–By Marie Taylor
If you’re ready to stop procrastinating with your life and start achieving personal goals, then Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight (published by Little, Brown and Company, 2016) should be next on your to-read list. The anti-guru of the self-help genre, Knight became known for her tough love approach to self-help when she wrote the bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck.
Originally a player in the publishing world, the author doesn’t have a psychology degree or credentials as a spiritual healer (at least as far as Google is aware), but her no-nonsense approach to getting your life together is as funny and insightful as they come. This book is an expletive-filled guide to help you cut through your personal barriers and find ways to deal with your “sh*t”.
One of the great aspects of this book is that the author gets real about what types of mental or physical barriers hold us back. I picked up this book thinking that it would just be another self-help book where the author gives me strategies and after following them for a while I revert to my old ways. This time has been different.
Kind of like basic training, Knight takes on the strategy of breaking you down to build you back up.
The biggest takeaway from her real-life approach is this: no matter what your personality type is, there is no excuse for not getting your shit together. Most of us must work the same job every day to pay the bills, and most of us have other things we’d like to do outside of work. When we fail to prioritize the must-dos and wants, we end up tired, frazzled, and even more stressed then if we had gotten things done in the first place.
Once this reality has set in – that all of us, no matter how well we might fake it, haven’t gotten our shit together in at least one area – the author takes the time to help the reader develop strategies for initiating change. The author uses that same give-less-f*cks attitude to help pinpoint how to move forward in this new, more productive reality.
The book was a bit slow-moving for me in the beginning, but once I pushed through the first and second chapters I began to see myself in what the author was saying.
What was even better than that realization was the analogy Knight uses to help the reader pinpoint their personality type. Forget the Myers-Briggs test, Knight uses the “Are you a Simon, Theodore, or Alvin?” Yes, that’s right, the world’s most famous chipmunks (no offense to Chip or Dale) are used as a guide to help you understand how you deal with life. (In case you were wondering, I’m mostly a Theodore and an Alvin, but have always aspired to be a Simon.) If you take nothing away from this book review, at least read the book to find out what chipmunk you are.
Chipmunks aside, there were quite a few points in this book that stuck with me. One such idea involved the concept of motivation (that tricky fickle thing), and the importance of having a two-pronged approach to keeping motivation.
The first approach in capturing motivation is seizing it when it comes. That means staying in the groove when you find your flow and making the most of it. If you can’t stop what you are doing and use your motivation in that moment, bring on the second approach. Even if you can’t stop, take the time to write down what you want to do and schedule another time to do just that. Even if you don’t feel motivated in the beginning, the flow eventually comes back to you and you’re able to get going again.
Like most people on this Earth, I could use a little help with getting my sh*t together. This book has been a wake-up call for me to reorganize and prioritize my life. That seems like a big goal to have, but reading this book helped me think about the mental barriers that have held me back from achieving more, or simply making the most of what I do have. L
ook at it this way: we’ve all got to live, so why not make the most of our time and how we spend it?
Next time you’re overwhelmed by all the stuff in your life, keep this book in the back of your mind. For those that hate the self-help genre, you’re in luck, because Knight is the antithesis of your self-help nightmares. She kicks your butt (in a good way) and gets you motivated to be better. For those not afraid to explore their own self-awareness, this book is the tough love guide you need to put all that knowledge into action.
No matter which category you find yourself in, this book is a humorous and enlightening guide to getting your priorities in order. Good luck on your journeys, Chipmunks!