Every year I set a list of new year goals but more often than not I find myself ditching them before the end of January. It’s basically become an annual tradition to conveniently forget you made a goal to go to the gym or finally ask for that work promotion you have wanted since last year. But if you are like me, and finally want to break the repetitive cycle of disappointment in yourself every year, these motivational books will put you in the right mindset to make this year YOUR year.

No matter what your goal is whether it be eating healthier, finding career success, or saving more money, getting in the right mindset when the year starts is the most important way to stay on top of your list. These motivational books will provide ways to break habits and create new ones, stop overthinking, prioritise yourself, and live sustainably. After reading some of the books on this list you will feel confident, empowered and ready to thrive! Looking for more inspo? Check our these self development reads.

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

Changing our habits can change our lives. At least, that’s what author Gretchen Rubin thinks. This book is all about providing a practical framework for individuals to understand their habits and change them for good. Your habit can be anything from spending too much time on social media, eating unhealthily, or drinking too much. Whatever it is, Rubin will try to explain why you cling to such habits and how to finally get rid of the hold they have on your life.


Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson

This book is a go-to guide from an expert on how to reduce your carbon footprint and live more sustainably. Author Bea Johnson provides examples of how her family went ‘Zero Waste’ and is now only producing one quart of garbage a year. The benefits of living her sustainable lifestyle are cutting annual spending by forty percent, spending more time with family and friends, and eating healthier than ever before. The best part of the book is that these are simple, easy tools to live sustainably without uprooting your life. Small efforts such as packing your lunch without plastic containers and making your own homemade ketchup will be the key to changing your life.


Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman

Stopping time might be impossible but managing it so you can make the most of your life is completely doable. As a society, we are obsessed with overworking, always adding stuff to our to-do list like parmesan cheese on spaghetti, and basically never having enough time to do everything we want. This book provides a comprehensive look at the idea of time and when to recognize when something is finished. The book is well-researched with insights from philosophers and psychologists provided in a simple, easy-to-read manner. If you have ever struggled with time management or the feeling of needing to get everything done, this book will be a great read to start off the new year.


Atomic Habits by James Clear

This New York Times bestseller has mesmerized people all over the world and it’s not hard to see why. Most of our life is constricted by the good or bad habits we have constructed over the years. This book focuses on making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. It provides guidelines for how to overcome a lack of motivation, design your environment to make you successful, and get back on the horse when you fall off. I know what you are probably thinking, this idea is easier said than done. Reading these self-help books can be good in theory but in practice, it’s easy to give up when presented with a lack of results. The good part is it’s filled with captivating stories from Olympic gold medalists and business leaders so you can see how the ideas in the book are proven to be successful.


We Should All Be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers

Fitness and happiness is all good and fun but let’s be real, there is little better than reaching all your financial goals. Fun fact: only ten percent of millionaires are women. But this does not mean this goal is unattainable. This book wants to change the stigma around women making money and the idea of feeling “selfish” or “greedy” for being successful. It looks at the history of woman in the business and economic world and how it has been marginalized against them. Providing information that is packed with real facts, it explains why women should strive to make more money and be proud of their successes. If you are looking to make this your year financially, check out the tips in this book.


The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi

Being a lazy genius is not about doing more or less, it is about doing what matters to you and ditching what does not. We can often get stuck in a sea of “shoulds” such as we should be making more money or we should be dating more. But this can get us lost and confused about what actually makes us happy and thriving. This book focuses on living your best life and ditching the shoulds. Nap without guilt, switch your morning routine, do whatever matters to you and everything else will fall into place.


Don’t Overthink It by Anne Bogel

Are you a chronic overthinker? If yes, then this book is for you. But if no, you should probably still check it out just to see if you have any lingering negative thoughts holding you back in life. Most of us find ourselves plagued with “what-ifs.” These “what-ifs” can be anything from should I buy these shoes to should I quit my job. Overthinking even the smallest decisions will ultimately keep you behind in life. This book is about making the best decision you can with the information you have. Not making the perfect decisions, but ones you will be comfortable making and dealing with whatever consequences.


The Art Of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

If self-help books can often be too complicated or confusing for you, you are not alone. This book provides 12 simple, breakthrough practices that are meant to bring creativity into all our lives. It breaks it down in a way that emphasizes bringing possibility into our lives and being great communicators, leaders, and professionals. Creativity can help us view the world in different ways and get the most out of situations whether professional or personal. Some people may think they are not creative, but everyone has creativity inside them. Finding this creativity just requires a breakthrough of ingrained misconceptions.


Start With Why by Simon Sinek

One of the best motivational books out there, the idea in this book may be the key to professional and personal success. The basis of this book is just as simple as its title: start with why. Why is a company successful? Why do some people have more loyalty or following? Some of the biggest names such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Steve Jobs both started with a why. They realized that people will not truly buy into a product, service, or movement until they understand the why behind it. This is the ultimate marker of success. While the book focuses on business, this can be applied everywhere in your life. If you are arguing with a friend over politics, ask why they think the way they do. This allows for a deeper connection and understanding between people from similar or different backgrounds.


Nothing Like I Imagined (Except for Sometimes) by Mindy Kaling

Social anxiety and the struggle to find your people as you age seem like universal problems nowadays. Through this collection of short essays, writer, actress, comedian, and mother Mindy Kaling explores living with social anxiety and single motherhood while still maintaining the wit and humour we all know and love from her. If you’re looking for a book that makes you laugh out loud and helps you find yourself in an ever-changing world, pick up this series before the start of the new year.


Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Therapy is for everyone – even therapists. Lori Gottlieb shares her life before becoming a therapist and her journey to discovering her passion for helping others and listening. If you’re not a fan of traditional self-help books but still want to work on yourself, this memoir is a great option because, as you read, you’ll have no choice but to assess your own life and problems as Gottlieb does the same.

Just Eat It: How Intuitive Eating Can Help You Get Your Shit Together Around Food 

This New Year ditch diet culture and read Just Eat It. One of the best motivational books in the game, learn your body and listen to your appetite through Dr Thomas’s life-changing read. Don’t let food hold you back anymore and finally eat nourishing food that will fuel your body without restriction.

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