Reviews – The life plan

I’ve always suspected that buying really fluffy towels would change my life for the better, so it’s reassuring to have that confirmed by an expert in life planning. Throwing out the threadbare and starting your day wrapped in a fluffy replacement is one of the suggestions in the section entitled ‘10 small things that make life more comfortable’. The other nine directives here are quite enticing too, as they include ‘get up late’, ‘soak in the bath’, ‘have the car valeted’, and ‘drink fresh orange juice’.

Seven-hundred simple ways to change your life might seem like a lot of work, but they are simple suggestions and conveniently grouped into tens, which are in turn amalgamated into broader headings such as ‘Health and Fitness’, ‘Relationships’, ‘Children’, ‘Money’, ‘The World of Work’, and ‘Retirement’. The author certainly has a good go at covering all aspects of life – there are 10 questions to ask when considering starting a family, 10 ways to be happier at work, 10 ways to de-clutter your home, and 10 ways to get more out of your holiday. Inevitably, this means a rather broad brush approach, but you can’t expect all the answers in fewer than 200 pages. See it as a prompt to your thinking rather than a set of solutions. It’s a book that raises awareness of possibilities rather than explaining how to do things. For example, one of the 10 ways to increase your income without moonlighting, is to offer your home to a location agency as a film set. No detail on how, but if that catches your interest then no doubt you can research it further.

It’s a fun, light read. Many of the suggestions are basic common sense, the sort of thing you hear all the time from well-meaning friends and family, agencies promoting health and education, and other forms of good clean fun. It’s easy to dip in and out of and could just nudge you into rethinking the way you approach a whole range of situations.

The subtitle, 700 Simple Ways to Change Your Life for the Better, is a more accurate description of what it offers rather than the main title, The Life Plan. This is a book of snippets, some of which will resonate, while others may seem irrelevant or ridiculous. I do really like the fact that ‘kiss your mother’ appears twice. I must remember to pass this book on to my son.

Irene Krechowiecka is a careers coach and journalist