I love reading. In fact, the average millionaire reads two books or more a month. The very successful Zig Ziglar was quoted as reading three hours a day despite his super tight schedule.
There is just something about reading that not only stirs my soul but helps me learn and process things in new and exciting ways. If reading more is something that you want to make a reality for yourself in 2019, here are my best tips along with the books that you must read in 2019!
How to Make More Reading Happen in 2019
My best advice here is to schedule it! Seriously, I schedule time in my day to allow me time to read. I like to read before bed, so typically during the week before I go to bed I spend about 30 minutes to an hour reading. Also, when I wake up in the morning I spend about 10-20 minutes reading from my current book along with reading from my Bible (or going through my current Bible study).
This would not be possible if I didn’t schedule it into my day. Sure, there are times where I can read that don’t fit into my schedule, but by having regular reading time in my schedule I am way more likely to make it happen.
Also, read according to your goals for the year. For example, if your goal is to go deeper spiritually this year, make sure you read plenty of spiritually based books that are designed to help you facilitate that goal. The same goes for money goals, marriage goal, mothering goals, life goals, etc. But also, don’t be afraid to throw in some fictional reading to – it’s a great way to get the creative side of your brain working!
How did you make Bible reading a part of your morning?
Okay, so I get this question often on Instagram and wanted to answer it real quick. For me, it started in 2014 – that year I made a New Year’s goal of reading the Bible cover-to-cover. I’m a cradle Catholic, so I was raised in the church but aside from the “normal” Bible stories, I didn’t really know of the less-than-popular stories. And I know myself well enough to know that I had to read the Bible like an actual book or else I would get frustrated.
So, that year (well technically I bought this in Dec 2013…) I purchased the supplement kit that comes with The Confident Mom’s Free Household Planner (amazing free planner BTW) that had a “read through the year” Bible plan in it. And so from there, I just read according to the plan.
I struggled at first because I had to figure out a time that worked for me. In 2014, I had a toddler and a baby so in order to work, I got up super early (4 am) to work (we were also deep in the debt payoff mode then), so I finally made it a point that before I allowed myself to open up my laptop, I had to read that day’s Bible reading plan.
After a couple of months, the habit stuck and now even on vacation (or at blogging conferences!) I get up early, read my Bible and then start my day.
What To Read in 2019
Okay, so I’m going to try to break this section out based on categories in order to help you better determine what you want to read. Remember, you want to read books that help you get closer to achieving your overall goals for the year!
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
There’s a reason why this book is on almost every “Christian Must Read” list – it’s fantastic! I borrowed this one as an audiobook from our library. No matter your domination, I believe you’ll enjoy this book. I also read Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis which is another great read but it’s more geared towards helping an Atheist understand why he would convert (side note: C.S. Lewis was a long-time Atheist before he found faith).
God is Not Nice by Ulrich L. Lehner
I absolutely LOVED this book! I truly cannot stand how God has been seen as a “grandpa in the sky” instead of the Almighty, the Great I Am that He is. This book really puts it in perspective that we aren’t called to passive faith to a “simple” God.
Fierce Faith by Alli Worthington
Oh, I love this one! This one was written specifically for women and trust me, you’ll love Alli’s straight to the point, filled with love way of guiding you to fight off fear and overcome anxiety through your faith.
One Beautiful Dream by Jennifer Fulwiler
Oh, I adore this book! Jennifer is funny and her humor and her stories of life with her six children is so awesome! Jennifer chronicles her trials as she attempts to write her first book while raising her kids and how she found grace in something that can only be described as a beautiful dream come true. If you’re a mama that needs encouragement on taking big risks and living out your beautiful dream, this book is the one for you!
The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler
I loved the perspectives in this book. It’s not another, “this is the right way to parent” kind of book, but rather a “this is how these families created a beautiful life” type of book. There are some incredible nuggets of wisdom in this easy-to-read book!
Screamfree Parenting by Hal Runkel LMFT
This book is a game-changer for parenting! Seriously, all parents need to read this book! This one was recommended to me through Susan’s free mini video course and man, what an amazing life-changing book! This book really helped me to understand my own shortcomings with parenting and I really appreciate the honesty in this book.
10 Habits of Happy Mothers by Meg Meeker, MD
Let’s be honest moms. Society hates us. Society doesn’t want us to exceed in our vocation of motherhood and as such, the messages that we as moms are constantly hearing are that we aren’t good enough. If we work outside the home, we hear the message of that we aren’t spending enough time with our children and guilt abounds. If we stay home with our children we hear how we’re not contributing to our households and damaging our integrity as a woman and thus more guilt abounds.
I mean, there’s even the phrase “mom guilt” now – that wasn’t even a concept back when our grandmothers and mothers were actively parenting! All these messages and the messages we tell ourselves contribute to us not feeling the joy of motherhood. And this book, which was written by a mom of four and a pediatrician, will help you to develop habits that will help you finally experience real joy in your mothering!
