4 ways to integrate what you learn from self help books

5 min read

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There comes a time in every self help junkie’s life that we have to put down the books and start taking action. We can literally read all the books, listen to all the podcasts, go to all the seminars, register for all the webinars, but if we don’t actively start integrating what we’re learning, we’re not going to see lasting, meaningful changes.

We’re forgetful creatures. If you aren’t integrating as you’re learning, you’ll just have to re-read that material again when you’re finally ready, perhaps wasting money, definitely wasting time. Don’t let yourself be a mindless content consumer. Stop reading. Start integrating.

Here are four helpful ways to start putting what you’re learning into practice:

1.      Form an accountability group or mastermind

After Tim Ferriss attended Tony Robbins’ super popular and impactful seminar, Date with Destiny, he and a few other attendees formed a group chat where they could check in and hold each other accountable to what they wanted to implement after the event.

Similarly, you could form a group chat with people that have read the same book, have been listening to the same podcasts, etc. so that everyone is on the same page, or you could just form a general group where everyone voices their goals and intentions and can be held accountable.

If you want to get more formal about it, you can put together a mastermind group. Napoleon Hill first introduced this concept in Think and Grow Rich as a way to organize peer to peer mentorship, helping each other reach goals and get through challenges. You can set a schedule for meetings and they can be as frequent as works best for the group.  

I know, being a self help junkie, you want to go to Amazon right now and order the book if you haven’t read it, but stop yourself, we’re talking about integrating before consuming… remember?!

2.      There’s an app for that

Depending on what you want to integrate, there are plenty of apps that can help you integrate by holding yourself accountable with daily check-ins on your goals. You can also add friends if that’s not enough and you want to have someone watching over your shoulder. Hey, some of us need that!

I use “HabitShare – Habit Tracker” by Luke Bickston. I find it super easy to use and I like having the ability to add friends to it. I love using it for personal habits like making sure I’m drinking enough water or working out a certain amount of times per week, but I use it for business as well. For example, I can set a goal for cold calls for the week. It’s pretty adaptable and you should be able to find a way to track whatever it is that you’re trying to integrate.

3.      Choose top 3 things you want to integrate and schedule milestones/checkpoints into your calendar

I don’t know about you, but if I don’t schedule something, it generally doesn’t get done. If I want to implement something new, the best thing I can do for myself is plan that shit out. Don’t just bookmark it thinking you’ll come back to it later, because you might forget all about it.

I use Google Calendar to block out time slots for different things and color code it accordingly. Schedule in time for that fitness routine you just watched on Instagram, block out time to get work done using the productivity hack you learned about on Pinterest or schedule in time for the morning routine you just learned about in your favorite podcast.

4.      Make it a point to revisit the things that really resonated with you

If something has impacted you, revisit it on a regular basis. Listen to that podcast episode once every quarter. Re-read that book once a year. Re-read that blog post once a month. It’s easy to consume content, ride the inspiration high for a few days and then forget all about it. Go back and revisit the things that really hit home so that they stick in your mind. The second, third, fourth time you go over it, you’ll probably pick up something that you didn’t even notice before.

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