The Life Strategies Workbook: Exercises and Self-Tests to Help You Change Your Life

Overview

Life Strategies, the New York Times number one bestseller, is a smash international hit. Oprah's resident expert on human functioning continues to impact millions the world over with his no-nonsense, action-oriented life-changing philosophies. Now, in The Life Strategies Workbook, Dr. McGraw provides exercises and questionnaires to help you make major much-needed and long-put-off changes in your life.

With a series of easy-to-do self-tests, The Life Strategies Workbook will ...

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Overview

Life Strategies, the New York Times number one bestseller, is a smash international hit. Oprah's resident expert on human functioning continues to impact millions the world over with his no-nonsense, action-oriented life-changing philosophies. Now, in The Life Strategies Workbook, Dr. McGraw provides exercises and questionnaires to help you make major much-needed and long-put-off changes in your life.

With a series of easy-to-do self-tests, The Life Strategies Workbook will enable you to confront your problems, identify the causes, and start working toward permanent solutions. In addition, the book allows you to adapt Dr. McGraw's strategies to your own personal needs. You'll be able to improve virtually every aspect of your life—at work or at home, in spiritual matters, or in your physical well-being—by using this incredibly helpful workbook.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786885145
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 1/19/2000
  • Edition description: Workbook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 594,451
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Phil McGraw

Dr. Phil McGraw is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters; Relationship Rescue: A Seven-Step Strategy for Reconnecting with Your Partner; Self Matters: Creating Your Life From the Inside Out; The Ultimate Weight Solution: The Seven Keys to Weight Loss Freedom, and his most recent book, Family First: Your Step-by-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller The Ultimate Weight Solution Coookbook: Recipes For Weight Loss Freedom as well as The Ultimate Weight Solution Food Guide. His books have been published in 37 languages with over 22 million copies in print. Dr. Phil has a B.S, M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from North Texas State University with a dual area of emphasis in clinical and behavioral medicine. He has been a board-certified and licensed clinical psychologist since 1978, and appears on his nationally syndicated daily one-hour series, Dr. Phil. He lives in Los Angeles with Robin, his wife of 28 years, and their two sons, Jay and Jordan.

Biography

Many self-help authors have launched their careers via the beneficence of Oprah Winfrey, but only Phillip C. McGraw was able to parlay the talk show queen's admiration into a weekly friendly takeover of her show, near-guaranteed bestsellerdom, and, finally, his own talk show. He's gotten so much attention as "Dr. Phil" (a.k.a. "Tell It like It Is Phil") that he's moved from Texas to Hollywood and even guested with his fictional peer on NBC's Frasier.

McGraw delivers unapologetic, no-nonsense advice in a tough but colorful down-home twang -- hence his "Tell It like It Is" moniker. That old psychological bugaboo, denial, is chief among his enemies; and bluntness is his forte, whether he is exhorting someone to "get real" or demanding to know, "What were you thinkin'?" In short, "He's like your mama, without hair," as fellow psychologist Robert Butterworth told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

McGraw isn't unsympathetic, but he is realistic. As he told Barnes & Noble.com, "I am here to tell people how the world works, not how I think it should be or how you wish it would be, but how it is." McGraw met Oprah when he was hired to coach her in a suit by cattle ranchers for her alleged defamation of the beef industry. Oprah won the case, and it wasn't long before Dr. Phil was a regular feature on her show, challenging her guests in the same way he challenges his readers.

Though McGraw's style is quick and to the point, he does what many good personal therapists do: He asks difficult questions and encourages people to answer them with painful honesty. He also does what many therapists do not: He avoids emphasis on introspection about the circumstances and history that can contribute to a person's problems. "Whether the cards you've been dealt are good or bad, you're in charge of yourself now," he writes as part of "Life Law #2: You create your own experience" in his first, still-popular book, Life Strategies.

McGraw's sports-coach approach has also appealed to couples seeking help in revitalizing tired marriages or fixing troubled relationships. The year after publishing 1999's Life Strategies, McGraw released Relationship Rescue, offering a seven-step plan for imperiled unions (one key word: "renegotiate").

Most recently, McGraw devoted special attention to those who are simply "going through the motions," whether at work or at home. His Self Matters encourages readers to literally take an inventory of their lives, discover their "authentic selves," and redirect their courses accordingly. He harangues, he prods, and sometimes he makes people uncomfortable -- but darned if he doesn't get them to see things in a different way than they did before.

