New year – new beginnings.
To support your quest to a stronger, happier you in 2016, check out our list of the 12 Best Books for the New Year!
A list of solid favorites our users, team or experts have found helpful and inspiring for personal growth.
So sit back, scroll through and see if one of these could be just what you need to start 2016 right!
1 | SMALL MOVE, BIG CHANGE: Using micro-resolutions to transform your life permanently by Caroline Arnold
Through a combination of scientific evidence and easily relatable real-life examples Caroline Arnold makes a compelling case for why we should change our life with the help of small micro-resolutions.
Micro-resolutions work for almost any resolution – sleep more, get fit, work smarter, lose weight etc. through resolutions such as “Prepare for bed early”, “Walk to work three times per week”, “Don’t snack while cooking”.
We love this book because it’s down to earth, approachable and surely anyone will find a few micro-resolutions that appeal to them.
2 | THE POWER OF SMALL: Why Little Things Make All the Difference by Linda Kaplan Thaler & Robin Koval
If you love it when someone breaks large, hard-to-grasp things into small, manageable chunks, then this is the book for you.
“The Power of Small” is about the importance of sweating the smallest details in our lives and careers. “Our smallest actions and gestures often have an outsized impact on our biggest goals” say the authors.
Did you check that presentation one last time? Did you respond to your partner’s story with a smile or a frown? Did you hold up the elevator door to a stranger?
We already know that bigger isn’t always better, but if you need more convincing – read this book. Make 2016 the year when you focus on the small stuff!
3 | THE POWER OF HABIT: Why we do what we do and how to change by Charles Duhigg
Did you know that around 40% of the things we do all day, every day we do more or less on autopilot, without even thinking?
These automatic things are our habits – like brushing our teeth in the morning, putting on our slacks the right way, or taking the right route to work.
Our deeply ingrained habits are one reason we often struggle to change. By combining scientific evidence and examples from individuals, companies and society, Duhigg helps us better understand human nature, its unwillingness to change and how to use habit science to transform our life, little by little.
4 | THE BOOK OF YOU: Daily micro-actions for a happier, healthier you by YOU-app
We just could not resist to feature our own book on this list. Not to push it on you, but because we TRULY believe it will be a great tool for many to use as a companion in 2016 to achieve positive personal change.
The Book of YOU is 365 micro-actions, one for each day of the year, to help you take small steps live happier and healthier.
Why did we make it? Because whereas we LOVE self-improvement books we often miss the concrete guidance on WHAT WE COULD DO BETTER TODAY.
Use it as a diary to scribble thoughts in, carry it around as a personal companion, or have it as a coffee-table-book for occasional inspiration. If you get the book we’d love it if you’d register for the newsletter!
5 | MINDLESS EATING: Why we eat more than we think by Brian Wansink
Ah, this is the ultimate book for the science-hungry yet practical who loves to leave people baffled with all the small nuggets of information he or she knows.
It’s also the book that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US should read, simply because it really opens up our eyes to why we eat like we do, and what we can do about it.
Here’s a crazy fact: We make over 200 eating related decisions every day, yet we’re only aware of around 15 of those (!). Things like size of the plate and spoon, size of the package, time of day, labels, names, the variability of what’s on offer, etc. all affect what and how much we eat.
The food industry knows these things, it’s about time you do too.
6 | FOODIST: Using real food and real science to lose weight without dieting by Darya Rose
Darya is a recovered dieter. After spending years of trying, succeeding and failing at every weight-loss plan on the earth she realized “there’s got to be a better way”.
After getting deep into the subject of why we eat like we do and finishing a Ph.D. in neuroscience she became what she calls a “foodist”.
A foodist is a new way to approach eating – it’s about eating real food, eating mindfully, and eating the things you want to eat vs. the things you should eat.
Longing for a refreshing view on dieting? This is the book for you.
