I was sent a copy of The Book Of You for review through Mumsnet. 

The tagline of this book is “get ready to start living a better life, for you.” At first I thought it would be a self improvement book with lots of chapters about finding your way or that sort of thing where you read a hundred pages but still have little idea how to improve your life. 

It’s not like that, though. It’s actually fairly useful. The book is based on an app called the YOU-app, which I’d not heard of before but am now considering finding space for on my phone! It works on the principle that it’s easier and more realistic to take “micro-actions” each day and change your life for the long term, than to make one massive change and manage to stick at it for more than a couple of weeks.

What is a micro-action? According to the book…

A micro-action is small, simple and achievable in a normal day. For anyone, “Meditate for twenty minutes” isn’t a micro-action but “sit quietly for two minutes” is. “Run a marathon” isn’t a micro-action but “take the stairs” is. Simple, but they make all the difference.

Thee are 365 micro-actions in this book (apparently nobody told them 2016 is a leap year). They are split into four categories: food, mind, move and love. They come from expert contributors including Jamie Oliver, Caroline Arnold and Jamie Sawyer.

Each micro-action is fairly short to read and simple to implement – and although they are numbered 1-365, they don’t need to be done in any particular order as far as I can tell. This is great as you can either make it a part of your daily routine to look in the book for a new micro-action each day, or you can just dip in and out as you please. As an example, here is today’s micro-action:

Take a moment without any disturbances to simply observe your surroundings. When life feels busy we often forget to take the “me time” that our minds need to relax, refresh and regroup. Do you regularly take time during the day to pause? Observe your surroundings for 5 minutes.

This is something everyone is capable of, something we can all do right now, without the need to clear a space or buy equipment or learn some special words or phrases. And once you’ve done it once, you can try it again tomorrow. Or pick another one. Or do both. It’s brilliant.

On the whole, this is probably one of the more useful self development books I’ve read – because it has actual, concrete actions that you can take right now, as you read the book. A brilliant New Year purchase for anyone who wants to make a positive change in their lives for 2016.


 Thanks for reading.

You can read my other book reviews here.



Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


Catherine @ Story Snug · 04/01/2016 at 10:29

This sounds a fantastic book. I like the sound of micro actions ( but I hadn’t twigged that 2016 is a leap year!).


    Vicky Charles · 05/01/2016 at 13:27

    ha if I’m honest, I only twigged because of something I saw on Faccebook!

Emma - My Book Corner · 04/01/2016 at 10:41

Very intriguing – a good one to tuck in to at this time of year. Small actions. Micro actions. I like that.

    Vicky Charles · 05/01/2016 at 13:27

    It’s definitely been released at the best time of year!

Anita Cleare · 04/01/2016 at 13:00

I am always advocating small achievable steps as the best way to achieve change – and now I can call them micro-actions (what a great term!). Thanks for sharing #readwithme

    Vicky Charles · 05/01/2016 at 13:26

    Ah you were doing this all along without the fancy label!

Sarah MumofThree World · 04/01/2016 at 14:37

Sounds interesting! I don’t generally ‘get’ self improvement books, but very small changes make a lot of sense.

    Vicky Charles · 05/01/2016 at 13:24

    Exactly that, Sarah. Much more sustainable than massive changes.

Jess Powell (Babi a Fi) · 04/01/2016 at 15:08

Love the sounds of this – I’m all for self-development books, providing they’re not too ‘preachy’ :) #readwithme

    Vicky Charles · 05/01/2016 at 13:21

    Exactly Jess! I hate when you buy a book and it tells you all the things you’re doing wrong, and that you need to eat kale for every meal with organic, sustainably farmed yaks teeth and all this other stuff you’re never likely to do. I love this because it’s loads of small things you can do that don’t take time or cost a fortune – much more likely to get done!

chantelle hazelden · 04/01/2016 at 15:52

The premise of this certainly seems to make sense, a good book to get you thinking. Thanks for sharing with #readwithme

Lukeosaurus And Me · 05/01/2016 at 20:18

This sounds very interesting. Definitely something that is achievable, rather than other self help type books, like you say, that require huge changes of lifestyle and mental attitude. I’ll have to look out for this on the shelves. :) Ray xx #readwithme

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