My Favorite Things – November 2021

At the end of the last few months, I’ve been writing about my favorites from that month as a sort of personal reflection. From books to podcasts, to hikes, or products, I’ve sorted through my favorites in each category in an effort to share them with you.

Books

  • Checklist Manifesto – This book was written by a surgeon, Atul Gawande, about 10 years ago. It’s about the value and simplicity of a checklist in a complicated situation. He shares his learning from pilots and engineers, and develops his own checklist to help with the various aspects of surgery. The second half of the book is focused on his own experiment implementing a checklist and his findings.
  • Impact Players – Liz Wiseman’s recent study on Impact Players aims at providing clarity on what that “thing” is that makes our best contributors on teams truly the best. She shares 5 specific things they do differently than those she calls contributors. I wasn’t sure if I should put this as one of my favorite books when the reality is I didn’t love the book. Let me explain. I watched a live talk online from Liz Wiseman about her learning on Impact Players. The hour or so long talk was incredible so I naturally purchased the book to read more. I tried my best to give it a chance, but personally didn’t get much out of the first 2/3 of the book. She had done such an incredible job in her talk that it truly a wonderful summary where I just didn’t find as much value in longer versions of the stories. I did however appreciate the last 1/3 of the book immensely as it had more specific action steps and takeaways which is why I will keep this on my list.
  • Preaching the Gospel To Yourself – This is a 4 week study from Daily Grace Co that illustrates how the gospel is tied to every part of our lives – work, community, friendship, health, social media, etc. What I appreciated was its simplicity while also being very impactful.

Podcast Episodes

  • John Maxwell Leadership Podcast: Focus on the Future – This is a 32 minute podcast where Mark and Chris talk about how we can can control our futures and the mindset
  • The Popcast: Fictional Jobs – I think the Popcast is hilarious so I listen to it when I need something lighthearted to make me laugh. This fictional jobs episode is just that.

Products

  • North face Beanie – I bought this in early November in the color flax and have worn it almost daily since whenever I leave the house. It’s incredibly warm.
  • Alpine Boots– I got these I tan and adore them. I would recommend sizing up at least a half size because they’re a bit narrow.
  • 2022 PowerSheets – I have bought Powersheets every year for about 8 years now. It’s an intentional goal setting planner that can helps you break down your goals and set intentional, achievable ways to reach them. It is not a substitute for a planner, but rather a compliment to it. I will personally use my power sheets alongside the planner I have below.
  • Hustle Sanely Weekly Planner – I preordered this a few weeks ago and got it in the mail in the last week. I have always been a paper planner gal for my personal life things, even though at work I fully embrace a digital calendar. What I love about the planner is that it’s not just about events or to-dos but there’s also space for you to plan out a kind thing you plan to do for yourself that day, something kind for someone else, your 30 minute activity, your top 3, and your tidy for 15. I use my current planner to already list these types of things in it as well as a few others so I’m excited to use this next year!

Movies

I don’t regularly watch movies but really enjoy them around the holiday season, even if they’re incredibly predictable. Two favorites from this last month are below.

  • Love Hard – This one is on Netflix and has Heather McMahan in it who is a hilarious comedian. One of those movies that’s both sweet and funny and an easy watch.
  • Operation Christmas Drop – This one is also on Netflix and based on a true story of a tradition that began in 1952. It is a distribution of supplies and gifts to those living in Micronesia and the operation provides a training opportunity for service individuals.

Music

  • Geronimo from Shane Smith & The Saints. This album is from 2015 and I did not know who Shane Smith & The Saints are until looking them up for this post. They had a recent song on Yellowstone which you can watch here. They recorded this video near Terlingua, Texas which is one of my favorite towns I’ve visited. It’s located in southwest Texas near Big Bend National Park and you can read about my time there here and here.
  • Human – Cody Johnson’s Double Album. I heard this one initially a few weeks ago. I like many of the songs but my favorite is “By Your Grace”.
  • A Drummer Boy Christmas from For King & Country with my two favorites being “The Carol of Joseph” and “A Christmas Monologue”. We saw them in concert in October, and already have tickets to see them again next year after their new album is released.

Social Media

I took about 3 weeks off of Instagram in November. So rather than suggesting new people to follow, I’ll share with you the guide I try to use for my own boundaries with social media.

  • Pick 1-2 social media platoforms and ditch the rest. I personally only use Instagram and Pinterest. The rest of them could never exist and I’d never care. I use Pinterest pretty much solely for recipes and travel prep so it’s not something I check daily. With Instagram being the only account I regularly check, I’ve already reduced the amount of time I’d likely spent on social media daily by only having one instead of many.
  • Another piece of advice I’ve tried to follow is to take an hour a day, a day a week, a week a month, and a month off year off social media. I’m certainly not anywhere near perfect at it, but have found having boundaries and space helpful.
  • The last tip I’ll give is to curate who you follow. Truly. If you don’t feel like that person’s influence in your feed has made your life better, remove them. I try to be incredibly intentional by what influence I allow in my feed. I try to follow those who challenge me to think differently, care for others well, learn more, get outside, focus on mental and physical well being, and be a better follower of Jesus. If the person doesn’t fit that for me, I either don’t follow in the first place or choose to unfollow.

Wrap Up

While I write this as a helpful tool to share with others, I find it helpful for me as well to reflect on my last month by looking through my journal, photos, and notes on my phone. It’s a great way to review where I spent my time during the month and see if there’s any changes I’d like to make for the upcoming month. So thank you spending your time reading it!

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