10 Books that Can Change Your Life – Whether you’re setting a New Year’s resolution, or simply looking for new ways to breathe energy, peace, and productivity into your life, these books are the perfect place to start.
I’m a big-time reader. I’ve always loved books, and this year a LOT of my reading has been in the non-fiction category. I used to make fun of my dad for never reading fiction, and I’ve had to formally apologize to him for all the teasing. (whoopsies)
I thought as the year wrapped up, it’d be the perfect time to share a few books that have changed the way I look at different aspects of my life, from habits, to work, to parenting, to relationships, and more. Without further ado, here are 10 books that could change your life…
1. If You Want to Make or Break a Habit…
Better Than Before or The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. I’m a longtime Happiness Project fan and a regular listener of Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast. Gretchen Rubin, happiness researcher and writer, uses this book to break down why we have trouble keeping habits we WANT and breaking habits we DON’T want. She relies fairly heavily on her Four Tendencies framework, which breaks down techniques that work for engaging and motivating you based on your personality type. But whether or not you subscriber to her tendencies theory, there is a LOT of good information about how to motivate yourself to do (or not do) what you really want.
p.s. You can take a quick quiz to find out your tendency here. (I’m an Upholder with a hint of Questioner)
2. If You Want to Improve Your Relationships…
Braving the Wilderness and Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. Hands down, THE most transformative books I’ve read on relationships and our interactions with other people in our lives have been written by Brené Brown. Her work on vulnerability can be life-changing. Even if you think “well I don’t need/like to be vulnerable,” what was so helpful for me was her work about boundaries and her BRAVING framework. I had so many “YES!” moments while reading her books.
She believes that in order to have a true, trusting, open, respectful relationship with another person (be that a spouse, co-woker, parents, sibling, friend, etc.) you must in be in alignment in regard to boundaries, reliability, accountability, vault, integrity, non-judgement, and generosity. Watch her SuperSoul talk to get a taste of what her books will be like and then dive right in. You can listen to the audiobooks and fly right through them, or read a hard copy and underline/highlight and take notes in the margins.
3. If You Want to Improve Your Work…
I love, love, love reading books about goals and productivity . Whether your work is stay-at-home parenting, owning a business, working in an office, or working on a project all your own, there’s always something to learn. If I could only recommend *one,* this would be it:
Miracle Morning. This book is SO, SO good. It’s a really simplified routine you can implement to start your day. And I promise, it works. It doesn’t have to be long, or drawn out, or fancy. And you can change up the order. But incorporating just a few daily practices can DRAMATICALLY shift the way you feel and the amount of energy you have to dive into each and every day.
4. & 5. If You Want to Feel Better…
Let’s get a little woo-woo here for a second. These are books that can change the way you feel about yourself, your life, and your potential. They rely much less on research and data and much more on practices that can fill you with gratitude, joy, and peace. (Who couldn’t use that!?)
You Can Heal Your Life. This book by Louise Hay is kind of a self-help classic. There are a few sections that felt a little “out there” for me, but the sections about affirmations, visualization, and gratitude really resonated with me.
The Universe Has Your Back – Gabrielle Bernstein is pretty popular, thanks to a few stints on Oprah. She takes a lot of the same principles as Louise Hay and modernizes them a bit. She’s very big on prayer and trust in a higher power, and for her, gratitude, meditation, prayer, and affirmations are ways she feels connected to what is meant for her and her life. A lot of good things in here, along with some things that weren’t for me, and a few things that can be a bit woo-woo.
6 & 7. If You Want to Simplify Your Life…
Essentialism: the Disciplined Pursuit of Less – Basically the first book I always think of when it coms to simplifying. Minimalism is REALLY trendy right now, but what I love about this book is that it outlines how true simplicity and peace is less about how many items are in your home or activities you have in your life, and much more about whether they are the ones that mean the most to you, that align with your values and priorities.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – I’ve shared my experience with this book, but it’s kind of become one of the organization and home cleaning Bibles. It’s full of tips for really curating a set of belongings that you really, truly like as well as organizational tips for making the most of any space.
8, 9 & 10. If You Want to Up Your Parenting Game…
Simplicity Parenting. I read this book about once a year as a gentle reminder to myself of what my kids really need from me.
Grit. If I had to name only two things I want my children to learn in my home, they are 1) love and kindness and 2) resilience. This book tackles resilience in a really fantastic way. I love that she uses both research-based suggestions and her own anecdotes to illustrate the different principles you can use to develop resilience yourself and to help your children develop that skill.
Chasing Slow – I love everything I’ve ever read or listened to from Erin Loechner. This beautiful book was a personal approach to what it means to slow down. It doesn’t mean giving up what you like to do, or moving to the woods somewhere, or swearing off smartphones. I love that for her, it means carving out time for the things that mean most to you and gently letting go of the things that aren’t serving you or your family.
What books do YOU recommend?
I’d love to add some new ones to my list!