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Top 5 Books To Put The 'Personal' Into Your Finances This New Year

posted on Thursday, January 5, 2017 in What We're Reading

Top 5 Books To Put The 'Personal' Into Your Finances This New Year

Because personal finance is more personal than it is finance, just about every step we take in our personal development aids us in financial planning, and vice versa.

It is in better understanding ourselves that even the most confounding financial decisions are made simple. Therefore, it’s entirely possible for a seemingly non-financial book to have a meaningful impact on your financial life, while the reverse is also true.

Consider, then, this list of my choices for the top five (mostly) recent books that can improve your life, work and financial serenity in 2017:

5) The Whole 30: The Official 30-Day Guide To Total Health And Food Freedom is not your typical diet book. I don’t do those. But I am fascinated by various “life hacks,” small behavioral changes we can make in our diet, exercise and sleep patterns that make life more livable.

I enjoyed Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Body diet in 2015, and I kicked off 2016 by diving into the Whole 30 for the month of January, holding onto several of its tenets for the remainder of the year. As Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, architects of the Whole 30, warn us, the first two weeks will likely be a lot of work with little reward. But if you can make it to days 15 through 30, I can’t imagine not benefiting from this exercise in discipline.

Most of us spend a few too many calories and dollars in the final weeks of the year, so why not undergo an intentionally healthy purge—physically and fiscally—to start the New Year? I’ll be doing it with you!

HINT: Increase your chances of completing the Whole 30 by doing it as a group. Last year, we had a dozen people doing it together, texting recipes and encouragements back and forth throughout the month. But if no one will do it with you, there is a vast and vibrant online community ready to support you.

4) Designing Your Life: How To Build A Well-Lived Joyful Life is an incredible bargain, as Bill Burnett and Dave Evans have translated the Stanford class (a long-time favorite) into book form.

Studies show that more than 80% of financial planning recommendations are not implemented, and I believe that is because clients’ “life plans” are either nonexistent or not incorporated into (and therefore supporting) the financial plan. Burnett and Evans help us by bringing their Silicon Valley design process to life architecture.

HINT: Designing Your Life is really a guidebook with exercises throughout. To make the most of it, I highly recommend doing the exercises as you read the book. Yes, it will increase the effort, but it will also drastically increase the effectiveness.

3) The Road Back To You: An Enneagram Journey To Self-Discovery, by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile, is my favorite Enneagram book yet. If you’re unfamiliar, the Enneagram is often lumped in as a personality typing system, but I believe it provides a great deal more than just a “light-bulb moment” (although it certainly does do that!).

As Cron suggests, its purpose “is to develop self-knowledge and learn how to recognize and dis-identify with the parts of our personalities that limit us so we can be reunited with our truest and best selves.”

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