8 Books to Inspire You in the New Year


8 Books to Inspire You in the New Year | Columbia SC Moms BlogIt is a BRAND NEW YEAR and if you are like just about everyone else (including me), you have some New Year’s Resolutions that you are trying out for 2018. It always helps me to have a guide or at least some inspiration to keep me going. Books and reading help me stay focused on my goals. 

Here are some books that might help you get a fresh start in the new year. 

A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living and Grace, Not Perfection both by Emily Ley 

Walking through Target one day, I spotted Grace, Not Perfection in the book section and I just had to buy it. I consider myself to be someone who does strive for perfection, mostly in areas related to work. This book has lots of food for thought – is “perfection” worth it? A Simplified Life is the follow up to Grace, Not Perfection. In it, you will find simple ideas for creating a more streamlined life. Both are great books to get you started, if you are feeling general overwhelm with clutter and appointments and other obligations.

Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! by Rachel Macy Stafford 

I am totally obsessed with social media. I find myself just scrolling, really seeing nothing, each evening after my toddler goes to bed. That is not ideal, but I USED to be one of those people who felt the need to check my social media feeds at stop lights and when I was waiting in line at the grocery store. This book helped me rethink those times and helped me see how I use my phone and computer around my family. I think it might be time for me to revisit this one! 

Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates 

This is one of those books that you can read every morning to center yourself and get your thoughts in order for the upcoming day. Rolf Gates is a well known yoga instructor and while the purpose of this book is to encourage you to move and explore yoga, it is about much more than that. You do not have to be a yogi to enjoy this book. Everyone can benefit from sitting quietly and thinking about the daily thoughts that Gates shares in this book.

For the Love by Jen Hatmaker 

I love Jen Hatmaker. This book is my favorite of hers. Something that struck me the first time I read it was when she talked about taking things “off the beam.” This book helped me realize that I do not need to do everything. If I do not love cleaning my house, I can take that “off the beam,” by either letting someone else do it (even if it’s not the way I would do it) or paying a cleaning service to come do it. She offers other examples, but that is the one that clicked with me, because no … I don’t want to clean my house and now I do not feel guilty about letting someone else do it so I can focus on other things! 

Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton  

I think that if you like Jen Hatmaker, chances are you will like Glennon Doyle Melton, as well. They both talk of Faith and being a strong woman. You can do hard things and these books will help inspire you. 

Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott

I truly love Anne Lamott and her non-fiction is my favorite. If you can listen to the audio of this book, you will be glad you did. Her humorous observations about life will make you smile and think. 

It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways by Dallas Hartwig

Many of us start a new diet at the beginning of a new year. If changing the way you eat is a challenge for you, I encourage you to read this book. The clear explanations of why various foods make you feel a certain way will really get you thinking about the food you put in your body. You will start to understand why certain foods make you feel bloated and will be more mentally ready to let them go. This book really helped me rethink my experiences with food. 

Share books that inspire you! 

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Valerie Byrd Fort was born in Florida, but when she was four years old, her family moved to the midlands and never looked back. She is mom to Katy (human) and to Lucky, Mozzy, and Penny (rescue dogs). She is married to Marty Fort, owner of the Lexington School of Music, Columbia Arts Academy, and Irmo Music Academy. She is an Instructor for the School of Library & Information Science at the University of South Carolina, where she teaches Children’s Literature to future classroom teachers and librarians. She is also Coordinator for Cocky's Reading Express, the University of South Carolina's literacy outreach program. Valerie is passionate about books, literacy, libraries, and reading aloud with children of ALL ages. She writes about books and other literacy related topics on her blog, Library Goddess. In her free time, Valerie enjoys reading, Barre3, going to Target and endless scrolling of social media  


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