Saturday, March 29, 2014

BookLook Review: Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine

I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to review Crystal Paine's newly released book titled "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life" as part of the BookLook Blogger program. What a blessing to receive yet another book that arrived at the perfect time in my life. I decided that I wanted to be more intentional this year in all areas of my life. Before hearing about this book, I struggled with just how to get my life back in order. I started jotting down my goals but quickly noticed that I lacked direction, motivation, focus, and discipline.

Book Details
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publisher Product Page Price: $22.99
Amazon Price: $17.65
You can purchase the book through one of the following Store Options.

Note: All prices at time of review are subject to change and current at the time of posting this review.

About the Author 
Crystal Paine is the mother of three and a child of God. She is the author of 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life which is another book that I aim to read this year. She is the founder of an extremely popular and helpful website called which reaches over a million readers per month.

Book Description
In Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, you'll find both practical ideas and big-picture perspective that will inspire you to live life on purpose. Crystal Paine has walked the road from barely surviving to living with intention. Packed with straightforward solutions you'll use today and inspirational stories you'll remember for years.

Chapter Topics Addressed
  • Stop Trying to Do It All
  • Say Yes to the Best
  • If You Aim at Nothing, You'll Hit It Every Time
  • Discipline Is Not a Bad Word
  • Be Intentional with Your Bank Account
  • Manage the Home Front
  • When You Feel Like a Failure
  • Yes, You Can Make a Difference
  • Sometimes It Is About YOU
  • Kick-Start Your Success
My Thoughts
It wasn't that long ago when I personally felt like I was living in survival mode (almost two years ago). Several major life changes and shortcomings lead to an increase in stress and anxiety. I suffered from a horrible depression during that time period. I was trying to be a good wife, mother, homeschool educator, and homemaker, but it seemed like everything around me was falling apart. How could I possibly keep up with all of my duties? The additional stress caused unnecessary tension in my marriage. Honestly, I feel like I may be slipping into that mode again. I don't want to EVER be in that place so I decided to reevaluate my life and priorities this year. This book provided me with the guidance I needed. 

The message of this book is clear and straightforward. The 256-page hardcover non-fiction book contains practical tips and helpful advise for those of us that occasionally or always feel overwhelmed. Each chapter targets one goal and strategy. Here's an example from Chapter 5: Be Intentional With Your Bank Account.
Goal: Get your finances in order so you can spend, save, and give with purpose.
Strategy: Develop short-term and long-term financial goals and then create a plan to carry those goals out. 

I appreciate the conversational tone of the book. This phenomenal book is choked full of suggestions that are sure to inspire and motivate you to live a better life. Not all the information written in the book was new to me, but I saw the book as a "go to" tool that would help guide me into saying goodbye to survival mode. It is designed to offer straightforward advice on a real level. The questions at the beginning of the book help you understand whether or not you'll benefit from reading her book enabling you to make a more informed decision about whether you should purchase the book or not. 

The book focuses on nine strategies including the following topics: Priorities, decision-making, goal-setting, time management, home management, financial management, discipline, self-esteem, self-care, and more. Her reader's questions are indicated under the "What You Want To Know" question and answer section of the book. Crystal addresses a broad range of topics throughout the book, yet each topic is related to the chapter. The author also makes it clear that she is not an expert in the field. She explains that what worked for her may not work for everyone. I think this is an important point to clarify, because everyone's circumstances will differ. 

This book has so many wonderful points which makes it difficult to write a short review. I found myself devouring the material - ready and willing to transform my habits and behaviors. The author states the importance of evaluating your priorities first. Crystal shares personal stories about how to say "no" to events that aren't on your priority list. I loved the idea of the SMART acronym used when the author discusses the purpose of setting specific goals. She also encourages you to begin with just a few goals at a time enabling you to take baby steps towards success rather than overwhelming yourself with unrealistic goals only to give up in the end. I have been known to place unrealistic expectations on myself which immediately leads to a sense of failure. 

"Time is what we WANT most, but what we USE worse." After reading this William Penn quote from the book, I came to the realization that I am DEFINITELY wasting too much time online. Crystal encourages her readers to consider making changes to the overwhelming areas of their life. She's inspired me to make my top priorities my best stuff or "yes" list. She also reminded me to leave a little margin in my schedule for interruptions or unexpected occurrences which no doubt will happen at some point in our week. 

