As the sun comes up on 2018, we're all planning big things: change, resolution and self-improvement. It's a time of new beginnings, new life chapters and new (better?) habits. But let's be honest: it ain't easy. And while I don't know the statistics on how many people actually stick to their resolutions, I'm guessing it's not a huge number, and I know that for me, I'm usually deep in a hole of shame and embarrassment by February 1 when I start to backslide (wine? sure! carbs, yup! gym? where's that?). The good news, though, is that there are a whole bunch of books aimed at helping you stick to your guns, and this is the perfect time to read them. So delve deep into our list of 7 books that will undoubtedly change your life. You can thank us later.
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1. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
This bright yellow book is a game changer. Author Jen Sincero is a no BS girl who preaches how to stop doubting your utter greatness and start living an awesome life. I’ve read it twice. The chapters are bite-sized, the stories are relatable and the occasional swear word feels like Jen is one of us. Create a life you totally, unabashedly love and start by reading this book.
2. Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
I had no idea how much my life needed this book until I read it. Marie Kondo systematically progresses through every inch of your home, streamlining the endless “stuff” that clogs your mental peace. With both practical tips such as rolling your clothes in your drawers or eliminating that pile of junk by the front door, and spiritual guidance, like questioning why you’re holding on to sentimental thoughts and products that aren’t serving you, Kondo’s philosophy will most definitely change your everyday life. Don’t be surprised if you stop communicating with a superfluous friend or donate most of your closet to Goodwill.
3. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, distilled her creative process and thoughts about living boldly into this exceptional book. She acutely detaches your self-worth from the little “creative genius” lurking in the corner of your studio or office, and gives every reader the chance to uncover the “strange jewels” within. Even if you’re not in a creative field, you need Gilbert’s sage wisdom.
4. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
The first time I read The Secret, I was 13 years old on a deserted beach in the Bahamas and I just knew that Rhonda Byrne’s concept would drive the remainder of my life. I immediately passed the book to my Dad and said, “You have got to read this!” Now I’m older, wiser, and doing the same for you. You guys, you’ve got to read this. Ask and you shall receive, friends.
5. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Elizabeth Tuke talks about this book in her Selects, and while it was new to me, it received the highest number of votes when we researched for this article. Don Miguel Ruiz offers “a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.” It is based on the ancient philosophy of Toltec from southern Mexico, and is lauded as a book that leads to a profound change in your life. All of that in 4 bullet points. Seriously. Consider this one Added to Cart.
6. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Remember this book that you had to read in middle school? Even if it was required reading, or you thought it was a crock at the time, grab a copy of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist ASAP. The novel provides an inspirational tale that you can refer and relate to for the whole New Year to come.
7. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Understanding your specific love language as you approach this new chapter of your life may have radical effects on your year. They are gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service and physical touch. What do you need going forward? What do you like to provide? Understanding the way you (or your partner or boss or friend) communicate your feelings is monumental. Proceed with an open heart.
1. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
2. Understanding and Dismantling Racism by Joseph Barndt
3. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
4. The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
5. What I Know for Sure by Oprah
6. Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel
7. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy