self improvement

The Magic of Momentum


Author: Stephen Guise
Genre: Self-improvement
ISBN: 978-1956980943
Pages: 244
Price: $14.99

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If you’ve ever wanted to start a new habit but became frustrated with your lack of success, you may have been missing the magic element. Willpower and a good plan will get your started, but what happens when you have a couple of bad days and don’t meet your goals? Many people will abandon the new habit and give up. But what if you used momentum along with your plan?

The laws of physics state that an object in motion will continue moving until stopped. But does this actually work for humans? According to Stephen Guise, the answer is a resounding YES. But how can we make it work for us? Building on the ideas described in Mini Habits and Elastic Habits, he shows us how we can use the concept of making small changes to create the momentum we need to sustain our efforts. And once we get our momentum going, we become as unstoppable as a boulder rolling down a hill.

Guise frowns on what he calls perceived momentum – time-based massive change goals – that force us to do a lot for a short period of time, but come to a grinding halt when the challenge is over. And of course negative momentum – those pesky bad habits that we can’t shake – need to be reversed through creating positive momentum to replace them.

The Magic of Momentum is an important addition to the Mini Habits system of habit formation, and shares key information on why momentum is the magic element that drives us to success. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian, self improvement

Stilte: The Dutch Art of Quietude


Author: Mirjam van der Vegt
Publisher: Worthy Books
Genre: Christian / Self improvement
ISBN: 978-1-5460-1578-9
Pages: 224
Price: $21.00

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Do you long for more silence in your life? Do you find that your prayers are short and squeezed in between daily activities? Would you love to go on a retreat but can’t find the time? If so, Stilte is perfect for you.

After a brief explanation of the importance of silence, forty short meditations follow with ideas on how to cultivate it in our own lives. The include pruning, slowing down, and stopping the multitasking that never allows us to focus on only one thing at a time. We learn how to be silent while in motion, in contemplation, and in visiting places that are conducive to silence. Silence can be everywhere, if we only know how to find it.

Our world is filled with noise and busyness, which contributes to our high stress levels. In the silence, we can slow down and seek God’s direction in our lives. Stilte offers wonderful ideas on how to do this. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, self improvement

Pause Power


Author: Jennifer Law
Illustrator: Brian Martin
Publisher: Boys Town Press
ISBN: 978-1-944882-49-5
Pages: 32
Price: $10.95

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A boy realizes that it’s easy for people to push his buttons when he gets upset. But until a button named Preston begins to speak to him, he has no idea that HE has control of those buttons – not other people.

Now that he knows he can stop those people from getting to him, he has to learn some techniques. He needs to use “pause power” to take deep breaths, count slowly, and notice how he’s feeling. Then he can make the right decision on how to respond. As he practices, he finds he gets angry less often, knows when he needs to visit the cool down spot, and has a lot more friends.

When kids get angry with others, they don’t usually realize they’re giving their power away. Pause Power helps them take that power back, so they can gain control over their emotions. I highly recommend this book for home and classroom.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

self improvement

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Guided Journal


Author: Stephen R. Covey and Sean Covey
Publisher: FranklinCovey
Genre: Self-improvement
ISBN: 978-1-64250-317-3
Pages: 200
Price: $18.95

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a classic self-help book that may people have used over the years to improve their lives. But putting its ideas into practice can be a challenge. Sean Covey has created this guided journal for those who are looking to get even more out of this process.

This guided journal is designed to work with each of the seven habits over several weeks. Each week readers learn more about the habits, while putting them into practice in their own lives. They’re also encouraged to set weekly goals and action plans. Blank space is included for jotting notes and ideas in the weekly sections.

If you’d like some assistance in using these 7 habits, this guided journal will a big help for you.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian, self improvement

Survive the Day


Author: Ben Young
Publisher: David C Cook
Genre: Children / Self-help
ISBN: 978-0-7814-1464-7
Pages: 208
Price: $22.99

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When it feels as if life is out of control and nothing is going right, it can be difficult to see the light. Those are the times that try our souls, and we struggle to fight our way out. Survive the Day was written in response to author Ben Young’s own life storm, and he shares the insights he learned in the process.

Moving through painful circumstances takes time, and Young guides us, holding our hand the whole way. We face the challenge to move forward, make the choice to do something about our situation, and finally find the courage to change. The author shares his own story throughout, as he offers us his suggestions in handling our problems.

Survive the Day offers compassionate and Godly wisdom for moving through our grief and pain. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

self improvement, writing

Writing for Bliss


Author: Diana Raab, PhD
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
Genre: Writing / Self-help
ISBN: 978-1-61599-323-9
Pages: 238
Price: $21.95

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Writing a memoir strictly for your own eyes can be an interesting ramble down memory lane. But writing one that you plan to market and sell will involve some very different techniques. Whichever option you’re thinking of pursuing, Writing for Bliss is there to guide you.