You Need a Budget by Jesse Mecham
Oh, I LOVED this book! And if you’ve struggled with the concept of budgeting, you should definitely add this book to your reading list for 2019! Jesse is not as against debt as I am as he does advocate credit card use, but overall, this book is incredibly inspiring and practical (I LOVE practical money books!).
If you want to be inspired to become wealthy, then this is the book for you! The author spent decades researching what true wealth in America looks like (and no, it’s not a $20,000 a month clothing budget). The insights in this book are fantastic and this book should definitely be on your reading list for when you’re ready to build some serious wealth!
Unshakable by Tony Robbins
If growing your wealth is something you plan to do in 2019, then this is a MUST read! Tony opened my eyes to things that I had never even thought of when it comes to our retirement accounts and investing! Things like fees and expense ratios and how if we’re not careful we could potentially lose thousands of dollars of our investments due to fees.
Real Life on a Budget by…well, me.
Okay, shameless plug here, Real Life on a Budget is a book I wrote and published the year that we finished paying off all of our consumer debt. The book doles out 17 challenges that are meant to help you take practical steps to overcome your money stresses and gain control over your money.
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Come on, you knew I couldn’t go past the money section without including this one! This is the book that started it all for us – our debt-free journey started because of the inspiration I gained through reading this one. In fact, this book is the only gift I give at weddings because as I say in my card to the bride and groom, it’s “the book that saved our marriage”. It’s true, we would not be where we are right now financially without the knowledge in this book. So, if you haven’t read this one, stop reading this blog post, and go read it right now!
SEO 2019 by Adam Clarke
If you’re a digital entrepreneur and SEO has you scratching your head, then add this book to your reading list! I originally read this back in 2016 and man, the improvement to my SEO has been incredible! This book is very hands-on so you’ll be able to put into action the suggestions that are here. I promise you won’t regret investing in this one!
Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey
Now, I won’t say that I agree with every little thing that Dave has in this book, but overall this is a fantastic read for the entrepreneur! It’s packed with amazing advice and if your husband is an entrepreneur, make sure you suggest this one to him! This book really helped my husband and his business partner get their business up off the ground!
The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran
This book is a game changer! If you want to make big goals happen this year in your life, then this book needs to be on your reading list for 2019! Basically, this book will teach you how to achieve your big goals in life by taking a completely different approach to goal setting! Trust me, you’ll never be the same after you’ve read this one!
Launch by Jeff Walker
This is another read for the digital entrepreneur! If you’re wanting to create digital products in 2019, add this book to your reading list! This is the book that helped me launch my best-selling course Real Life Money Plan – literally, everything that I learned about launching a product came from this book.
Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews
This book has been around while awhile and it’s a short read, but it packs one heck of a punch! If managing your time has been something that has been a struggle for you for a while, then this is the book for you! I refer back to this book often and still use the methods that I learned four years later!
Self Improvement Reads
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
This is an intense read – I won’t lie, but it’s so, so, so good! If you’ve ever wanted to change a habit or start a new one, this book will help you understand the “why” behind why our habits can be so hard to break or start! As I said, it’s an intense read (it’s a huge book) but it’s one that I think everyone should read at least once!
Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud
I actually read this book every year and even bought my husband the audio version because it’s one that I think many of us need! I will tell you that it’s a biblically sound book, so there are plenty of references to Scripture, so if that’s not your thing this book may prove difficult for you. But I do really think this is a book that most folks need to read because I’ve seen so many times when I’ve coached folks how the lack of solid and healthy boundaries can and do cause complete havoc in someone’s life! So if you want to establish solid and healthy boundaries, this book is for you!
The Road Back to You by Ian Cron
Okay, so if you’ve heard about the Enneagram but have no idea what it is, then read this book. Granted, there’s a LOT of debate about the Enneagram, so I only recommend reading this book as I would never want to lead someone astray from their faith. This book points back time and time again to God with its findings. But basically, with the Enneagram, you’ll see yourself in a new light and if you do read this book and are curious, I’m an 8.
Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine
Oh, this book! If you’re in a season of struggle, I encourage you to give this one a read! I re-read it every year and every year I walk away with a better more clear plan. Survival Mode is real y’all, and sometimes we don’t recognize that we’re in it and if you’re in it and looking for a way out, read this one!
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
This book isn’t necessarily about marriage, but in understanding your own love language and your spouse’s love language you can finally understand why your spouse may feel like you don’t love them sometimes (and vice versa). It’s an incredibly eye-opening book and super helpful in all relationships, not just marriages.
Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson
True confession, I haven’t read this one yet. It’s actually on my 2019 reading list! But since I’ve heard so many married couples praise this book, I knew I had to include it! This book is said to help you improve your communication skills in order to open up meaningful and fruitful conversations.
Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages by Shaunti Feldhahn
If you’re in a season with your marriage that’s dark, I encourage you to read this one! It’s a small but mighty book that will help you implement small little changes that can (and do!) have a big impact on your marriage.
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