Good To Know

He has been married to his wife, Robin, for 26 years. They have two sons, 23-year-old Jay and 16-year-old Jordan. McGraw has told Good Housekeeping that he doesn't feel pressure to have a perfect marriage because of his public image. But, he adds, "My wife is an amazing woman. We have a great marriage because she won't have it any other way."

After getting his doctorate, McGraw went into private practice; but "when it came to the point that I really had to admit I didn't like what I was doing, that was a gut check because I was making an awful lot of money doing it," he told CNN in 2001. So he quit the practice in 1989 and co-founded Courtroom Sciences, Inc., a legal consultancy that conducts mock trials, behavioral analysis, jury selection, and mediation.

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    1. Hometown:
      Los Angeles, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      1950
    2. Place of Birth:
      Oklahoma
    1. Education:
      Attended University of Tulsa; B.A., Midwestern State; Ph.D. in psychology, University of North Texas, 1979
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

About This Workbook xi
Part I Get Real--Facing the Truth about Yourself
A Quick Self-Check 3
The Story of My Life 4
"What the Hell Was I Thinking?" 6
My Family Legacy 7
Emotions that Trap Me 11
Behaviors and Consequences 13
What Do I Want to Change? 16
What Do I Want? 17
What's Working? 19
Excuses I'll Tell Myself 22
Part II Get Smart-Learning the Ten Life Laws
Life Law #1 You Either Get It, or You Don't 25
Blind-Faith Patterns 26
Doing Something Different 32
Hunting for the "Gray Dogs" 34
Learning to Know Others 35
Observation Practice 39
The Turtle Self-Test 40
Life Law #2 You Create Your Own Experience 42
Owning My Feelings 43
What Did I Do? 45
Where Was I When That Happened? 46
Erasing the Negative "Tapes" 47
Evaluating My Style 49
Am I Ready? 51
Life Law #3 People Do What Works 53
Broken Resolutions 54
The "Currency" of Life 55
What Needs to Change? 56
My Success Stories 59
The "Currency" Exchange 60
Assessing My Risk Aversion 61
Life Law #4 You Can't Change What You Don't
Acknowledge 62
The Fib Habit 63
Twenty Things I Hate to Admit 64
No Excuses 67
Rating My Realism 69
Getting What I Don't Want 70
The Happiest Time in My Life 71
Life Law #5 Life Rewards Action 73
The Rut Test 74
Lost Intentions 76
Catching Up with the Ones I Love 78
This Calls for Action! 81
Thirty Times I Failed to Follow Through 82
My Top Twenty Achievements 88
Talking to Myself 91
Life Law #6 There Is No Reality; Only Perception 93
The Perception Self-Test 94
Shaking Loose My Fixed Beliefs 96
Rooting Out My Limiting Beliefs 99
Freshening My Perceptions 100
Life Law #7 Life Is Managed; It Is Not Cured 103
Life Manager Performance Appraisal 104
Care and Feeding of My Life Manager 105
Putting My Life on Project Status 107
Playing the "What If?" Game 109
An Inventory of My Life Decisions 113
Climbing Out of the Comfort Zone 114
Life Law #8 We Teach People How to Treat Us 116
Relationship Questionnaire 117
Evaluating My Relationship 119
Why I Chose You 122
Let's Talk about It 123
My Life Nucleus 125
A Self-Inventory 126
Life Law #9 There Is Power in Forgiveness 129
Admitting the Wounds 130
Payoffs for the Negative Emotions 131
Breaking the Negative Bonds 131
Forgiving Myself 132
Proud to Be Me 133
Life Law #10 You Have to Name It to Claim It 135
What I Can Eliminate 136
What Is My "Brass Ring"? 140
Overcoming the Obstacles 142
What My Success Will Look Like 143
Part III Get Ready--Diagnosing Your Current Situation
A Guided Tour of My Life 147
Step 1 My Ideal Life 150
Step 2 My Actual Life 150
Step 3 Limiting Beliefs and Self-Judgments 152
Step 4 Obstacles I Must Overcome 152
Step 5 Resources I Can Put to Work 153
Step 6 My SUDS (Discomfort) Rating 154
Step 7 My Motivation for Change 154
Life Dimension Assessment Forms 157
Summary of Priorities 163
Life Dimension Summary Profile Charts 164
Judgments and Limiting Beliefs 168
What I Care About Most 169
How I Use My Time 170
The Themes in My Life 171
"Me in the Future" 173
Part IV Get Going--Creating Your Strategy for the Life You Want
The Seven Steps 177
Step 1 Express your goal in terms of specific events or behaviors 177
Step 2 Express your goal in terms that can be measured 180
Step 3 Assign a time line to your goal 182
Step 4 Choose a goal you can control 184
Step 5 Plan and program a strategy that will get you to your goal 184
Step 6 Define your goal in terms of steps 185
Step 7 Create accountability for your progress toward your goal 187
Creating the Momentum of Success 188
Finding My Formula 195
Learning from My Mistakes 197
Learning from My Successes 198
Success Study: The Ten Key Elements 200
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2002

