Do you want to live “A More Beautiful Life”? ~ then this review is just for you!

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I was captivated immediately when I saw the cover and title of Whitney English’s lovely book, A More Beautiful Life. FrontGate Media provided a copy for me to read and I am thrilled to share my experience with this book! Keep reading for more plus information on where you can purchase a copy!

About A More Beautiful Life

Whitney English’s remarkable book is subtitled, “A Simple Five-Step Approach to Living Balanced Goals with HEART.” Her lovely book lives up to its subtitle and its gorgeous cover!

Goal-setting can be so challenging. Most of the models we’re familiar with are the business ones that instruct us to picture where we want to be first, then list the steps that will get us to that place. These models don’t take into consideration the goal-setter’s life circumstances, personal challenges, or family responsibilities. Instead, the achievements in the future are the goal and vision focal points. And not that there is anything wrong with that! But…what about when life happens or intrudes upon this lofty professional vision?

Whitney English has been a woman who’s set and achieved incredible and amazing goals. But she has also experienced the challenges that life threw at her, that broke the plans she’d imagined. Those experiences drew her down the path of creating life goals that are based on what individuals actually NEED; as opposed to what they might want or think they should want when they compare themselves to others. This path enabled Whitney to design the most life-giving, encouraging goal-imagining process. And it’s something that, when we have an off day or some bad experiences, we can reset so simply. The process is is based on the acronym HEART:

  • H – Help Yourself
  • E – Empower Yourself
  • A – All Your People
  • R – Resources and Responsibilities
  • T – Trade and Talent

The book breaks down each part of the process and explains it clearly. Each chapter has not only lists of questions that help the reader determine their current challenges and needs, but also ideas for how to formulate what we need and how we can build these, simply, into our lives. Like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (but in reverse), the reader can establish strength and goals area by area, then move on to the next level of need. And at the end of the book, Whitney gives encouragement and ideas for how to start this process as well as what to do when life intrudes. (As it so often can!) Building on the HEART process or progression, readers can envision and develop–and then, keep returning to–the beautiful life we all want to live. (Even though that’s going to look different for each one of us!)

My thoughts

I can tell you all, I have been a goal-setter from the first time I heard about the concept! I embraced goal-setting quite eagerly and enthusiastically. But while I’ve enjoyed some lovely successes, I’ve also encountered LIFE — not only in its wonder and unexpectedness but also with roadblocks, health issues that sidelined me, and relationship issues that my hopeful rose-colored glasses weren’t prepared to solve. So what happened then, with my goals? In those moments they fell to the wayside.

Whitney English’s HEART process is SO different. First of all, it doesn’t start with the lofty goals that are built on (perhaps) what the media promotes. Instead, it starts with what I, Wren, need TODAY. And every day. I love that HEART’s first process is what my own body needs. I’ll give you a spoiler: it needs water, nutrition, movement, and sleep. Now, I don’t know about you, but that has, in my adult life, generally been the last thing I focused on. Instead, I was serving! Doing! But not really taking care of myself. And I will tell you, that caught up to me in a harsh way. Whitney’s HEART starts with “helping ourselves” because that’s what provides the strength and grace for us to do the next things we “need” to do: taking care of our emotional/mental/spiritual needs; then our needs of belonging, love, acceptance (a.k.a., our families, relationships, friendships); then, caring for our home, vehicles, and finances; and last, our careers, ambitions, and desired accomplishments. That makes SO much sense to me. Instead of starting with “careers” first, and toward “self-care” last, we start with caring for our own human bodies (the only ones we’ll have on this earth). And then we can move forward in our life goals.

I loved reading every single page of this book. It was so physically lovely that I didn’t want to write in it at first. (That lasted as long as the introduction!) I changed my mind very quickly as I read and saw so many concepts I needed. I highlighted, wrote, flagged, and stuck Post-It notes with ideas on so many pages. And, encouraged by Whitney’s closing remarks, I’m going to be working through A More Beautiful Life again; but starting small. Maybe I’ll work first on drinking more water. Then maybe I’ll work on nighttime routines (turns out adults can benefit from those as well!) Then movement. And if I mess up, I can simply reset by going back to what I have done and adding again to that. I’ll be able to keep moving ahead, but in ways that will stick, because I’ll be caring for first things first.

It is a beautiful process. A simple one–and such a life-giving one. I want to continue to create a beautiful life. Whitney English’s book is going to help me do it!

Where you can buy A More Beautiful Life

You can purchase this book on Amazon at the link below. I so encourage you to consider this book! It really can enable us to live that beautiful life of our hopes and dreams.

Buy A More Beautiful Life here

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from FrontGate Media. All opinions expressed here are my own.

10 pitfalls to avoid when interviewing!

When you are interviewing for a job, especially one in an office setting, you should dress for the position. An interviewer will immediately discount a candidate if they are not professionally dressed. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on a new outfit either, suitable attire can be found at your local Walmart. Business casual is usually the rule at most offices, ask your recruiter what the dress code is!

Now, the following “don’ts” may seem simple, but for many people, especially those just starting out in the workforce, they aren’t!

  1. No miniskirts: skirts should be no higher than 3″ above the center of the knee
  2. No cleavage showing or sheer tops
  3. Excessive makeup: you aren’t going to a club, you’ll be viewed in bright, glaring lighting.
  4. No stiletto or platform pumps (see above about club)
  5. No jeans
  6. No excessive perfume (you don’t want to risk a sneezing fit)
  7. Turn off your cellphone and keep it stashed (your ringtone set to “Roar” is a killer)
  8. No GUM!!
  9. No chipped nail polish
  10. Don’t be late: it tells them you really don’t care.

I hope these tips help you or a family member get off on the right foot!


10 Resume pitfalls to avoid!

As a Human Resources professional, I see quite a few resumes and have compiled a list of comical “don’ts” for you to pass on to friends and family looking for a career.

Do not:

1. Address your cover letter to “Dear Sirs” (there are a lot more women than men in HR).

2. Put on your resume that you are looking for a career as a Pharmacy tech and send it in for a job as a Store Manager.

3. Forget to use spell and grammar check (this just screams lack of attention to detail).

4. Put a picture of yourself on your resume (it doesn’t matter if you are in a tuxedo and think you look really nice).

5. Include details of your religious affiliations, number of children, hobbies and how long you’ve been married to your wonderful spouse (trust me, we don’t need or want to know).

6. Leave out months/years of employment (if you say 2005-2006, I think you are hiding something by not being specific).

7. List every job you have had in the last 15 years (they need to be relevant and timely).

8. Put a disconnected phone number or better yet, no phone number at all as your contact information (do I even need to comment on that one)?

9. Drop off a hard copy at the reception desk (e-mail is current, snail mail is old school).

10. Show up at a business and ask to see the Recruiter (you don’t have an appointment and she is busy).

I hope you’ve enjoyed these resume “don’ts”and yes, they happen all the time; the only word I will occasionally over look as being misspelled is “manger” for “manager” because spell check doesn’t catch that one!