The New Year is upon us! I love the possibilities of a New Year, and a chance to start fresh. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite books to help you jump start your resolutions. I have personally read and/or owned all of these, so they are coming with my hearty recommendation.
For convenience, I’ve included Amazon links to each of the titles below. However, in many cases you should be able to locate these books at your local library if you wish!
This was my book club’s pick for December and what a great discussion it produced! You might recognize the author, Gretchen Rubin, because she wrote the bestseller The Happiness Project. Better than Before would be an excellent read no matter that your New Year’s Resolutions are. In this book, she uncovers the role habits have in our life – both good and bad. She shares how to develop habits that you want in your life, and how to protect them from self-sabotage. It was a very thought-provoking, yet easy read.
Chances are you’ve seen this title floating around: and for good reason, it’s a #1 New York Times Bestseller that’s easy to read, yet offers solid advice. I picked this book up myself last month and managed to read it in three sittings. There are a couple things that made this book different from other organizing books I’ve read: 1) Kondo claims that none of her clients have relapsed to disorganization (um… wow!) and 2) she advocates decluttering by category, not room.
My husband and I have started following the advice in her book and have already seen our master bedroom closet turned from a huge mess to one of my new favorite spaces in our house. We’re now tackling the books and I’m hopeful we’ll have our house put together properly within a few months.
Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider
I’ve written about this book on several occasions and stand by the recommendation. If you’ve got a disorganized home and don’t know where to start: this is your book. This book is one part philosophy (developing your family’s mission, discovering what matters most to you) and one part action plan (step-by-step instructions for going through your house). Unlike The Magic Art of Tidying Up, this book does advocate you go room by room. If followed as stated, you’ll have your house decluttered in about a week.
I did keep to the plan and found the advice very sound and ended up with a beautifully decluttered and clean space in a short amount of time.
I snagged this ebook a couple years ago and I have to tell you – it’s truly unlike any other “get out of debt” book I’ve ever read. Carrie focuses more on the attitude changes and mental games we play that derail us from our financial goals. She goes after the root issues – not just the symptoms of a mismanaged checkbook account. I really related to her story and found her candor completely genuine. This book avoids the preachy-ness that you can often find with other financial self help books. Perhaps it’s because Rocha and her husband have “been there, done that” and paid off over $50,000 of debt themselves!
After reading this book, I realized why a budget and a plan isn’t the only thing you need to break the cycle of debt. You need to discover the patterns of thinking that have sabotaged your best efforts in the past to avoid them in the future. If you have “paying off debt” as one of your New Year’s Resolutions, I’d really love to see you pick up a copy of this book.
Your Money: the Missing Manual by JD Roth
JD Roth was the founding blogger of the wildly popular blog, Get Rich Slowly, that I’ve referenced here over the years. Like Rocha, JD Roth is a guy who wound up in a lot of consumer debt but was successful in getting out from under it and building a better financial future. This book offers smart, practical advice without being overwhelming.
I also love that this book covers a wide-range of financial topics including saving, investing, setting goals, budgeting, and much more.
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Of course, I couldn’t leave this popular title by financial guru Dave Ramsey off the list! The Total Money Makeover offers a straight-talk approach to getting your finances in order, particularly if you’re dealing with burdensome debt. Ramsey provides actionable steps and a lot of encouragement for people longing for financial peace.
Is running one of your goals for the New Year? Then I highly recommend this journal to chronical your progress! It is simply the best running log I’ve ever owned. It’s got places to set goals, plan for races, and log your daily workouts. It’s peppered with articles from pro female runners and includes handy pace charts in the back of the journal. I’ve been using mine for the better part of a year and I plan on purchasing another as soon as the last entry is full. I feel it’s also worth adding that while I’ve seen this journal at other retailers, Amazon seems to offer the very best price of anywhere. (Small bonus: it comes in three colors – red, charcoal & lavender.)
PS did you notice that I didn’t include any diet books on this list? After yo-yo dieting for years, I finally made peace with food in 2014, lost the weight for good and have maintained that loss for a year! If you’re looking for sound advice on how to lose weight for good in a sensible, budget-friendly way, please read the series I wrote in early 2015, Losing Weight on a Budget.
Now it’s your turn: what other books would you say have been instrumental in helping you better yourself and/or meet your resolutions in the last year? I’d love to hear about them: leave a comment below!