on making my goals more specific! I have been working on setting a FEW measurable and specific goals for the month of January. I am really excited about the progress I have made. I believe it is all due to the fact that I focused in more specifically.

Instead of saying “I want to eat a more healthy diet in 2014″ I have a few specific goals in this area: drink 1/2 my body weight in ounces of water daily, have 1 juicing OR smoothie OR salad per day, exercise 3 times a week. These are my health related goals. The Lift app was recommended to me by a friend and I’ve been using it to sort of “check off” my goals each day…it’s amazing how much a little checklist on an app will help you feel more motivated to keep going. :) If you decide to join Lift, let me know and we can follow each other there for increased accountability.

Crystal reminds us that if we are new to setting goals, only start with a FEW. That was good advice for me. :) My temptation is to create a gazillion things I’d like to improve upon, let’s face it, we are all a work in progress! But, I’m taking this advice and working on just a few things in January.

In Chapter 6, Crystal talks about getting a grasp on the home front management. She discusses having 5 simple things you can do daily to KEEP UP the home. This doesn’t mean deep cleaning, this means, small steps you can take to make sure your house doesn’t take over by the end of the week. Her 5 steps are: sorting mail immediately, one load of laundry each day, 15 minutes tidying house, wipe down sink and toilets in each bathroom, and load dishwasher/wipe countertops. My steps may be a little different…but you get the idea. I don’t have a lot of mail to deal with these days, so I probably wouldn’t put that in my top 5 easy steps for the day. But, I do like to keep toilets, sinks and countertops wiped daily!! Knowing there are a few, simple things I can do daily helps me not feel so overwhelmed!!

I found Chapter 7, When You Feel Like a Failure, to be very encouraging. I feel like a failure most days. Especially in regard to self discipline and mothering. But, Crystal has a positive way to look at failure – through failure, we can find what does NOT work, which leads us to seek out what DOES work for us personally. I need to remind myself of that, what about you??  Beating myself up daily over failures and weaknesses is NOT helping me to become better in my roles. I have to stop focusing and dwelling on the negative…and that is really hard for me! But, this is just another encouragement in that direction that I needed to hear.

Finally, Chapter 9 was another favorite chapter that I needed to hear. She starts off the chapter with this quote from Benjamin Franklin, “When the well’s dry, we know the worth of the water.” This chapter {along with learning about my introverted personality} gives me the permission I need to make time for myself. I still tend to feel guilty every time I leave my house alone, but I’m working on that. :) Crystal describes how her health was very seriously affected by all the stress in her life. This should be an eye opener to each of us that thinks we can and should “do it all” and more yet still. She gives us some great reminders in this chapter: Plug into God & His word, plug into your marriage, plug into friendships, REST matters, focus on your own health, and more. She shares ways that she personally makes more time for reading books even with her busy lifestyle. Like Crystal, reading is a huge part of my life and my personality needs it. I make time for what is good for me. You should do the same!

Overall, this book was exactly what I needed to continue the nudge that God gave me at the very beginning of January to choose the word purposeful for 2014. I needed practical help in setting goals, to start off with. Reading this book is the jumpstart I needed!

I love that Crystal shares about a very difficult time in her own life and how that gave her the push she needed to make some changes. I appreciate her vulnerability and humility throughout this book very much. I don’t think it would have had the same impact on me if she had only shared her successes inside the book. As you know, her blog, Money Saving Mom, is a HUGE success. But, after reading this book and her story, I think I can appreciate her blog even more.

What about you? Does goal setting and accomplishment come easy to you? Would you consider yourself a disciplined person? Have you read this book yet?? Your thoughts? 

Do you have other books that you think would be equally as inspiring for me? I think I should probably keep reading books similar to this in order to keep up my  motivation and progress with my goals! 

**Be sure to check out my friend, Rebecca’s, podcast with Crystal Paine where they discuss her book and much more! I really enjoyed hearing Crystal share some of the personal lessons that she learned from the lessons in this book, as well as her sweet words of encouragement.

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  • Tina@GottaRunNow

    What a great review of Crystal’s new book! I like to have lists for my goals. It feels great to check items off of the list!

    • Candace

      Tina, i agree! the checking off does something psychologically for me!! lol! But whatever works, right?!!?

  • Christine Wood

    I’m really good at planning and setting goals. It’s the application I have issues with! I’m a visual learner so that’s why I’m such a blog and IG junkie, I love to see what other Moms/Women are doing and that’s how I’m inspired to meet my goals. Thanks for letting us know about this book and I will definitely be checking out her blog too!

  • Thegirlwhopaintedtrees

    Candace, did you read my post about the iPad for homeschooling?
    I mentioned a seven minute workout app in it that would be a quick way for you to get that exercise goal into your day. You can do it right before you shower. My husband does it every day. I couldn’t initially because of bedrest and recuperating but I just started today and it was harder than I thought, but I think it will be easy to get in a groove with it. Here’s the link to the app (There are several 7 minute workout apps, but this one does all the counting for you and tells you what is coming up so you can get ready.)

  • Sarah

    Thank you so much for sharing this about yourself. I am also an introvert who has never been great at setting or keeping goals (or at small talk either!). I knew as soon as I heard about Saying Goodbye to Survival Mode that it was something that I needed, but wasn’t sure how it would apply to me. I’m was excited to read it before, but now you have gotten me even more excited about it.

    • Candace

      Sarah, I’m so glad this post resonated with you!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • Joanna Nissley

      oh, me too! maybe we should start a sm. group or something! ;) your blog post was very interesting & def. resonated w/ me, too; so encouraging to hear of others out there similar to me. bless you for sharing your heart & struggles!

  • Stephanie

    Thank you for sharing that you’re drained by large groups of people for extended periods of time. I thought I was weird because I enjoy one friend at a time and am very satisfied to be by myself and enjoy reading, knitting or other activities by myself.