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15 Of The Best Books on Habits And Their Life-Changing Effects

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Nicole Froio

Staff Writer

Nicole Froio is a Brazilian journalist currently based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She writes about feminism, human rights, politics, mental health issues, pop culture, books and the media. She was born in São Paulo but moved a lot as a kid, which hinders her ability to root down in only one place in adulthood. Her favorite genres of book are fantasy, YA fiction, romance and any book that requires the main character to find themselves. An avid intersectional feminist, her tolerance for bigotry is extremely low. Blog: Words by Nicole Froio Twitter: @NicoleFroio

Reading the best books on habits can completely change your life – if you’re committed to changing the habits you already have. It’s a new year (Happy 2019!), a time where people can take some time and space to rethink their daily routines, their harmful habits, the habits that work and why they work. Why not go through these thoughts with a book or two? An outside perspective is always valuable.

Personally, I have been reassessing my habits to improve my mental health. I’ve had to sit down and consider what improves my mental health and what makes it worse, and consciously decide to let go of what does not serve me. What has helped in this process is seeing how others lead their lives and develop healthy boundaries and habits. Here are a few of the best books on habits that have helped in the past and some that I am excited about reading in this time of transition.

1. The Power of Habit by Charles DuhiggThe Power of Habit- Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

What’s the science behind forming healthy habits? Why is one person able to completely change their life and others struggle to do so? Duhigg dives into the hows and whys of how to have a fulfilling and successful life. This book is a hit – and I can definitely see why.

2. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

I know, I know! What a cliché and predictable choice, but hear me out. I am in the midst of applying the Kondo method in my own home and I have never felt better about decluttering. It always felt like such an overwhelming task, and Kondo changed that for me. Plus, it does get you to think about your tidying habits and how you can make daily tidying and organising easier on yourself. Trust me on this one!

3. Bad with Money: The Imperfect Art of Getting Your Financial Sh*t Together by Gaby Dunn

How are you handling your money? What financial habits are bad for you and how do you fix them? Gaby Dunn has all the answers.

4. One Day my Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth by Iyanla Vazant

I’ve recommended this book before because it has daily practices that are very useful to people with chaotic minds like mine. It urges you to think about your internal habits and try to change harmful wirings in your brain.

Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life- How to Harness the Power of Clock Genes to Lose Weight, Optimize Your Workout, and Finally Get a Good Night's Sleep5. Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life by Dr Suhas Kshirsagar with Michelle D. Seaton

Did you know skipping meals and working late to increase productivity is actually bad for your work and your mental health? This book discusses how scheduling might be ruining your life and how to fix it.

6. You Are A Badass Every Day by Jen Sincero

This one is a workbook that will fill you with affirmations and make you realize, why didn’t I think like this before?

7. Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick by Jeremy Dean

A popular psychologist dives into the science of creating habits and how you can be happier by learning these processes and applying them to your advantage. Why do you do a thing that is obviously bad for you and how do you make it stop? This book can help you figure it out.

8. Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy

What is your body language conveying to others? How can you change the habits your body gets into that are negative for how people see you? Harvard Professor Amy Cuddy writes from experience, and argues that the first step is to change the impression we make on ourselves.

9. Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living By Jason Gay

How often do you get fixated on what you didn’t achieve and forget all your little victories? Gay’s book is an overhaul of that negative thinking, forcing the reader to think about the little things they achieve every single day.

10. Live Big: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Passion, Practicality and Purpose by Ajit Nawalkha

Straight to the point, Nawalkha reveals 25 shifts – changes in your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual state – that will propel you on your road to success.

11. The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders

Do you buy things to feel happy? Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you just…stopped your shopping habits? Flanders reveals what she found out from her year of minimalism.

12. A Year of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom, and Courage by Cyndie Spiegel

One habit I struggle with is my negative thinking. This book gives you daily affirmations that promise to change your brain around.

13. High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way by Brendon Burchard

Does what is says in the title: explore how extraordinary people get successful and gives you guidelines to follow suit.

14. Mindful Relationship Habits: 25 Practices for Couples to Enhance Intimacy, Nurture Closeness, and Grow a Deeper Connection by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport

Are your habits with your spouse or significant other mindful, or are you both just going through the motions? This book can help you figure out how to become closer to each other.

15. The Courage Habit: How to Accept Your Fears, Release the Past, and Live Your Courageous Life Paperback by Kate Swoboda

Your inner critic is holding you back, and you must develop the habit of being courageous and challenge it. Swoboda offers a unique program based in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to help you act courageously in spite of fear.


What do you think are the best books on habits? Hit the comments to share your favorites!