Book Review: Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

Book Review: Say Goodbye to Survival ModePlaying catch-up with a list a mile long, I found myself in survival mode. I know I didn’t plan for this destination, but my choices put me here. Instead of deciding what to do, I was putting out the next fire before another one started.

Caught in the rat race of life, I don’t always take the time to play that requested game with my son, paint my daughter’s nails after she’s asked every day for a week, or give complete attention to Miss 3’s long-winded story that really has no end. However, my children really need undivided attention, even if it is for 10 minutes.

Realizing I needed a change, I was thrilled when I was chosen as a launch team member for the release of Crystal Paine’s second book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life.

Having loved Crystal’s first book, The Money Saving Mom’s Budget, as it met me where I was, I knew this second book was just what I needed.

This 230-page Say Goodbye to Survival Mode book is packed with Crystal’s personal story along with interviews and encouragement from others who have broken free from survival mode. As I read the scenarios, I could have easily substituted my name into many of their stories.

Realizing that I’m not alone in survival mode, I found the 9 simple strategies a way through the dark tunnel into a stress-free, manageable lifestyle.

9 Simple Strategies

          1. Stop Trying to Do It All
          2. Say Yes to the Best
          3. If You Aim at Nothing, You’ll Hit It Every Time
          4. Discipline Is Not a Bad Word
          5. Be Intentional with Your Bank Account
          6. Manage the Home Front
          7. When You Feel Like a Failure
          8. Yes, You can Make a Difference
          9. Sometimes It Is about You

Embedded within the structure of these 9 strategies, each reader will find encouragement and practical solutions that can be implemented immediately. At the conclusion of each chapter is a “Get Practical” section designed with questions to help you apply the principles shared.

Though each reader will have her own favorites, I found the following 5 lessons and quotations my breakthrough to saying goodbye to survival mode:

1. How to become more self-disciplined

“I’d rather do a few things well, have my priorities in order, and enjoy life than to try and do two hundred things poorly and have a stressed-out, exhausted, passionless existence.”

The “Four C’s to Creating Margin” section outlines how to create empty space within our schedule. With extra time built-in, I have room for the sick child, the spontaneous trip to Chick-fil-A, and the unexpected phone call from a friend.

2. How to set and keep goals

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll never reach your destination.”

Finding goals a great tool to get from here to there, I loved the “Set SMART Goals” section. Using the word SMART, where each letter represents a word, Crystal shares how to create Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound goals. Using these parameters, I get from the generic goal of “be more healthy” to the specific goal of “lose 1 pound each week.”

3. How to manage your time, money, and home

“At different times in your life, you’re going to need to put more energy and effort into some things while other things will need to be put on the back burner for the time being.”

As cleaning our household has been on the back burner for some time, I was able to keep up the surface cleaning because we limit clutter in our home. Lest you get the wrong idea, we have lots of stuff as opposed to Crystal’s minimalist lifestyle. However, everything has a place.

I enjoy removing unnecessary items from our home and found the “Four-week Guide to rid clutter from your home” section great because she suggests focusing on one type of room each week.

4. How to rediscover your passion and purpose for life

“It’s an indescribable feeling to invest your life in something that is much bigger than yourself.”

Whether you have a little or a lot, everyone can give something back. The “18 Creative Ways to Help Others” section gives specific recommendations to fit within our time constraints, budgets, and lifestyles.

5. How to experience less stress and more joy

“When you have a day when it seems like nothing gets done and you’re just going around and around in circles, remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day.”

With life whizzing by, the “Seven Habits that will Change your Life” section brought life back down to the basics. Establishing a pattern of habits will transform my way of living from surviving crises to intentional, meaningful decisions.

Book Review: Say Goodbye to Survival ModeIf you are exhausted and ready to throw in the towel, then it’s time to say goodbye to survival mode. Crystal’s book releases on Tuesday, January 21, but you can preorder your copy of Say Goodbye to Survival Mode for $17.36 (hardback) or $14.99 (Kindle) from

With life-altering strategies, this financial investment can help you change your lifestyle as you say “no” more often, focus on your goals, and establish habits that fit your schedule while using time wisely. Happy intentional living!

Note: As a launch team member, I received a free pre-released .pdf copy of Say Goodbye to Survival Mode to read, review, and promote. The promotion via Amazon includes my affiliate links. For more details on Using Time Wisely’s practices, please read my disclosure policy.

Question: What tasks are on the back burner during this season of your life? 

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