The introduction offers the concepts of writing for healing, therapy, and transformation, as you allow yourself the blissful action of putting your thoughts on paper. The following sections lead you through the phases of preparing to write, cultivating self-awareness, speaking your truth, examining your life, finding your form, unleashing with poetry, and sharing your writing. Throughout the book, the author shares some of her experiences in writing her own story, along with several writing prompts to get you started. And once you have something on paper, she helps you decide what sensitive information to include and guides you through the process of organizing it into a format that readers expect to see.

Diana Raab has first-hand experience in writing about her own life and sharing it with the public. In this book, she’s written a wonderful guide for those of us who don’t have the faintest idea of where to start. If you’re thinking of putting the story of your life on paper, Writing for Bliss would be a great resource to use.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, self improvement

How Did You Miss That?


Author: Bryan Smith
Illustrator: Lisa M. Griffin
Publisher: Boys Town Press
Genre: Self-improvement / Children
ISBN: 978-1-944882-45-7
Pages: 32
Price: $9.99

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Braden has a list of things to do before bed, and he’s sure he accomplished everything in record time. But when his mom checks his work, she shows him all the things he didn’t do. How could he have missed them all? Then his mom shares a four-step process to self-monitoring to be sure he doesn’t make the same mistake again.

At school a few days later, Braden is reminded of this problem when he misses a whole page on a test. His teacher goes over the process with him again, and this time he’s sure he’ll remember. He soon has opportunities to share his learning with his younger brother, and even with his parents!

Self-monitoring is an important skill for kids who want to live successful and productive lives. It helps them identify what they want to accomplish, stay focused, double-check everything, and ask for assistance when they need it. How Did You Miss That? shows kids these steps in action and also provides tips for parents and educators. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

self improvement

A Year of Self-Love


Author: Troy L. Love, MSW, LCSW
Publisher: Rockridge Press
Genre: Self Improvement
ISBN: 978-1-64152-764-4
Pages: 234
Price: $15.99

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In our fast-paced society, we seldom take the time to do loving things for ourselves. But without filling our own wells first, we lose the ability to keep giving to others. A Year of Self-Love guides the reader through a year’s worth of positive messages designed to keep us focused on loving ourselves more.

Some days, the entry may be a single quote, such as, “I believe in the essence of who I am and what I was born to do.” Others may involve a short reflection, such as thinking about a moment someone was kind to us and visualizing the experience in detail. Most entries are very short – a paragraph or less, but other days may be a full page. All are easy to read and fit into a busy lifestyle.

While not every entry will resonate with every reader, they will remind us to focus on our inherent self-worth. Self-care is not optional if we want to live a happy and fulfilled life. A Year of Self-Love provides us with helpful support.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

self improvement

Elastic Habits


Author: Stephen Guise
Publisher: Selective Entertainment
Genre: Self-improvement / Habits
ISBN: 978-0996435475
Pages: 236
Price: $15.99

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Wouldn’t it be great to work on your most important tasks every day without exception? Most habit forming systems will guide you to seek peak performance, but what about those days when your heart just isn’t in it? You’ve got the flu, your boss is demanding that report you promised, and the kids won’t stop whining. So what do you do? If you’re following the Elastic Habits system, a day like this would still be an opportunity for a win.

Like Mini Habits, Elastic Habits focuses on the smallest possible step you can take toward a daily goal. But while Mini Habits only focused on that smallest action, with extra effort not recognized other than as bonus reps, Elastic Habits gives us credit for our extra effort. Each Elastic Habit stretches in multiple ways, allowing us to not only just meet the minimum, but to also strive for more.

I wanted to give this system an honest try before writing my review, and I’ve been using it for about two weeks. First off, I could hardly wait to get started, and even began before finishing reading the book. Secondly, I’ve never felt so excited about meeting the goals I’ve set in my life. It’s December, so there have been a lot of Mini days this month, but there have also been some Plus, and Elite days, which is more than I could have expected.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Elastic Habits before setting a single New Year’s Resolution. If you use the guidelines in this amazing book, you’ll be sure to crush those goals in the coming year.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

journal, self improvement

Dream Big: A Five-Minute Goal Journal


Author: Karl W. Gruber
Publisher: Althea Press
Genre: Self-improvement / Journaling
ISBN: 978-1-64152-763-7
Pages: 156
Price: $14.99

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Setting a big goal takes determination and focus. It often helps to put our thoughts and desires on paper, in order to crystallize our thinking. Dream Big: A Five-Minute Goal Journal gives us the space to do this.

This goal setting journal walks us through five steps. First, we need to clarify our ideas, then affirm our possibilities, strategize for success, and express our gratitude. Finally, there is a series of daily questions designed to focus our intention on goal realization and gratitude. This makes up the majority of the book, as it reminds us to focus on our goals every day.

The author is a Law of Attraction Life Coach, and Dream Big is consistent with this way of thinking. By focusing on what we want and expressing gratitude, we can attract the goals we seek. If you’re looking for a positive approach to goal setting, this journal could be just what you need.

Reviewer: Alice Berger