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Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide Hardcover – January 6, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Life coach Miller collaborates with Frisch, a researcher and clinical psychologist, to create a fascinating book that connects the research on goal-setting with the new science of positive psychology. Turns out these two have a symbiotic relationship, for as Miller says, [H]appiness requires having clear-cut goals in life that give us a sense of purpose and direction.... when we make progress toward attaining goals in one area of life, we raise our overall life satisfaction in other areas because of the 'spillover' effect. Each chapter focuses on ways to increase happiness and self-efficacy, and directs readers to a particular life list at the back of the book. These range from 100 Things to Do Before I Die to a list of mood-boosters that bring Jolts of Joy or a Web of Influence Map, where readers can chart how the closest people in their lives reflect their values; research indicates that rates of obesity and smoking are determined by who we socialize with. The authors share ingenious tips on reminders (cellphone ring tones, screen savers) that will help readers achieve long-term goals by suggestion. An excellent resource list rounds out the book. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Instead of making New Year's resolutions, it may be more beneficial to assemble a goal-setting list. So believe positive psychologist/life coach Miller and clinical psychologist Frisch (Baylor Univ.), who have put together dozens of interactive exercises and assessments to guide readers in self-discovery and life-list creation. Whether or not readers follow through with every assignment, they will undoubtedly be inspired to think about goals and live more consciously and productively. Recommended for all libraries. --Library Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; 1 edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402762593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402762598
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP published her first book, "My Name is Caroline," in 1988 (Doubleday), which was the first major autobiography by a survivor of bulimia. It was an Alternate Selection for the Literary Guild, and won plaudits around the world for its raw, uncensored look at a disorder that few understood or knew how to treat when it was published. "Feeding the Soul" (Bantam 1992) and "Bright Lights for Dark Days" (Bantam 1994) followed, and all were translated into multiple languages. In 2009, Caroline published a groundbreaking book in the field of Positive Psychology and goal setting, "Creating Your Best Life." As the first evidence-based book that linked these two scientific theories, the book earned a red star in the Library Journal, and is used in educational settings around the world, along with being a mass market bestseller. "Positively Caroline," the first book by a survivor of bulimia with more than 25 years of recovery, was published in May 2013, and "My Name is Caroline" was rereleased in early 2014 with an updated introduction and foreword. Caroline was honored by the George Washington University Business School's "Hot Mommas" project, part of women's entrepreneurial studies, in October 2013 with their International Mentoring Award for her decades of role modeling health, recovery and goal pursuit for decades.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Todd B. Kashdan VINE VOICE on February 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
There are far too many self-help books out there and in recent years, an abundance of books on happiness. Miller & Frisch distinguish their book from the pack. It is nearly impossible to read this book without reflecting on your life goals, what exists in your life that facilitates them, what obstacles get in the way, what successes can you build on from your past, and most interestingly, what occurs on the fringes of conscious awareness that pushes you toward your goals or pulls you away from them. Despite studying and teaching positive psychology for nearly a decade, I found myself scribbling all over the pages. By the time I finished, a list of new life goals emerged, elaborating new meaningful themes to direct my limited time and energy.

I suspect people are skeptical of a book titled "Creating your best life" and they should be. The authors seem to beckon skepticism and in response, do an excellent job of providing the scientific basis for the main points and exercises in every chapter. The reason that this book is compelling is that it has great forward momentum. If you ever read a book written by scientists, you know that smooth prose is the exception not the rule. This book is an easy read (and I mean this as a profound compliment). Guided by ample scientific research, this book provides the necessary tools for someone to immediately improve their quality of life.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A good book that brings some sanity and science to the world of self-help. They present a number of strategies that won't be new to anyone familiar with self-help and life coaching.

Outstanding chapter on "prime," i.e, environmental influences on behavior. For instance, people made different choices when a briefcase was on a table than when a backpack was in the same place.

Best parts:

Good discussion goals and the inadequacy of the "SMART" goal acronym.

Excellent chapter on "grit" and determination.

Based on solid research, not just a series of anecdotes.

Nice worksheets and exercises.

Weak points:

As in most self-help books, the authors give examples of people who were rewarded by doing the "right" thing. For instance, they show people who benefited from taking risks. By definition, risks can have negative consequences, too. I would like to see some examples of people who took risks that did not work out, but turned the situation around or were glad they took the risk. Colette Dowling's book, The Cinderella Complex, includes a cautionary tale of the wrong kind of risk-taking.

The chapter on relationships is geared toward the "married with children" set. Considerable research shows that making friends has become increasingly difficult. Adding friends on Facebook or connections on LinkedIn rarely leads to meaningful relationships; they're more helpful for business and career.

The discussion of retirement follows the stereotype that older people want to trade off money for "doing good."

Many action suggestions are impractical. For instance, The section on neighborhood makes suggestions that will be difficult for many people especially those living in a city.

Definitely recommended with a caveat that some strategies will be challenging to apply to your own life.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Steve Burns TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for a book to help you draw out a map of your future, this is it. I have always been big about writing out goals and achieving them. This one task has kept put me on a track to achieve success in many areas of life. Like losing 60 pounds, acquiring a large net worth, becoming debt free, having a happy marriage, and many other smaller things. I believe you will never get any where unless you know where you are going. I have read several books on writing goals and this one is by far the best. This books author connects the research on goal setting with the new science of positive psychology, giving us all the tools we could ever need to move ahead in life and keep going past every setback or challenge that will occur. The book is based on research not on the authors personal opinion. That is what I like about the book, it is backed by science and statistics. The book gives you seventeen areas of life to construct your priorities with from health, self-esteem, values, spiritual life, money, work, play, learning, creativity, service, love, friends, children, relatives, home, neighborhood, and community. It will allow you to focus your time and energy on areas that you find most important. The back of the book has several exercises you can go through to get your creative juices flowing along with a 100 item "bucket list" you can create for yourself. This book really shows you step by step what you will need to achieve your goals. You will need to develop willpower, you will see how to get it. You have to take educated risks. You will need relationships with people that support you in your goals. You have to have the grit to not quit when setbacks occur. See how to write your own brief but powerful mission statement. Celebrate the wins along your journey.Read more ›
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By The Inveterate Reader on December 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Miller and Frisch's book should be a permanent and well-thumbed fixture on the bed sides of both the consummate goal-setter and the weary New Years warrior.

In a world filled with self-help platitudes, "Creating Your Best Life" is the rare book that marries evidence-based research with its practical application. In doing so, it provides the enigmatic "how" that is invariably missing from other self-improvement books.

I highly recommend that you read this book with a pen and notebook in hand for it will ignite latent dreams and spark many good ideas!
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