The Best Self-Help Books to Read to Help You Live Your Best Year Yet
The beginning of the year is a great time to re-evaluate your life and come to terms with the challenges that lie ahead. This is where self-help books can help. Many of us turn to self-help books to boost our productivity and generally make us happier. If you're looking for books to read for a more successful year, here are the best self-help books that can help you change your life for the better.
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Ready to bust the limiting beliefs that hold you back or sabotage your success?
Perhaps you’re ready to change, transform your life, get rid of habits that impede your growth, find the strength to overcome adversity, or crave a different way of seeing things.
Self-help books can help you achieve this. But choosing one won’t be that easy. After all, you have to find one that resonates with you and will help you based on your current circumstances.
Not sure which self-help books to start with?
Here are our recommendations for the best books to read to help you live your best year yet.
One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way
By Robert Maurer
Improve your life fearlessly with this essential guide to kaizen—the art of making great and lasting change through small, steady steps.
The philosophy is simple: Great change is made through small steps. And the science is irrefutable: Small steps circumvent the brain’s built-in resistance to new behavior.
No matter what the goal—losing weight, quitting smoking, writing a novel, starting an exercise program, or meeting the love of your life—the powerful technique of kaizen is the way to achieve it. Written by psychologist and kaizen expert Dr. Robert Maurer, One Small Step Can Change Your Life is the simple but potent guide to easing into new habits—and turning your life around. Learn how to overcome fear and procrastination with his 7 Small Steps—including how to Think Small Thoughts, Take Small Actions, and Solve Small Problems—to steadily build your confidence and make insurmountable-seeming goals suddenly feel doable.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
By Marie Kondō
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The book that sparked a revolution and inspired the hit Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo: the original guide to decluttering your home once and for all.
ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE—CNN
Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?
Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).
With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.
The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery
By Brianna Wiest
This is a book about self-sabatoge.
Why we do it, when we do it, and how to stop doing it—for good.
Coexisting but conflicting needs create self-sabotaging behaviors. This is why we resist efforts to change, often until they feel completely futile. But by extracting crucial insight from our most damaging habits, building emotional intelligence by better understanding our brains and bodies, releasing past experiences at a cellular level, and learning to act as our highest potential future selves, we can step out of our own way and into our potential.
For centuries, the mountain has been used as a metaphor for the big challenges we face, especially ones that seem impossible to overcome. To scale our mountains, we actually have to do the deep internal work of excavating trauma, building resilience, and adjusting how we show up for the climb.
In the end, it is not the mountain we master, but ourselves.
Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times
By Katherine May
An intimate, revelatory book exploring the ways we can care for and repair ourselves when life knocks us down.
Sometimes you slip through the cracks: unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of a loved one, a break up, or a job loss can derail a life. These periods of dislocation can be lonely and unexpected. For May, her husband fell ill, her son stopped attending school, and her own medical issues led her to leave a demanding job. Wintering explores how she not only endured this painful time, but embraced the singular opportunities it offered.
A moving personal narrative shot through with lessons from literature, mythology, and the natural world, May’s story offers instruction on the transformative power of rest and retreat. Illumination emerges from many sources: solstice celebrations and dormice hibernation, C.S. Lewis and Sylvia Plath, swimming in icy waters and sailing arctic seas.
Ultimately Wintering invites us to change how we relate to our own fallow times. May models an active acceptance of sadness and finds nourishment in deep retreat, joy in the hushed beauty of winter, and encouragement in understanding life as cyclical, not linear. A secular mystic, May forms a guiding philosophy for transforming the hardships that arise before the ushering in of a new season.
The Entitlement Cure: Finding Success in Doing Hard Things the Right Way
By John Townsend
If you have a difficult relationship with an entitled person, or if you have discovered entitlement in yourself, understand this: It doesn’t have to stay this way. There is a cure. It’s called the Hard Way and it works.
In The Entitlement Cure, Dr. John Townsend explains that the Hard Way is a habit that focuses on doing whatever is needed even if it is difficult, uncomfortable, takes longer, and requires more energy. Dr. Townsend offers daily steps, such as risk-taking, to help you or those you love choose the Hard Way.
Ultimately, entitlement fails us. We don’t develop the character abilities and relationships necessary to reach success and become the people God intended us to be. By contrast, Hard Way people have better relationships, reach their goals, have a clear job direction, enjoy rich spiritual growth, and are equipped to face and solve challenges.
As Dr. Townsend writes, “Stand against entitlement in every form in which it manifests itself. Resolve your own tendencies toward the disease. Be a loving and firm force for helping those in its trap to find life and hope. And you will make the world a better place.” Discover why the Hard Way is the best way in this practical guide to true success.
Understanding how negative feelings and emotions work is the first step. Then we must learn how to reprogram those emotions and turn them around. A happier life is possible if you follow the steps.
This program works.
Over 100,000 copies sold.
“It gives me a place to go to that makes me feel better about my present situation and gives me hope for the future.” – Kimberly
“My biggest take away so far (I’m not yet finished with the entire book) is that I am NOT my emotions. Emotions come and I – I still am who I am!” – Itzel
31 simple coping strategies
How to make your emotions work FOR you.
A formula to reprogram your mind
A free downloadable workbook, and much, much more!
The author was an introvert whose shyness kept him from getting the results in life he wanted. When he decided to devote his life to betterment, everything changed. This is his story and how he found joy.
It will be the blueprint for your transformation, too.
You’ll love this practical, no frills program, because the results are easy to achieve once you’ve decided to Master Your Emotions.
Julia Cameron has inspired millions with her bestseller on creativity, The Artist’s Way. In It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again, she turns her eye to a segment of the population that, ironically, while they have more time to be creative, are often reluctant or intimidated by the creative process. Cameron shows readers that retirement can, in fact, be the most rich, fulfilling, and creative time of their lives.
