3 Books for a Fresh Start in 2018

Who isn’t trying to make a fresh start in the new year? I’m using these three books to inspire me to make healthy changes in January and beyond. Join me for a peek into their pages.

Make Your Move: Finding Unshakable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures

When I heard Lynn Cowell speak about the Old Testament daughters of Zelophahad at She Speaks 2017, I was intrigued by her insight. These women displayed brave confidence and trust in God, especially within the limitations of their culture. Oh, how I need their inspiration today!

I also appreciate Lynn’s disclosure of her confidence struggles. As an aspiring author in the traditionally-published market, I’m always searching for behind-the-scenes stories from authors who have succeeded. Lynn has done so, but not without multiple rejections. She had to push through 19 no’s and several discouraging years to receive the one yes she desired. Along the way, she had to cling to confidence that God’s calling in her life wasn’t imagined or superficial. She had to learn to persist, like the daughters of Z. This book is about persisting in courage, based on faith in the one true God.

Make Your Move is my devotional of choice for January 2018. Skimming through the stories, I laughed out loud several times at Lynn’s wit and wisdom. She is humble and self-effacing, which draws me into the study. She digs into many different biblical examples of courage, giving fresh insight into familiar texts. The questions she poses in each chapter help me consider how many areas I am lacking in confidence–way more than I expected. This book will help me grow in areas neglected far too long. Make Your Move is already inspiring my faith in 2018, and it will do the same for you.

Make Your Move: A fresh devotional to inspire you in 2018. #devotional Click To Tweet

Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals

I’m a big fan of Michael Hyatt. I took his Get Published course in 2015, and it set me on a professional writing track after years of experimentation. His book Platform is an essential resource for bloggers and writers, and his book Living Forward gave me a practical, wide-angle perspective on what I want to accomplish. I’m also a proud member of Platform University. So, I was excited to serve on the launch team for his latest book, Your Best Year Ever.

Michael’s signature style is uber-positive and inspiring. I have a naturally melancholy bent, so I constantly seek influence from optimists like him. Goal-setting can be daunting and discouraging–who hasn’t lost a battle with a New Year’s resolution? But Your Best Year Ever lays out a specific, targeted plan for setting up goals that are less likely to tank.

Yesterday I spent two hours applying the principles in the book. He describes ten main focus areas for improvement. You can find your top focus areas with this free, interactive online quiz. I wrote a page for each area in my planner, and set SMARTER goals based on Michael’s system. What I enjoyed most is digging into the motivation behind each goal, and writing If/Then statements. That’s the main difference between the “plain” goal setting I’ve used on my own, and I believe it will help me actually reach my goals in 2018.

Example of my application:

I want to prioritize decluttering so I can enjoy fewer distractions and invite others over without fear. If I spend 15 minutes decluttering every day between Jan. 1 and Aug. 1, I will reward myself with a new digital camera.

Do you have big goals for 2018? Or do you just want to truly kick a bad habit or keep a new one? This book can help you actualize your goals with specific targeting techniques. You’ll get special bonuses if you order the book from this site.

If you take the quiz, I’d love to hear your focus areas in the comments! Mine are Vocational, Physical, and Emotional for 2018.

I received a free review copy of this book from the author. Thank you, Michael!

Set 2018 goals that will stick with #YourBestYearEver. Click To Tweet

Staying Stylish: Cultivating a Confident Look, Style, and Attitude

Since my teen years, I’ve admired Candace Cameron Bure. My two tweens love watching old episodes of Full House, and my daughter and I enjoyed her Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel this December. Candace seems like a fun friend to have, and she always looks great. I could use some style inspiration in 2018, and her book is giving me fresh ideas.

I love reading magazines, and this book reminds me of my favorites, yet it goes more in-depth than magazine articles. It’s divided into chapters on topics such as fashion, skin care, and fitness. Even though Candace is a well-known celebrity, she is modest and down-to-earth. She shares high-end product recommendations as well as budget-friendly ones, which I appreciate. I like her tips on travel, eating right, and developing a skin care routine. The chapter I’ll use most this January is the one on fitness, because she has great strength-development tips.

This book has gorgeous photos on almost every page, which make it a delightful read. I enjoyed the hundreds of little tips and different ways to celebrate being a woman. Candace is also a woman of committed faith. I cheer her for using her significant platform to honestly share her faith with her fans. She inspires me in many ways, and I’m glad to add her book to my library. My 9-year-old daughter is enjoying it too. I’m grateful for a stylish, wholesome model for her to follow.

The BookLook Bloggers Program provided me a free review copy of this book–many thanks!

Beautiful photos and practical inspiration in Staying Stylish by Candace Cameron Bure. Click To Tweet

Disclosure: If you purchase any of the books above through the links provided, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my writing ministry!

Question for you: Which book looks most interesting to you? I love hearing your thoughts in the comments section!

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  • Happy New Year, friend! I have my eye on that Michael Hyatt book. I read Living Forward last year (and took the class you mentioned). I loved Lynn’s teaching at She Speaks and plan to check out this devo. — And, everyone loves a little DJ Tanner. Right? I have one of her books on Kindle that I still need to finish.