7 | THE HAPPINESS PROJECT: Or, how I spent a year trying to sing in the morning, clean my closets, fight right, read Aristoteles, and generally have more fun by Gretchen Rubin
The Happiness Project is exactly what is sounds like – it’s a one-year, one-woman quest to find what actually brings happiness in life.
Rubin starts by digging into age-old wisdoms, modern research and psychology, and lessons from popular culture on the topic of happiness, tests all the tricks in the book on herself, and ends up – well, we guess happier.
The book is filled with small tips and tricks to try, and funny anecdotes of how they can go wrong.
Want to live happier? Try this for inspiration.
8 | THE MIRACLE OF MINDFULNESS: The classic guide by Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese monk and celebrated globally as “The Father of Mindfulness”, one of the leading powers behind the global movement of mindfulness we have today.
This book is a simple guide to mindfulness – how to slow down our lives and live more in the present. His simple mindfulness techniques highlight the importance of the breath and how we can turn any everyday event like cooking a meal or doing the dishes into a powerful act of mindfulness.
It’s a beautiful and easy read, not to be devoured in one go, but over time, slowly, quietly – letting Nhat Hanh’s words slowly sink in.
9 | WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Where Thich Nhat Hanh is the “Father of Mindfulness” Job Kabat-Zinn may be characterized as the “Doctor of Mindfulness”. Kabat-Zinn was a student of, among others, Nhat Hanh and ended up incorporating those teachings with those of Western science. These mindfulness programs targeting stress and anxiety have been widely incorporated into modern health care.
In this book Kabat-Zinn teaches simple meditation techniques and the skill of focusing on the here and now: “Like it or not, this moment is all we really have to work with. Yet we all too easily conduct our lives as if forgetting momentarily that we are here“.
10 | THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman
Don’t let the name, the cover or the topic of this book scare you off. It may look and sound like a Harlequin novel you’d buy as (secret) summer reading, but if you let looks deter you away from this book, you could be missing out on one of the greatest insights on love you may ever find.
Falling in love is the easy part. It’s the staying in love that proves tricky. Chapman reveals the secret he unravelled after working with thousands of couples – we each speak our own love language, and our language may not be the one of our partner. If we can learn to understand and speak the other person’s love language, it’s much easier for us to keep our love alive and fresh.
The book is practical, insightful, relatively short, and as applicable in a relationship as if you are single. So what are you waiting for?
11 | DARING GREATLY: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead by Brené Brown
This powerful book gives a completely new meaning to the question “How to live happier?”. After extensive research into vulnerability, wholehearted living, connection and shame, and the mental breakdown following it, Brown concludes this:
“Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences. … Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity … vulnerability is the path.”
This is an emotional read that makes you think long and hard about why you do, say, and act in specific ways, and whether those are making you stronger or in fact, making you weaker. Warmly recommend also watching Brown’s TED-talk, “The Power of Vulnerability”.
12 | WORK SIMPLY: Embracing the power of your personal productivity style by Carson Tate
When we read this book what happened was like a cartoon – at several points a lightbulb just went off above our heads as we realized why “the best and proven productivity techniques” simply do not work for us. It’s not us, it’s not them – it’s just the fit. We’re not right for each other.
Armed with concrete examples, a huge arsenal of productivity tips to suit different needs and years of experience working with people and companies on productivity, Carson Tate leads the reader on a quest to discover your own personal productivity style.
Work smarter, not harder.
(It may be added here, that after we had read the book, we felt compelled to reach out to Carson herself to get her to contribute to YOU-app in 2016. Spoiler: she said yes.)
Interested in change?
Us too. We’re working for a world where it’s possible to achieve sustainable, positive change in your life – in small steps.
Read more in our “3 Secrets of Change”:
Secret no. 1: WHAT? Make resolutions you can actually stick to.
Secret no. 2: HOW? Approach change in a way that helps you stick to it.
Secret no. 3: HELP! Get the tools and resources you need to support you.
Have thoughts, ideas or feedback? Write them in the comments or reach out to us at [email protected]