We all start the year with ambitious intentions that we’ll be turning a new leaf, getting healthy, losing weight, taking up exercise, getting better with our money yadda yadda. Except it’s not so easy when you have to get through January, the bleakest, darkest month of the year, without any perks or treats. Our good intentions often crumble after the first rubbish boring day we have, then we are desperately seeking our normal pick me ups. Whether that’s a glass of wine, a cake or slouching in front of the TV. And poof, that’s the end of the New Year’s resolutions.
But how about a more inspiring and realistic approach to resolutions? We’ve selected ten books that will get you excited about embracing change. And healthy new habits are always so much more achievable if you feel passionate and motivated, rather than just because you hate yourself for putting on weight.
So here we go, happy reading
1. You Do You - Sarah Knight
Being yourself should be easy. But instead of feeling comfortable in our own skin and flourishing as our true selves, most of us fight it, listening too closely to what society tells us. You Do You helps you shake off those expectations, start looking out for number one and celebrating your badass self. From career and finances to relationships and family, lifestyle and health, Sarah Knight rips up the rulebook
2. How to Stay Sane - Philippa Perry
No matter how loved, how clever, successful, healthy or popular you are, none of these factors guarantee sanity. But if you want to overcome emotional difficulties and become happier, psychotherapist Philippa Perry has some brilliantly simple suggestions to bring about change.
By developing your self-observation skills, looking at how you relate to others, breaking out of your comfort zone and exploring new ways of defining yourself, she shows that it is possible to become a little less anxious and a little more fulfilled.
3. What Would Beyonce Do? - Luisa Omielan
Luisa Omielan is a stand-up comedian who turned her life around after she answered the mantra every person needs in their life: What Would Beyoncé Do?!
When we meet Luisa at the beginning of her memoir, things couldn’t be worse, at 29 she is nursing a broken heart, dealing with mounting student debt and has just been forced into a move back in with her mum. Life isn’t looking too rosy. However, her new Beyonce mantra gives her a new lease of life and Luisa starts to fight back. Get ready for an uplifting, hilarious and brutally honest read.
4. Jamie’s Everyday Super Food - Jamie Oliver
It’s often hard to find the time to eat healthily, let alone feel inspired by nutritious food. Jamie’s Everyday Super Food is a joy to cook from and will fill you with enthusiasm to get healthy because the recipes (not to mention the beautiful pictures) are awesome and easy to make.
You can breakfast on smoothie pancakes and berries, snack on sweet potato muffins, enjoy tasty fish tacos for lunch and then pig out on griddled steak with jewelled tabbouleh rice for dinner. And let’s not forget the sweet treats. They’re allowed. Make sure you try the mango, lime and ginger fro-yo.
Jamie proves that eating well is not only achievable but can be an adventure and a delight too.
5. The Pants Of Perspective - Anna McNuff
Amateur runner Anna follows the 3,000 kilometres long Te Araroa Trail through New Zealand’s backcountry for 148 days, she scrambles through forests, along ridge-lines, over mountain passes, along beaches and across swollen rivers. Running up to 52 kilometres in a day, she sleeps wild most nights, and is taken into the homes and hearts of the kiwi people in between.
The Pants of Perspective is a witty, colourful and at times painfully raw account of a journey to the edge of what a woman believes herself to be capable of. It is a coming-of-age story which will lead you on a roller coaster ride through fear, vulnerability, courage and failure. For anyone who has ever dreamt of taking on a great challenge, but felt too afraid to begin – this story is for you.
6. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying - Marie Kondo
Transform your home into a permanently clear and clutter-free space with Marie Kondo’s incredible method. It will not just transform your space. Once you have your house in order you will find that your whole life will change. You can feel more confident, you can become more successful, and you can have the energy and motivation to create the life you want.
7. Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert
Celebrated author, Elizabeth Gilbert digs deep into her own writing process to share her wisdom and unique perspective on creativity. With great empathy and generosity, she offers insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. Whether you are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in your work, embark on a forgotten dream, or to simply fill your everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic opens up a world of wonder and joy
8. Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world
Mindfulness lays out a set of simple yet powerful practices that fit very easily into daily life to help break the cycle of unhappiness, stress, anxiety and mental exhaustion and promote genuine contentment and joy. The book is based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). MBCT revolves around a straightforward form of mindfulness meditation which takes just a few minutes a day to start noticing the full benefits.
9. Sleep - Nick Littlehales
In this ground-breaking book, Nick Littlehales, elite sleep coach to some of the world's leading sports stars and teams, lays bare his strategies for us all to use. Discover how to map your own sleep cycle, what the optimum room temperature is, which bedding is best and why napping is actually good for yo
10. The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin
Each month, Gretchen pursued a different set of resolutions -- go to sleep earlier, tackle a nagging task, bring people together, take time to be silly -- along with dozens of other goals. She read everything from classical philosophy to cutting-edge scientific studies, from Winston Churchill to Oprah, developing her own definition of happiness and a plan for how to achieve it. She kept track of which resolutions worked and which didn’t, sharing her stories and collecting those of others through her blog. Bit by bit, she began to appreciate and amplify the happiness in her life.
Get Reading and Get Changing
These books offer opportunities to embrace change that are a lot more fun than banning yourself from your favourite things as part of a New Year regime. It’s time to start your New Year with a bang and get out there and have an adventure instead!