    I am planning my reading list for 2018 this week — so many books, so little time.

    I hope 2018 brings you many sweet surprises and God’s greatest blessings. HUGS

    • Sarah Geringer

      Happy new year to you too! I need to revisit Living Forward again this weekend. Surely some of my goals have changed, and I want to match them up with this year. Wish we could have met up at SS…maybe in 2018! I agree…my to-read shelf is overflowing. But that’s OK…I love being surrounded by books! Blessings to you. See you on Friday’s linkup!

  • Thank you so much for sharing Make Your Move, Sarah! I appreciate you so much!

    • Sarah Geringer

      It is my delight to share and support you, Lynn. Blessings on your new year!

  • These look perfect for starting a new year off right, Sarah! I agree that Michael Hyatt is so positive and upbeat. I took a free webinar from him recently and found it so encouraging and helpful.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thanks, Betsy! Glad you found encouragement in the webinar. I’m always inspired by his teachings, and I’m also inspired every time I visit your site!

  • These look great! Hyatt offers such actionable, concrete advice and I always appreciate putting pieces of it into action. And I can’t wait to read Staying Stylish. I was a Full House girl growing up, and love Candace Cameron Bure’s open, friendly style. (Her Instagram stories are fun to watch 🙂 )

    • Sarah Geringer

      I’m glad you recommended following her on IG. I’m kind of new to it, and I’ll happily check it out!

  • Happy New Year, Sarah! These sound like great books- I especially like the sound of Make Your Move!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hope your new year is going well, Lesley! You’ll truly enjoy the laughs and insights in Make Your Move. Blessings to you!

  • Since I want to work on my blog this year, I think I’ll invest in some Michael Hyatt. Any suggestions on which book to start with?

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Debbie…I am getting back to reading comments today. I would start with Platform if your focus is on blogging and writing. If the focus is goal-setting, I’d start with Your Best Year Ever, then Living Forward. Hope that helps you!

  • Susan

    Make Your Move…

    • Sarah Geringer

      Oh, you will love it!

  • Sarah, happy new year! I love the variety of books you put on the table this week, but on other occasions, too. Kinda like invitations that invite you to a party you might want to attend.

    Thank you …

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Linda! Happy new year to you too. I like your idea of offering printable questions/checklists for the new year. Need to add more resources to my library soon!

  • What a great selection of books for the New Year! Thanks so much for sharing, Sarah— you’ve got me feeling inspired! Stiopping by from #sittingamongfriends 🙂

    • Sarah Geringer

      I’m glad you’re feeling inspired, Laura! Hope you are staying warm up north!

  • Sarah, like you, I have always found Michael Hyatt’s books to be motivational. I have not read this latest one so maybe… soon 🙂

    • Sarah Geringer

      It’s helping me prioritize my goals today, Joanne. Hoping it will inspire you too!

  • I’m a big Michael Hyatt fan so that book stands out particularly to me. But all three of these look intriguing, Sarah. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thanks Lisa! His writing motivations are on my desk and inspire me every day!

  • Amy Benham

    Wow, these look great! I am definately going to try out Make Your Move since God and I will be working on fear this year. And I really need to read a few blogging books so I think I will check out Platform. I would also really love to write a book some day so hopefully this will help in two areas! Thank you so much for the post and book ideas!!

    Hopping over from #OMHGWW


    Amy @ The Quiet Homemaker

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Amy! I hope these books will challenge and inspire your writing career, as they have for me. Blessings to you!

      • Amy Benham

        Thanks 🙂

  • Amy Jung

    They all look great! Thanks!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Amy! Getting back to my comments today. I watched your video…so peaceful and inviting! Can’t wait to see some previews of your stretches soon.

  • I loved Best Year Ever :). Make Your Move sounds interesting, too! Thank you for the reviews!

    • Sarah Geringer

      HI Anita! Thank you for your comment. Glad to link up with you today!

  • Make Your Move is one I have my eye on. I subscribe to Lynn’s emails and she’s writing short devos based on the book now. I love it!

    • Sarah Geringer

      I get her emails too, and I like her devos on it. I plan to enjoy it today at lunch. Blessings to you!


    God always finds a way to answer my hearts questions on the lanes of blogs and song lyrics. Although determined to self publish my collection of short stories this year, I wouldn’t say I feel very confident. I have been telling God that I do trust him to give me good success, yet I won’t deny that in my trust, lies a hint of a lack of confidence. Maybe it’s because i’m rating my manuscript as ‘my manuscript’, rather than stories that have been inspired by the Holy Spirit. Lynn’s testimony is a confidence booster to me.
    I just read Michael Hyatt’s life plan (I book I’ve been reading at the beginning of each year since last year), and I’ll check out this one too. Thanks for the recommendation. Thanks for writing beautifully.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello! So thankful for your visit. I pray these recommendations will help you. I’ve self-published and understand your struggle with confidence. It’s a challenge but I’m glad I did it. Blessings to you!