As we were reflecting the other day, on the year behind us, we decided to do a little recap of all the things we’ve read, watched and learned that have had the biggest impact on us this year.
Everything listed below has either directly helped or inspired us to live healthier, happier, simpler lives in one way or another. We hope you find as much value in them as we did!
The Most Impactful Resources of 2016
Everything Tim Urban writes on Wait But Why is gold, but this one in particular is worth a read: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think. We’ve all got a mammoth tagging along behind. The trick is figuring out how to tame it.
The 80/20 Diet. Every single time I approach the way I eat using this rule, it works. It’s hands down the most effective thing I’ve experienced in terms of feeling great and losing weight. We go into a lot of detail about this concept in our course!
On the subject of diets, neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt and the concepts outlined in her book, Why Diets Make Us Fat, greatly impacted me this year. It changed the way I thought about dieting and mindful eating.
Anytime I’m feeling stuck or uncertain I come back to this one from Mark Manson: Fuck Yes or No. The question applies to dating advice for the sake of the article, but I think it applies to other relationships, scheduling activities, business opportunities and more.
Want to Really Make America Great Again? Stop Reading the News. I learned this lesson while, ironically, working in a newsroom years ago. We were essentially told to go out and find the stories that would give people anxiety and write equally scary headlines. I found the concept, reiterated in this Observer article by Ryan Holiday, particularly helpful to keep in mind during the 2016 election season, but I believe it’s relevant all year long.
Not an article, book or podcast, but leaving New York had a major impact on my life in 2016. While I sometimes miss it, I’ve saved a lot of cash, discovered clarity around what I want in a new home and have felt more space both mentally and physically.
On a related note, leaving my job to start a business also had a major impact. 2016 was the most challenging year of my life so far and there have been so, so, so many days I felt like giving up. But it has also forced me to grow as a person and learn how to (or at least try to) handle difficult situations. The most helpful resources have been Ramit Sethi, Marie Forleo, Mariah Coz, Seth Godin (read this one), Jess Lively, Lauren Hooker and Tim Ferriss.
And speaking of Tim Ferriss, this passage in his new book, Tools of Titans was reassuring; it summarizes a conversation with angel investor Naval Ravikant. This is one I keep coming back to in those difficult moments. I find comfort in the concept of struggling a bit for the sake of a greater, long term vision.
“‘Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.’ I don’t think most of us realize that’s what it is. I think we go about desiring things all day long, and then wondering why we’re unhappy. So, I like to stay aware of that because then I can choose my desires very carefully. I try not to have more than one big desire in my life at any given time, and I also recognize that as the axis of my suffering. I realize that that’s where I’ve chosen to be unhappy. I think that is an important one.”
This post on Cleo Wade’s Instagram. Gosh I love this one. I have a tendency to let things I’m struggling with affect my attitude in a negative way, which in turn can affect people around me. This is a helpful reminder to be a force for positivity, despite whatever may be going on internally.
I’ve been following these guys since they launched their blog. And though I already consider myself a minimalist, I still enjoyed The Minimalist’s documentary, Minimalism, which came out this year. It’s a potent little film that leaves you questioning exactly why we spent so much time in life worrying about, pining over and working so hard – just to buy more stuff. Can’t recommend it enough.
And speaking of consumer habits, I read Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline and it blew my mind. I mean, I always knew there was something inherently off about Forever 21’s prices, but holy shit! That and I watched the film The True Cost which left me hysterically snot crying to Bridget. These two exposes into the industry behind our clothing obsession have had a huge impact on my consumer habits.
And speaking of uncovering bullshit, 2016 was the year I finally bit the bullet and detoxed my beauty and personal care products. I’d been putting it off for forever. But then I read Not Just a Pretty Face and couldn’t keep my head in the sand any longer. The state of the cosmetics industry here in the U.S. is horrendous and irresponsible. And while searching for alternatives, I stumbled upon Beauty Lies Truth, an awesome website helping us navigate the world of safer beauty, and Beautycounter, my new favorite company.
And finally, after traveling for a few months in 2015, I revisited some of my go-to resources on nutrition and wellness last year, as a refresher. The books and programs that have made the biggest impact on how I feel, both physically and emotionally, both in and about my body:
And of of course, I’ve done The Simple Cleanse a few times – which you can do too!
What about you? What were your favorites/most helpful reads or watches from last year? Share them in the comments below.
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Also published on Medium.