In The Self-Care Solution, Dr. Jennifer Ashton breaks down annual goals and new year’s resolutions into month-long bouts of attempted lifestyle changes with the hope of helping the average Joe have some chance at success in day-to-day life. Monthly challenges include a month of no alcohol, meditation, a month of planks and pushups, a month with less sugar, a month of better sleep, and more. She seeks expert advice on some challenges (resistance training for example) but no advice on other challenges (less meat, more plants) where she appears to lean on popular dietary fads rather than on scientific data (See nutritionfacts.org). The research is light, and the author makes no attempt to tie in all the challenges together from one month to the next.
The information provided may be inspirational to some, but the author’s stories about each month’s challenge making her feel better than she can remember ever feeling before seem repetitive and unrealistic. Her perpetual success at each challenge (except the less sugar challenge) gives the impression of shallowness. The final challenge where she wears a child’s tiara for a month because she wants to laugh more feels like she ran out of material.
The book strives to be more useful than it is, but the general concept of breaking down lifestyle change goals into one-month blocks instead of year-long resolutions is good one.