The Change Your Life Challenge by Brook Noel

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*I’m still without internet access. I’m justing hopping on my mom’s computer to bring you a few reviews.*

Stars: ****1/2

Summary: Created by life management expert Brook Noel, The Change Your Life Challenge offers easy but effective step-by-step solutions for implementing lasting change in every major life area: Housework, Health, Energy, Joy and Purpose, Friends, Family, Money, Sanity and Centeredness, Chaos and Clutter Clearing, Time Management and Organization.

The Change Your Life Challenge was originally published in 2005, this is the second edition that I’m reviewing, published in 2008.

I’ve read lots of self-help books and followed lots of systems to try to get my life in order and every time, I stop doing it and go back to my own ways. Brook Noel shares why many of us do that. Here are some of the reasons:

1. Programs rarely focus on multi-dimensional change.
2. Many programs are too complicated!
3. The action steps require a week’s vacation (who has the time?)
4. The program did not take into account my individual needs and action style.

She also shares an insight anyone who reads self-help books probably knows all too well:

“You have likely read books in which the author spends paragraph upon paragraph advising you to put down the book and actually do an exercise or write something down. Yet many of us keep reading anyway. The author then puts big black letters or a stop sign to try and jar us from our habitual, inactive reading. We keep reading anyway. After all, we can always go back to the exercise right?… Simply put: you cannot apply these materials to your life successfully without doing the work… This program is not called the Think Your Life Challenge.” – pg XVIII – XX

In order to properly give you a review of this book, I had to skip exercises and read ahead, otherwise I wouldn’t have finished in time. However I have started the beginning exercises and I AM going back and doing the rest. Notice I did not say I would TRY to go back. Brook Noel and her family do not use the words try or if. They are banned from the house:

“In our house words “if” and “try” are not used. We use empowering and affirmative words. We commit. We expect the best. We are not perfectionists and we are not disappointed in ourselves when we “miss the mark:,” but we enter each day believing “we can and we will,” instead of “I might and I’ll try.” – pg 254

So how does the system work? In a nutshell, there are 15 main steps to follow to get yourself on track. After you’ve done those, you can do some or all of the mini-challenges. Before you get to far into the system, Brook has you fill out a form (The Snapshot) that helps you determine what part(s) of your life you need to work on the most. So after you’re done the 15 steps, you choose the mini-challenges that full under the part(s) you need to work on.

Here’s an overview of the table of contents with quick notes on what you will find there:

Introduction (the notes about actually DOING the exercises and how the challenge can help you)
Part One: Five Steps to a Successful Start (Gathering supplies and resources, doing your snapshot, setting up your headquarters)
Part Two: The Toolbox (the main 15 steps, including but not limited to: The Catch-All Notebook, Three-Step Action List, Catch-It Collectors, Five-Minute Rule/Relationship Miracle/Motivator, Avoiding burnout, power hour, ugly day and nightly reflections.)
Part Three: Mini-Makeovers
1. Chaos and Clutter Cleaning
2. Self, Sanity and Centeredness (Your outlook, decisions, emotional energy….)
3. Money Matters (your value number, why we buy, spending station….)
4. Family Matters (errands, your spouse, reward systems….)
5. You’ve Gotta Have Friends (Organizing people, connecting….)
6. Joy and Purpose-Filled Living (Values, Giving back, vision….)
7. The Worn-Out Woman (help, coach, fatigue….)
8. Here’s to Your Health (Diet, Stress, Exercise….)
9. Housework Helpers (Maintenance, Merge and Purge, Meal Planning….)
10. Conclusion (how to keep going)
11. Appendices (extra forms and help)

From the looks of things, I’d say The Change Your Life Challenge is a good system. There were a few times when I was a little confused and some of the things seem like a lot of work but I’m willing to do it. There’s only one way to see if it will work for me right?

Links of Interest: Change Your Life Challenge, Brook Noel, Brook Noel Studio

Other Reviews: Books Ahoy!

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.