What classic book should I read this year?

Please help!

I did not grow up in North America, and as a result, I have not read many of the classics books that everyone around me has read.

As part of my goals for 2017, I want to read a bunch of books, so I decided to read some of these.

Please help me pick the ones I absolutely must read:

My 3 Words for 2017

Just as I did last year, and after seeing the great results that I got, here is my post with my 3 words for 2017.

These are the three areas of my life which I intend to focus on, so decisions about how to spend my time and efforts will be guided by these words this year.

Why 3 Words?

intentionFirst of all: new year’s resolutions suck. They are too vague, and they are too generic. “I’ll get in shape in 2017.” What does that mean? Get in the shape of what?

After realizing that, I swung the other way: instead of resolutions, I decided to set goals that were SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound). They work fantastically well. That’s how I wrote and published a book, for example. The problem with specific goals is that they are too specific. If you set a goal for yourself in January, and later in July you lose the passion or the desire to achieve it, dropping it will feel like giving up. So you either spend a lot of time and effort to achieve something you’re not crazy about after all, or you give up and feel like a failure. Goals are great if you really know what you want to do.

A word, or a theme, is a much more flexible target without being as vague and unclear as a new years resolution.

Themes, rather than specific goals, guide you in the decisions you make during the year. They are like a compass.  If you have a compass, you can always go to a different place if you change your mind.

For example, one of my words for last year was “strength.” I wanted to get stronger. That meant a number of things: eating better, exercising, etc. It was not a specific goal (“I will lose 20 pounds by September” or “I’ll be running 5 kilometers in 30 minutes by July”), but it did guide my decisions when it came to how to spend my spare time, what snacks to eat during the day, etc. At the end of  the year, I can say that, yes, I did get stronger and I’m happy with the decisions I made throughout the year.

So here are my 3 words for 2017.

Intense Prayer

Interior Life

OK, that’s two words 🙂

In the last couple of years, as I focused on work, writing, podcasting, changing my career path, exercising, etc, I feel like I have lived mostly on the outside of myself.  With that, my spiritual and interior life took the backseat.

I believe that how you live on the inside is what really matters in the end.

So this year is the year I refocus on my interior life.

This will mean I will take opportunities to retreat, to pray, to meditate. I will work on being more humble, on thinking less about me, and on being there for others.

focus.jpg

Intensity

This is another word for better focus.

I multitask a lot. This means that rarely do I give my undivided attention to something or someone. I’m going to change that.

2017 is the year in which I become better at focusing with intensity. This is the year when I stop multitasking and learn to really lean in to the task before me. This is when the duty of every moment gets my undivided attention.

In 2017 I will do one thing at a time, and I’m going to do each thing well.

The result of that is that I will be able to immerse myself in projects, and at the same time, give of myself to those who need my time and attention.

I plan on regrouping my thoughts so I can focus on fewer projects. This means I will re-think my writing and podcasting, as well as my hobbies.

I’ll have to plan my time better. That will mean thinking carefully about my projects and scheduling time in my calendar to ensure I will have the margin to dedicate myself to one thing at a time.

This will also mean that I’ll be looking less at my phone and social media. Unless, of course, it is the right time to do so.

books

Input

The last few years I created a lot of output.

Whether it was blogging, podcasting, writing a book, or making new people, I produced lots.

As a result, I feel like I haven’t really taken much in lately. I miss reading. I miss learning new things. I find that I am not growing as much as I would like to.

In 2017 I will read more. I will read at least 2 books per month.

I will also learn new things. I am blessed to work for a company in which there are many opportunities for learning, so I will take them as often as I can.

I will learn to cook more meals so I can help more at home in that area.

I will go back to learning code.

In 2017 I will feed my brain.

Let’s get started!

I hope this serves as inspiration to you to do better this year. If you’d like, go ahead and share below what you’d like to do in 2017. Be bold. Think big. And have an amazing 2017.