9 books for your New Year’s resolutions.

9 books for your New Year’s resolutions.

It’s resolution season, when we all have a fresh start, a clean slate, and plenty of good intentions.

But if you actually want to keep those resolutions, it’s time to get serious about forming the right habits and minding the right things. These 9 books will help you do just that.

Series: Books for your New Year's resolutions
It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways

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

Eating well is a foundational habit: people who eat right find it much easier to follow through in other areas of their lives. I've logged a half dozen or so Whole30s, and found the experience so valuable I'm tempted to urge everyone to try it at least once. This terrific guide from the Whole30 creators shows you everything you need to know, and will make you feel like you CAN do this. More info →
Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized

Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized

Author:
This is a great little handbook I come back to again and again, especially when my home (or my calendar) begins to feel like it's spiraling out of control. More info →
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Author:
Habits can be built, and they can be changed. Duhigg explores the science that explains how in this readable book, and explains how to put these methods into practice in your own life. His methods and insights give you the know-how to put this information to use. More info →
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

Author:
Vanderkam's no-nonsense, no-excuses approach to time management just might convince you that you actually have time to accomplish anything you really want to do, when you focus on your core competencies and stop frittering away your time. To get the most out of this book you must do the time diary exercise. More info →
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Author:
If you want to tidy up once and for all, this is the best kick in the pants you can get for ten bucks. This book is more than a little woo-woo, but her extreme approach to decluttering WORKS. Kondo is a Japanese personal tidying expert (she doesn’t like to call herself an “organizer”). She originally wrote her decluttering manifesto to help the Japanese clients languishing on her waiting list. Not all translations are good translations, but this one has been praised for preserving the quirkiness of her voice. (It's quirky, all right.) I love this book (more thoughts on that here). More info →
Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind

Author:
The title says it all: this little book is about playing to your creative strengths and natural rhythms by building daily routines. Twenty-plus luminaries from a host of people who work in creative professions—Gretchen Rubin, Steven Pressfield, Teresa Amabile, Seth Godin—weigh in on the importance of their personal habits for email, solitude, social media, multitasking, and more. This inspiring and practical guide will spur you to evaluate your schedule, create better habits, and rethink your priorities. More info →
Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

Author:
Rubin’s much anticipated follow-up to her happiness books is all about habits: how we make them, why we break them, and how we can improve them. That may not strike you as poolside fare, but the chatty writing, illuminating insights, and story-driven narrative make this guidebook anything but dry and boring. Packed with relatable tales from Rubin’s life, which are easy to apply to your own. If you put them into practice, this book will change your life. Practical, engaging, entertaining. More info →
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story

Author:
If you want more mindfulness in your life in 2016, this is the book for you. Harris is an ABC news anchor, and his journey began when he had a panic attack on live television. His doctor quickly identified the underlying cause, but the panic didn't subside. He subsequently spent years investigating—personally and professionally—his own mindlessness, exploring the changes he needed to make in his life to be healthier and happier. Powerful story and strong writing combine to make one great read. More info →
The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills

The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills

Author:
This pithy little guidebook is devoted to deliberate practice. Skipping over abstract theories, Coyle shoots straight for the practicalities, sharing 52 ways to put more effective practice into your life. I avoided reading it for a long time because the little gold seal on the cover made it look like a gift book to me. Don’t make that mistake—this book is a gem. More info →

Want to start focusing on those new goals immediately?  These shorter MMD blog posts on habits, goals, and time management will help you get right to it:

The Fab Four habits for a better life. Want to create new habits, but not sure where to start? These four foundational habits greatly affect your well-being, directly strengthen your self-control, and should be your first priority.

Forget about results: my new approach to goal setting. Progress over perfect, because sometimes SMART goals aren’t so smart.

• Planning for visual types. I really struggled with organization until I realized I was a visual type.

Two big-picture concepts that help me plan my days/weeks/months. I’ve never been able to follow the typical create-your-daily-schedule advice, because it makes my head explode. This is what works for me instead.

3 time management rules I wish I’d learned ten years ago. They may be obvious to some, but it took me a whole decade to figure out these 3 rules. Hopefully, that means someone will find a shortcut today.

What books would you add to the list? 

9 books for your New Year's resolutions

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24 comments

  1. Elaine says:

    I would add “The Four-Day Win” by Martha Beck. Brilliant strategy for developing new habits from a proven life coach. I also would include anything by Brene Brown, “The Gifts of Imperfection” and “Rising Strong” being my two favorites.

  2. Thanks for including 168 Hours! There are a few new books out this month that might be worth looking into: The Productivity Project, The Last Safe Investment, and The Happiness Track come to mind right now.

  3. Hannah Beth Reid says:

    Thank you for these recommendations! I loved “Better Than Before” and am looking forward to reading a few of the others.

  4. Wyndi says:

    Thanks to previous posts, I’ve been able to pick up several of these at a good price, and have an amazon list that I check for price drops on the others . . . can’t read them all at once after all 🙂 I started a Whole 30 today, and have It Starts with Food on my nightstand. I’m trying to finish up QUIET (another MMD suggestion) before my e-book loan expires from the library! Thanks to the great suggestions, checking in with the blog and the Kindle deals list is one of my daily habits!

  5. Tim says:

    I haven’t heard of a single one of those books, Anne. Which would you recommend for a guy who doesn’t make resolutions and doesn’t see a particular part of life that is more in need of work than others?

    Thanks,
    Tim

    P.S. If I did make resolutions, the one I’d make is 2000 years old.

  6. Kathy says:

    Is there not more to life than getting organized?? How about some books that will lead us to contemplate the meaning of the present moment–embracing life today? Let’s read the lives of the saints, the works of great poets and writers. Forget cleaning programs; take a walk in the woods.

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