The "Get Practical" section includes challenges and reflective questions that help you apply what you have learned to your life. I recommend grabbing a journal or spiral notebook for these activities. For example, in Chapter 6 (Manage the Home Front), Crystal encourages her readers to declutter one room each week for four weeks. This challenge will surely help me let go of some of those cluttering items that are piling up in my home. The author states that "either you can control the clutter or the clutter will control you." I am beginning to believe this philosophy! She explains that it takes less time to maintain the items if you don't have the stuff. I am surrounded by clutter that I have accumulated over many, many years. I struggle with the idea of letting it all go but know that it must be done.  
Chapter 5 lists her bare-bones budget suggestions towards reaching financial freedom. She recommends that you develop a budget plan with your spouse. I can't remember the last time I sat down with my husband to discuss money matters so this has become a top priority especially with our current financial situation. These simple steps may allow you to change your thoughts and spending habits. 

There are days when I feel like a complete failure and tend to focus on my flaws and inabilities. The author questioned the purpose of tearing yourself down each day. This was a huge wake up call for me. This tear down isn't helping me attain the goals I desire. I tend to focus too often on my faults and can't improve in those areas if I get "stuck" in that one place. This one chapter touched my heart on many levels encouraging me to refocus my attention on the positives paying more attention to what I AM doing right rather than what I do wrong. 

Furthermore, I always feel guilty about "alone" or "me" time. Crystal emphasizes the importance of taking care of yourself. I haven't really taken care of myself in a long time. She helped me realize that it is ok. She provides a bulleted list of simple ways to recharge your life. I am hoping I will have more time to read encouraging and motivating books, consistently workout, journal, and pray that I have the willpower to unplug myself from all techno devices a couple times a month. I find myself busy, tired, anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed more often than I should . . . forgetting to actually enjoy my life and have fun. I don't want that kind of life anymore. I want to cherish and enjoy every moment that God has given me on Earth -  to live the life or plan that He has in store for me.

She ends the book by giving you "Seven Habits That Will Change Your Life" in addition to a list of suggestions that will kick-start your success enabling you to focus on what matters most. One habit I need to do is replace television and computer time with acts of productivity in order to gain more time. Some of the recommendations I am already implementing, but the chapter served as a great reminder. 

The appendix includes a few miniature goal-setting forms to utilize while reading the book enabling you to immediately apply the strategies. The author also offers her readers a 40-page printable pack if you share information about the book through social media avenues. My favorite printables included in this pack are the menu planning pages, goal sheets, and the daily docket. There is a list of categorized recommended reading resources at the back of the book.

Overall, this book has given me the necessary drive to move forward with my goals in life and to make changes for the better aiming for less stress, more sleep, and passion in my life. I appreciate that the author shared her personal stories, struggles, and successes in her book. Her honesty and truthfulness is evident throughout the pages of the book. She reassured me that we aren't perfect and we don't have to be . . . especially for the sake of others. Her references to Biblical scripture and quotes from well-known financial experts such as Dave Ramsey and Stephen Covey provide hope and encouragement. My word for the year 2014 is INTENTIONAL. This book is helping me get back on my feet by becoming more organized and prioritizing the major events in my life with a more intense focus.

Do you feel like you are living in survival mode?
 Are you looking for a little more direction in setting goals?
Do you want to lead a more purposeful, joyful, and intentional life?


I would definitely recommend this book to any Christian mother or woman wanting to gain more freedom from life's stressful circumstances or obstacles. In fact, I feel that anyone needing a little more direction with setting goals could benefit from reading the book. Crystal can help guide you in the right direction when reevaluating your goals and life priorities. This book will open your eyes to a new way of living. I plan on utilizing her suggestions and advice in hopes to take back my life so that I can live a more fulfilled and purposeful life. Thank you Crystal for providing your readers with this motivational book containing a conglomeration of helpful tips! Would you like to take a peek and read a sample chapter of her book  

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I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I review for BookSneeze®

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