    Great Book

    The book helped me evaluate my personal relationships and my life strategies. This is a MUST buy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2001

    Potentially Overwhelming

    This book isn't for the person who is looking for quick and simple solutions to life's challenges. It does provide a complete and compelling paradigm for personal change, but it falls short on completing the story for the reader. For example, the book does an exceptional job at helping the reader to identify the root causes of emotional baggage and then provides tools for healing the wounds of the past. However, the final section is not enough of a springboard for future growth (at least it wasn't for me). Indeed, after reviewing all of your 'issues,' the book can become overwhelming if you have multifaceted areas for improvement. What the book needs is a chapter on how one activity can manage various issues. (Example: how enhancing spiritual development by joining a new religious organization will impact your personal relationships, physical well-being, etc.) The reader is left to develop these synergies on his or her own, and only this mitigates the overwhelming nature of the book. The 'format' of the book was not a benefit to the reader because it wasn't laid out as an actual workbook. I found myself going to the local copy center to photocopy pages or ended up typing out extra forms. I used this workbook from start to finish over a period of six moths and gave it significant effort. I would recommend it, but only if you can devote sufficient time to it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2001

    Opportunities for Self Improvement Beyond Life Strategies

    I strongly urge you to get, use, and refer often to this workbook! The exercises in Life Strategies are the greatest strength of that book. The exercises in this workbook are much more numerous and more beneficial than the sum of the ones in Life Strategies. Life Strategies is one of the most valuable books on how to accomplish more in your life that has ever been written. This workbook will more than triple the benefit you will get from reading Life Strategies by focusing you on doing many more exercises to identify your limiting beliefs, and organizing action for self-improvement. As much as I like these two books, I find them deficient in the area of helping you identify your values and life's mission. Values and mission do precede strategy. For that reason, I suggest that you start with Hyman Smith's, What Matters Most, then read Life Strategies, and follow those two books with this workbook. The three build on each other nicely, as though they were written to be combined although I believe that only the latter two were coordinated in this way. Before telling you more about the workbook, let me note that none of these books is appropriate for helping those with severe psychological issues. You should get professional help. Some of this material might simply make you feel worse than you can handle, before building you toward a set of solutions. The big complaint that many people have about Life Strategies was that it had too much material in it about Oprah. Well, you'll be glad to know that the workbook is virtually an Oprah-free zone. Here is how the workbook is organized: Part I focuses on how you can find out and face the truth about yourself, and parallels the material in chapter one of Life Strategies. There are 10 exercises here including a quick self-check, writing the story of your life, looking at times when you wonder what in the world you could have been thinking, considering your family legacy, outlining emotions that trap you, considering the consequences of your behaviors, thinking about what you want to change, identifying what you want, noticing what's working, and listing the excuses you give yourself for not taking action. Part II is for learning the Ten Life Laws from Life Strategies. There is a section on each one, with each law having at least four exercises associated with it. Some have as many as six exercises. The laws are: (1) You either get it, or you don't (basic psychology of human motivation) (2) You create your own experience (by the choices you make) (3) People do what works (even bad habits serve some purpose) (4) You can't change what you don't acknowledge (Don't stick your head in the sand about your issues) (5) Life rewards action (6) There is no reality, only perception (Your interpretation of what is happening is malleable, and can be made more useful to you) (7) Life is managed, not cured (you have to deal with the hand you are dealt, even if you don't like it) (8) We teach people how to treat us (by the way we act around them) (9) There is power in forgiveness (Get over it!) (10) You have to name it to claim it (Goals focus us). Part III looks at getting ready to change and parallels the material in chapter 12 of Life Strategies, involving a diagnosis of your current situation. This was one of the most useful sections in Life Strategies to me. Part IV is on goal-setting and taking action. This parallels chapters 13 and 14 in Life Strategies. Because Life Strategies and the workbook have the same subject matters, many will perceive them as being identical. That perception is true in one way, and false in another way. In terms of the key concepts, there is no difference. In terms of the exercises, there are major differences. The workbook has about three times as many exercises and assignments as Life Strategies does. Only about 20 percent repeat Life Strategies. The exercises are designed to deepen and strengthen your improved understanding of yourself bef

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