When someone retires, the newfound freedom can be quite exciting, but also daunting. The life that someone had has changed, and the life to come is yet to be defined. In this book, Cameron shows readers how cultivating their creative selves can help them navigate this new terrain. She tells the inspiring stories of retirees who discovered new artistic pursuits and passions that more than filled their days—they nurtured their souls.
The #1 New York Times bestseller. Over 3 million copies sold!
Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results
No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.
If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.
Clear is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, readers will be inspired and entertained with true stories from Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field.
Master your mental strength—revolutionary new strategies that work for everyone from homemakers to soldiers and teachers to CEOs.
Everyone knows that regular exercise and weight training lead to physical strength. But how do we strengthen ourselves mentally for the truly tough times? And what should we do when we face these challenges? Or as psychotherapist Amy Morin asks, what should we avoid when we encounter adversity? Through her years counseling others and her own experiences navigating personal loss, Morin realized it is often the habits we cannot break that are holding us back from true success and happiness. Indulging in self-pity, agonizing over things beyond our control, obsessing over past events, resenting the achievements of others, or expecting immediate positive results holds us back. This list of things mentally strong people don’t do resonated so much with readers that when it was picked up by Forbes.com it received ten million views.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER · INSTANT INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
From Dr. Nicole LePera, creator of “the holistic psychologist”—the online phenomenon with more than two million Instagram followers—comes a revolutionary approach to healing that harnesses the power of the self to produce lasting change.
As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Nicole LePera often found herself frustrated by the limitations of traditional psychotherapy. Wanting more for her patients—and for herself—she began a journey to develop a united philosophy of mental, physical and spiritual wellness that equips people with the interdisciplinary tools necessary to heal themselves. After experiencing the life-changing results herself, she began to share what she’d learned with others—and soon “The Holistic Psychologist” was born.
In How to Do the Work, Dr. LePera offers readers the support and tools that will allow them to break free from destructive behaviors to reclaim and recreate their lives. Nothing short of a paradigm shift, this is a celebration of empowerment that will forever change the way we approach mental wellness and self-care.
Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself
By Nedra Glover Tawwab
In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…
In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.
When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.
After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu uses the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother’s abandoned greatness.
Mulan meets The Song of Achilles; an accomplished, poetic debut of war and destiny, sweeping across an epic alternate China.
After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, a professor shares the lessons he’s learned—about living in the present, building a legacy, and taking full advantage of the time you have—in this life-changing classic.
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” —Randy Pausch
A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull over the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave—”Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”—wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have . . . and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.
As Commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield captivated the world with stunning photos and commentary from space. Now, in his first book, Chris offers readers extraordinary stories from his life as an astronaut, and shows how to make the impossible a reality.
Astronaut training turns popular wisdom about how to be successful on its head. Instead of visualizing victory, astronauts prepare for the worst; always sweat the small stuff; and do care what others think. Chris shows how this unique education comes into play with dramatic anecdotes about going blind during a spacewalk, getting rid of a live snake while piloting a plane, and docking with space station Mir when laser tracking systems fail at the critical moment. Along the way, he shares exhilarating experiences, and challenges, from his 144 days on the ISS, and provides an unforgettable answer to his most-asked question: What’s it really like in outer space?
Written with humour, humility and a profound optimism for the future of space exploration, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth offers readers not just the inspiring story of one man’s journey to the ISS, but the opportunity to step into his space-boots and think like an astronaut—and renew their commitment to pursuing their own dreams, big or small.
The Obstacle is the Way has become a cult classic, beloved by men and women around the world who apply its wisdom to become more successful at whatever they do.
Its many fans include a former governor and movie star (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a hip hop icon (LL Cool J), an Irish tennis pro (James McGee), an NBC sportscaster (Michele Tafoya), and the coaches and players of winning teams like the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Cubs, and University of Texas men’s basketball team.
The book draws its inspiration from stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, tougher. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
Ryan Holiday shows us how some of the most successful people in history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—have applied stoicism to overcome difficult or even impossible situations. Their embrace of these principles ultimately mattered more than their natural intelligence, talents, or luck.
If you’re feeling frustrated, demoralized, or stuck in a rut, this book can help you turn your problems into your biggest advantages. And along the way it will inspire you with dozens of true stories of the greats from every age and era.
Based on a Navy SEAL’s inspiring graduation speech, this #1 New York Times bestseller of powerful life lessons “should be read by every leader in America” (Wall Street Journal).
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Taking inspiration from the university’s slogan, “What starts here changes the world,” he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves-and the world-for the better.
Admiral McRaven’s original speech went viral with over 10 million views. Building on the core tenets laid out in his speech, McRaven now recounts tales from his own life and from those of people he encountered during his military service who dealt with hardship and made tough decisions with determination, compassion, honor, and courage. Told with great humility and optimism, this timeless book provides simple wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement that will inspire readers to achieve more, even in life’s darkest moments.
When you let go, you live intuitively. Everything flows, because you are no longer attached to things being a certain way, to being a certain person or always being right. What a relief. The irony is that when you feel stuck in any area of your life – career, relationships, purpose, health or money – letting go can seem very hard. You cling on for dear life just at the moment you need to take the leap.
In The Power of Letting Go, John Purkiss explains why we should let go and how we can do it, using proven techniques to make things happen.
The stages of letting go:
-Be Present and Enjoy Each Moment
-Let Go of the Thoughts that Keep You Stuck
-Let Go of the Pain that Runs Your Life
-Surrender and Tune into Something Far More Intelligent than Your Brain
Because we love books so much, we also post our book recommendations over on Instagram. If you love talking about your favorite books, then join in our bookish discussions with fellow book lovers on our Facebook page.
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