Life-changing events — such as divorce or a loved one’s death — provide opportunities for self-growth. To use these events as such, self-motivation is key, writes author David Edwards. This requires developing two skills: self-efficacy and self-esteem, he believes.
Most of Edwards’ book describes how to hone these skills. Starting with exercises focused on identifying core values, the author discusses the foundation of self-efficacy (goal-setting), devoting six chapters to understanding the power of self-control, which is critical to achieving goals. Edwards devotes subsequent chapters to developing self-compassion (self-esteem), which helps maintain the balance between one’s aspirations and connections to others.
Each chapter offers Key Takeaways at the end and a “PQ4R” sheet (a review system in which the reader writes down questions about the material, then re-reads passages seeking the answers), followed by a repeat of the 4Rs that help build retention: “Read, Reflect, Recite and Review.” Edwards borrows the PQ4R method from authors E.L. Thomas and H.A. Robinson.
The author encourages his audience to read chapters in sequence to reap maximum benefits. Two appendices round out his book’s final pages. The first is a discussion about the power of affirmations and the second provides information on the PQ4R process and its benefits.
Edwards covers many issues that are common fodder for self-help books, such as the importance of splitting big goals into smaller steps, or avoiding negative self-talk. His prose is wordy and his tips are often buried within the narrative, rather than bulleted in a crisp, easily accessible way. Additionally, the PQR4 system, commonly employed by “college students, professionals, and academics,” seems more complicated than necessary in this context. Simply asking readers to write reflective notes at the end of each chapter would have sufficed.
New You! Who Knew? aims to put readers squarely in charge of their destiny. A less wordy, more pointed narrative would achieve that aim more efficiently.
Also available as an ebook and audio book.