Books to kick off your new year


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Hello again! How has your new year been going so far? Sticking to those new years resolutions? Don’t be too hard on yourself if not, it may just be a matter of breaking them down into smaller steps. One of the first resolutions I wanted to tackle was waking up earlier and spending time for and on myself. Part of my morning routine (called the Miracle Morning, which I’ll talk about in a bit) is reading so I’ve made the additional goal of reading 100 books and intentionally chosen books to help me get my year started off right. After setting up my tetris-inspired book tracking page in my bullet journal I thought it would be fun to share those books with all of you. Here we go!


My Year With Eleanor: A Memoir by Noelle Hancock


I won’t say much about this one since I’ve already devoted an entire blog post to it back in September but I really enjoyed this one. I don’t think I tackle one fear everyday but I certainly pay attention to them more and tackle them as I feel I can. This isn’t a self help book, as you may have guessed from the title, but rather a memoir of one woman’s journey in taking on a challenge from Eleanor Roosevelt – Do one thing everyday that scares you.


Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret to Waking Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8am) by Hal Elrod

81qc3t3yislWhile I didn’t necessarily like the writing style, there are a few good ideas and words of encouragement worth thinking about. If you are a bullet journaler/planner you may have seen mention on Instagram and Pinterest of the Miracle Morning, S.A.V.E.R.S, and/or Level 10 Life and here’s the book where that all takes place. In summary, the Miracle Morning is a morning routine you complete (remembered by the acronym SAVERS) by getting up earlier than you are typically used to (so I used to get up around 7am but now I work on getting up between 5:30am and 6am). The Level 10 Life portion is a way to break down your life into 10 areas and looking at where you want to be vs where you are now and setting goals to get to that level 10. Like I said, I didn’t particularly like the writing style so it was rough to get through all the infomercial talk but in the end, it had helpful tips.

Full review…

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown

7015403This is one of those books that came to me with perfect timing. I have a group of 3 girlfriends that I get together with as often as our schedules allow and it was suggested we read through this book together. I’m so glad we did! Brene Brown is a research professor who began seeing patterns in her research and decided to take a closer look. This book was so encouraging to read and I couldn’t recommend it enough. As the title suggests, its all about letting go of this image you may have of yourself – the “supposed to” image – and embrace who we are, our natural gifts, and saying “I am enough”. Absolutely loved this book!

Full review…

Sleep Smarter: 21 Proven Tips to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success by Shawn Stevenson

41kiiwpmgtl-_sx311_bo1204203200_In our fast paced society, sleeping may seem like the farthest from your mind but it is so incredibly important to get the right amount and good quality sleep. This book is fairly short so its a quick read but its full of  great tips and all backed with scientific evidence. Some of the ideas may be something you’ve heard before (like don’t lay in bed on your phone before trying to get sleep) but others may not be so obvious. If you want to have a successful day, you have to give your body the rest it needs. I highly recommend this book to anyone. Side note: The writing style makes me think that the author is some super nerdy guy trying to make science sound cool but then you see a picture of him and he definitely doesn’t look it.

Full review…

Other books I plan to read this month:

I still have a few more books I’m hoping to read before the end of the month to help kick off my new year. Since I’ve set a goal to read 100 books this year, that averages out to 1 book every 3.65 days (math!) and so far I’m on track, that’s where these odd number of books is coming from, if you were wondering.

168 hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam

41tyzxoyzpl-_sy344_bo1204203200_This book was recommend to me by one of my close friends while we were talking about the books I’ve mentioned above. How often have you looked at your list of tasks (or even just thought about it) and felt that there just simply aren’t enough hours in a day. I know that this issue plagues me more than I like to admit. Based on others’ reviews this book is about reallocating your time to more important tasks and not getting stuck on the less important ones, leaving you with realizing that there really is enough time. I look forward to reading this one (starting tomorrow morning, actually).

Be you. Do Good. by Johnathan David Golden

9780801018770I received this book in return for my honest review from Baker Publishing Group and it happened to arrive at the same time I was writing out my list of what I wanted to read this month. It fits perfectly with my reading theme this month so I added it to the list. From what I’ve read about the book (currently no reviews on Amazon), this book is about acknowledging that what you do does matter and that it can make a difference. I believe the copy I received is an ARC so this is at the top of my TBR list so that I can post my review and give others an idea on whats in store for them if they read this book.

