6 books to help you stick to your New Year's resolution

No matter what your goals are, the right book can help you in your path to success

New Year's resolutions get a bad rap sometimes, especially since it's not uncommon to abandon the goal before February even rolls around. Trying to be proactive about changing your life can be daunting, especially if you're unsure where to start. Self-help books might be cringy to some, but the right one could motivate you to stick to your New Year's resolutions. Here are six books to help you to stay on track with your goals for the year: 

Resolution: Make better habits, and stick to them

"Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones" by James Clear

Plenty of popular New Year's resolutions fall under the category of choosing better habits or kicking a bad one (like drinking more water or quitting smoking). However, these goals can be the hardest to stick to, even when you feel motivated to change. James Clear's New York Times bestseller Atomic Habits is a practical guide to changing bad habits and developing new ones that also gives insight into the science behind the process. Clear's book is full of relatable practical examples of how readers can develop a habit-forming system that works, one tiny change at a time. The motivational writing in Atomic Habits provides a framework for change, including the psychology of habit formation and Clear's step-by-step tips for making healthy habits last long term. 

"Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life" by Gretchen Rubin

Another insightful book on creating good habits and breaking bad ones is Gretchen Rubin's Better than Before. Rubin's work features rigorous psychological research, vivid stories of transformation, and a touch of humor. Rubin muses about the core principles of forming good habits and gives practical advice for seeking change. Better than Before, another Times Bestseller, should be on your checklist if you're preparing to tackle the goal of maintaining better habits this year. 

Resolution: Change the way you look at your life 

"Everything Is Figureoutable" by Marie Forleo

Sometimes the biggest obstacle to moving forward is your outlook on life. When things keep going wrong, or you keep falling short, it can be hard not to cop a defeated attitude. How do you face your fears to change your life when things seem utterly hopeless? In Everything Is Figureoutable, Marie Forleo tries to answer that question. Forleo provides helpful tools for helping you find optimism in the face of bleak circumstances. It's a light read and can help inspire you to change the way you think. Forleo's book can help you learn to stop being so hard on yourself when you stumble. Inside she has tips for dealing with imposter syndrome, overcoming financial roadblocks, and striving for progress over perfection. She also has captivating stories of people applying her theory in real life. If you're looking for a way to change your outlook on life, then Everything Is Figureoutable might be the book, and mantra, for you!

"The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" by Mark Manson

Popular blogger Mark Manson's iconic The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is not your typical self-help book. Manson pushes the genre in a new direction, acknowledging that sometimes thinking positively isn't the answer. Instead of trying to put a positive spin on the complexities of life, Manson gives readers a healthy dose of reality and excellent advice about coping with the parts of life that suck. Manson challenges the notion that all you have to do to be successful is to find the silver lining. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck encourages readers to embrace the uncertainties of life and change out perspectives based on their goals. Manson makes the argument that in order to reach our goals, we have to learn to accept our limitations and remember that we don't have to care about everything. If you enjoy Manson's brand of self-help, make sure to check out the documentary adaptation of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, which is currently available for download on Amazon Prime

Resolution: Be hopeful while facing dark times

"Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities" by Rebecca Solnit 

While optimism and hope might not always be the answer, sometimes they are just what you need to sustain yourself in dark times. Hope in the Dark was written by Rebecca Solnit to inspire hope in activists and radicals in the face of an uncertain future, but anyone can benefit from her take on radicalizing hope. Though the book was originally published nearly two decades ago, Solnit's poignant words still resonate. Those grappling with political tension, polarizing debates, and the unprecedented dissolution of landmark legislation might find solace in Solnit's words. Hope in the Dark encourages everyone to celebrate small wins, and avoid giving up hope when the future looks bleak. 

"The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times" by Michelle Obama

The Light We Carry is former first lady Michelle Obama's follow-up to her critically acclaimed memoir "Becoming." In her newest book, Obama offers practical advice and strategies for remaining hopeful in increasingly uncertain times. Drawing on her own life experiences, Obama shares the habits and guiding principles she has developed to help her navigate the uncertainties she faced. She also shares more candid, powerful stories about her life that are illuminating and thought-provoking. She outlines her most valuable life practices, like "starting kind," "going high," and gathering a "kitchen table" of friends and confidantes. If you were inspired by "Becoming," grab The Light We Carry to learn how the former first lady navigated uncertainty to achieve her goals. 

Update Jan. 10, 2023: This story has been updated to reflect the release of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck documentary. 


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