With the new year comes an opportunity to take stock of the good and the bad from the past 365 days and, for many of us, to set goals for the next. For some, that means sitting down and writing out one or two or ten goals for the upcoming year. For some, it’s a mental reflection and general sense of things they’d like to better. For others, they choose a motto or a quote to latch onto that encompasses what they want out of the year.
According to the Statista Research Department, the top resolutions include living healthier, self-improvement, achieving career and financial goals, improving relationships, traveling more, and breaking bad habits. But yours can be as simple or as complex as you like! Drinking more water, giving compliments to strangers, standing more, finding a hobby, it’s all on the table for the long and wild and wonderful year ahead.
Whichever type of resolution-maker you are, there are books a plenty to help you along the way. Books that aren’t only for the practical step-by-steps, but also inspiration to turn to when things get hard. Here are ten books for some of the more common resolutions to get you started!
Improve Your Health
Improving your health can mean a lot of things: eating more green things, getting into running, establishing a better sleep schedule, stressing less, and so much more!
How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life by Frank Lipman
Health is not the same for everyone and Lipman understands that. Through easy-to-follow recipes, breathing techniques, and insights into emotional wellness, How to Be Well takes a holistic approach to improving your health and happiness. No dieting, no drastic measures, and you can take everything inside at your own pace. A great starter to thinking about health in the bigger picture.
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
This is not a guide to running, but a book to turn to to remind you of how running can change your life. Murakami’s gives insights into the way running helps him mentally, what he loves about it, how it works in tandem to improve his writing life. Runners just getting started and those preparing for their 100th marathon will love this reminder of why they’re doing what they do.
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker
Sleep is so much more important than many of us realize. Your immune system, mental health, and brain function are impacted by getting some shut eye every night. If you’re having trouble regulating your sleep schedule or need some suggestions for improving it, this science-backed book is a great place to start.
Cleaning Up Your Mental Health: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking by Caroline Leaf
With case studies and research galore, working on your mental health has never seemed so important! Leaf offers practical exercises you can include in your day-to-day routines and a five-step plan to reduce your stress and get you thinking a little clearer.
Build Better Relationships
Building relationships, whether in dating, in friendship, or in family, can be hard.
All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks
We’ve been raised to think of love within certain parameters, but hooks’s deep dive into what love means challenges these societal perceptions. It’s not all about romance, but about community and compassion. While some of the perspectives have become outdated since its 1999 publication, the concepts will make you think about what your definition of love is so you can set out to find it.
Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab
It can be hard to say no to people, to disagree with those you love, to put yourself out there. That’s why a lot of people turn to people-pleasing to get by. If you’re looking to shake that habit and set up boundaries for yourself, this is a great start with modern exercises and advice for all kinds of different situations.
Learn a New Hobby / Find Your Passion
Hobbies are great for your mental health, work-life balance, and happiness in general. If you’re looking to pick up a new one, check these books out!
That Sounds Fun: The Joys of Being an Amateur, the Power of Falling in Love, and Why You Need a Hobby by Annie F. Downs
A lot of us just aren’t having enough fun, and Downs is looking to change that by reminding us of all the reasons to put it higher on our prioritization list. With research to back up how beneficial fun is, you’ll leave this book motivated to find what you enjoy and then go and do it already.
Salt Fat Acid Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat
Cooking can be intimidating, but fear not! Salt Fat Acid Heat is great at breaking down the seemingly complicated science of cooking into easy-to-understand rules for even the least experienced. Funny prose, gorgeous drawings, and a pure joy for cooking make this an absolute delight.
Reduce Screen Time
I can’t be the only one who spends way too much time on my phone. If you’re looking to reduce screen time or just build healthier habits when it comes to your phone, start here!
How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life by Catherine Price
There’s a reason your phone is so addictive: it’s literally designed that way. Price breaks down the science of what keeps you going back to it, what it’s doing to our brains, and practical ways to make your phone less reach-for-able. You’re stuck with your phone in the modern age, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck to it!
Do you know the signs of a digital addiction? You might just be in the middle of it without realizing. Doomscrolling, late-night shopping, and comparison culture are all part of unhealthy relationships with technology. Goodin will teach you what to look for and what to do about it.