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I don’t know about you, but I really believe a good book can solve a lot of problems. Whether it’s the latest super-hyped self-help guide or a fiction novel so far removed from reality that escapism is a mild way of describing it: a well written book can change your life.
As the end of last year was approaching, I started thinking about the pile of books next to my bedside that I had neglected to read and the sheer number of untapped downloads on my Kindle. It was just something else that I hadn’t done in 2017. Something else to add to the enormous list of ways that I’d let myself down.
When I started to think about my year in review, I realised that I was in exactly the same place as I was a year ago.
It was in that same moment that I decided to change.
I actually started by reading a couple of self-help books on my Kindle first, and then I reread two of my favourite books that I already knew would be tremendously helpful. The last time I read them was when I was feeling massively sh*tty and they did wonders to help me get some motivation back.
All of these books can be read on Kindle or paperback, I won’t judge you! I love both and I’m a huge fan of curling up with a captivating book and a
massive hearty glass of red wine. If you’re doing a dry January (boo) then make yourself a cup of tea instead – no excuses!
Let’s get into it. Here are the 5 books you need to read to start the New Year right.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change
I thought I would start with one of the most useful and helpful books I’ve ever read. It was so engaging, packed with fascinating information and case studies and I read it cover to cover in 2 days. The Power of Habit focuses on the habit cycle, how to figure out what is your ‘cue’ and ‘reward’ and a whole host of ways to apply the information taught to your own bad habits. The case studies are so intriguing and there is such a variation between them that you can definitely take what you need to learn from each story and apply it to yourself. I cannot recommend this book more so if you are finding that you’ve fallen into the ever familiar routine/habit that you just can’t break, then please give this book a read. It really can help you. Charles Duhigg, thank you.
Serial quitters, routine lovers and those who need a push to kick that habit.
The Modern Enneagram
A fresh look on an ancient personality system. As humans, while we are all unique our personality types can be split into 9 different categories. Kacie Berghoef uses academic research to delve into each of the personality types and how they do things, what they are suited to and how they interact with others and the world. I wouldn’t say that The Modern Enneagram is an in-depth assessment of personality but an introduction to the Enneagram and its applications to modern life.
Soul searchers and personality test addicts.
The Happiness Advantage
Although the book is intended to boost success at work, I really think the principles suggested in The Happiness Advantage can be applied to everyday life. Shawn Achor considers and goes on to challenge the the conventional idea that success will bring you happiness and uses various studies and scientific research in the field of positive psychology to show the impact of finding happiness. The general message is that happiness will help you achieve success and the fulfilment we all desire. A hugely inspiring book that I always turn back to when I get too sucked into smashing the goal instead of enjoying the process.
High achievers, serial goal setters and those feeling a little disillusioned or unfulfilled.
If you have ever wanted an insight to the journey of a young entrepreneur, look no further. Girl Boss is basically the story of author Sophia Amoruso’s journey from rags to riches. Before she started Nasty Gal she had a tough time but started selling vintage clothes on eBay which was the start of a whirlwind journey. Nasty Gal is now a huge company with annual turnover in the multimillions. I would say this is a bit of a pep talk, a bit of an autobiography and a little bit motivational, embrace yourself kinda book.
Girl bosses (obvi), solopreneurs and those with big dreams and a little fear in their hearts.
Get your Sh*t Together
I’ve saved this one till last because it is my ABSOLUTE favourite. It is my go to when I need guidance of any kind and especially if I’m feeling overwhelmed. I even have little bookmarks on some pages so I can get back to them as quickly as I can. Get your Sh*t Together is Sarah Knight’s second book and it is straight-talking, no-BS guide to getting your act together. I read this when I was at my lowest last year and it really did help me start to piece things together. It’s not inspirational like the last two books but it certainly provides you with the tools and steps to take to start sorting your life out. I recently lent this to somebody that was having terrible anxiety – if you know then you know. The kind that stops you living your life and stops you looking after yourself. Well, it helped her just as much as it helped me! So it can help you even if you think you can’t be helped. Just read a few pages, honestly, you’ll get into it quickly.
People in a rut, those who feel hopeless and those who need a little dose of non-sugarcoated reality.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that it helps you, even if it’s just a little bit.
Let me know in the comments what you are reading at the moment to better yourself and if you’ve read any of these books! I’m now reading The Marshmallow Test and I’m loving it. I’ll update you soon.
*I was kindly gifted this jumper by Tobi, a lovely brand that you should definitely check out if you want to spruce up your wardrobe! All opinions are always my own*