I Thought it was Just Me (But It Isn’t): Making the Journey From “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough” by Brené Brown

200x303bookcoverAfter reading Gifts of Imperfection by the same author, I knew I wanted to look into her other books. Beyond just what she has to say, I really enjoy her authenticity and writing style. She writes with understanding, encouragement, and openness that I haven’t found in many other similar books. She referenced this book a few times in Gifts of Imperfection so it seemed like the next natural step. I am curious as to whether this book has additional information or if Gifts of Imperfection is just a reiteration of what is stated in this book. We’ll just have to see!

Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracey

51fqhllrwdl-_sy344_bo1204203200_I don’t know when I first heard the idea of starting each day by “eating the frog” but it was an important lesson that I still struggle to take on. From what I know so far, the frog is your most dreaded task of the day and the one that you should start with. I figured enough time has gone by that I’ve known about this book that it was time that I pick it up and actually read what “eating the frog” is all about. If you’re like me, you may be a chronic procrastinator (I mean, I’m writing this with only 1 hour to my self-established deadline) and this book is just the kick in the butt you need to get a move on.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

22318578Finally, another book that you may have heard referenced on social media. Have you heard of the Konmari method of decluttering? This book is where its from. The primary idea being organizing the things in your home based on category rather than where they currently reside (going by item rather than by room). At each item you ask yourself if the item brings you joy or has a specific use. If not then it doesn’t need to be kept. Finally, you store everything in a way that each item can be seen, such as folding all your pants in the drawer so that you can see the folds of each. I have no doubt that there’s more to it than that which is why I’m excited to start in on this book (actually, I’m still over 150 people out on the library waitlist so I will be listening to it on cd instead).

Books to avoid:

This part is really important and if you don’t read anything else in this post, please read this! Have you ever seen the self-help section of the library or book store and just laughed because you didn’t take it seriously? Well, that because there are unfortunately books out there that claim to be helpful (and some succeed) but are not supported by anything more than the author’s experience and opinion and may do more harm than good. You won’t be able to tell by the cover since all books in a particular genre tend to have a similar look. You’ll have flip to the back and if there are no references or references to similar works but nothing scientific, I highly suggest that you avoid those ones.

Mental Health is just as important as physical and it takes more than one person’s opinion or personal experience to take care of potential problems. If you were to read a book that claimed eating a known deathly plant was actually beneficial to your health, you would take time to consult actual professional in that area (like your doctor!), right? (that a terrible example but its the best I could think of). It should be the same when you read a book on mental health – consult a professional or at least your doctor.

51maym86bnl-_uy250_The best example of a book that should be avoided happens to be one that I was given in return for my honest review titled How to Improve Your Self-Esteem. I’m sure the author has the best intentions and is a nice guy – I’m not trying to be mean, hateful, or a dreaded troll – but please don’t seek out books like this. The cover looks very similar to Miracle Morning but if you flip to the back (or if you have it on your kindle, like I did, click to the back) you’ll find that there aren’t any references or citations. The book may have some good ideas but not worth putting yourself as risk by taking bad advice.

Full review here…

That’s all I have for you guys today. I truly appreciate your continued support. Let me know in the comments below if you have any books that you’ve read or heard good reviews about that would help kick off a good year. Or maybe you know of a book that you definitely shouldn’t read… ever. Share that too!

Join me next week as I post my first youtube review/ video (that’s the plan anyway) all about getting ready for date night with product samples I received from the Jingle Vox Box, Pinch Me, and Mary Kay. I’m thinking it will be pretty hilarious since I’ve never used fake eye lashes before, I’m terrible at applying eyeliner, and I don’t even know what to do with lip liner. Yeah, it’ll be great, we’ll all have a good laugh.

As always you can subscribe here (I suggest the weekly emails since each book and product gets its own review post) or you can follow me on Bloglovin’Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Goodreads, Flikr, and Tumblr. Also, get on over to my etsy shop for my pattern and a few other goodies. Until next time my reading readers (that works right?), live long, stick to those resolutions, and prosper!



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