Best books to help with New Year's resolutions
On coming January 1, many people kick off their New Year's resolutions. While diet and fitness resolutions usually rule the airwaves, my goal is typically related to reading. Books can help you achieve the goals you've set, whether you're looking to advance you career, find some tranquillity, or become more involved in your community. Here are some new reads to help you be successful in 2018, whatever resolution you choose!
FOR YOUR MIND
Wake Up to the Joy of You: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life
by Agapi Stassinopoulos
With 52 chapters, this book is meant to be a yearlong project. Stassinopoulos provides practical advice to let go of what is unnecessary and concentrate on what brings happiness. It is also a great guide to anyone who wants to begin meditating for the first time or has struggled with building a meditation habit in the past.
The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters
by Emily Esfahani Smith
Combining psychological research, philosophy, and personal stories, Smith presents a path for finding real meaning in life. She identifies four pillars of meaning (belonging, purpose, storytelling, and transcendence) that can help us overcome adversity and become resilient while discovering our own purpose.
Kindness Boomerang: How to Save the World (and Yourself) Through 365 Daily Acts
by Orly Wahba
For some people, the New Year brings motivation to do more kind acts, but committing to a rigorous volunteer schedule can seem time-consuming or daunting, particularly to busy parents. Wahba, whose "Kindness Boomerang" YouTube video has been watched over 25 million times, brings us a book filled with ideas for how to spread kindness every day. With an act for each day, motivational quotes, and inspiring stories, this book is sure to bring positivity to your life.
The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living
by Meik Wiking
The Danes have been purported to be the happiest people in the world. Perhaps this is due to the practice of hygge (pronounced "hoo-ga"), which is all about being present and being cozy. And there is no one better than Wiking to write the book on hygge - Wiking is from Denmark and serves as the CEO of The Happiness Research Institute. Beautifully designed, The Little Book of Hygge offers advice and instructions on bringing this centerpiece of the Danish lifestyle into your own life. (Want to learn even more about hygge? Check out The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort, and Connection, which goes on sale February 7, 2017.)
FOR YOUR BODY
If Our Bodies Could Talk: A Guide to Operating and Maintaining a Human Body
by James Hamblin
Knowledge is power - especially when we jump into a new exercise regime or diet plan. Hamblin's book, which grew out of a video series he did for The Atlantic, covers a multitude of health topics, including multivitamins, fad diets, aging, and sleep issues. Even better, he takes what can be a jargon-filled subject and makes it both informative and accessible.
Sleep Wise: How to Feel Better, Work Smarter, and Build Resilience
by Daniel Jin Blum, PhD
I don't know any parent with children at home who sleeps enough. Dr. Blum's book is a full argument for and guide to getting enough rest. He explains the benefits of proper sleep, what happens to our minds and bodies when we try to get by on less, and exercises and tips to help you get the sleep you need. (Plus, without enough sleep, you'll be hard-pressed to make good on any other resolutions!)
FOR YOUR CAREER
Own It: The Power of Women at Work
by Sallie Krawcheck
In Own It, the "first lady of Wall Street" shows how women are uniquely positioned to move businesses forward with their skill sets while attempting to fit into a "man's world." Using personal stories and an approachable style, Krawcheck encourages women to embrace who they are and reimagine their careers.
Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations
by Dan Ariely
Based on Ariely's 2012 TED Talk "What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work?," Payoff examines at the science behind how we are both motivated and demotivated, often in counter-intuitive ways. While the book looks mainly at how this affects businesses, the lessons can be applied to our personal lives (including how to motivate our children!).
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
Burnett and Evans have taken their extremely popular Stanford class "Design Your Life" and made it accessible for all of us. With principles used by designers to solve problems, this book has you work through various exercises to discover and create the life that you want. It's great for people at any stage of their careers: just starting out, ready for a change (whether in role, company, or career), or returning to work after a hiatus, including stay-at-home parents.
Books for Living
by Will Schwalbe
Bibliophiles will love this new read from Schwalbe, the New York Times bestselling author of The End of Your Life Book Club. Books for Living explores the places books take us and the ways in which they impact our lives, and provides a vast reading list organized by what we seek (such as sleep, nostalgia, or empathy). The book recommendations are varied in publication date, age range, and genre, providing the perfect resource for anyone whose New Year's resolution is to read more.