I’ve been on a bit of a self-help kick recently, trying to make myself healthier, happier, get more sleep, make better connections. Be more productive, cook more or healthier, give up addictive things. You name it, I read a book on it. The self-help genre is a lot bigger than we even realize and encompasses so many books on so many different issues that you’ll be amazed what you can find. 

As we head into 2020 and begin making resolutions and goals for our lives, take a moment to think about what you actually want and need. Are you happy with your career? Are you using your strengths in your job? Do you feel good when you wake up? How is your health? Are you feeling motivated in your personal life? Have your last few relationships been duds? 

Listen to yourself, take an inventory of your life, and then dive into these twenty books that will help you make 2020 a great year. 

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad OnesIf you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.

Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More DoneMost of us feel constantly behind, unsure how to escape feeling oppressed by busyness. Laura Vanderkam, unlike other time-management gurus, believes that in order to get more done, we must first feel like we have all the time in the world. Think about it: why haven’t you trained for that 5K or read War and Peace? Probably because you feel beaten down by all the time you don’t seem to have. In this book, Vanderkam reveals the seven counterintuitive principles the most time-free people have adopted. She teaches mindset shifts to help you feel calm on the busiest days and tools to help you get more done without feeling overwhelmed. 

Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for HappinessGretchen Rubin knows firsthand that creating order can make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. But for most of us, a rigid, one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t work. When we tailor our approach to suit our own particular challenges and habits, we can find inner calm. With a sense of fun, and a clear idea of what’s realistic for most people, Rubin suggests dozens of manageable tips and tricks for creating a more serene, orderly environment.

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World Drawing on a diverse array of real-life examples, from Amish farmers to harried parents to Silicon Valley programmers, Newport identifies the common practices of digital minimalists and the ideas that underpin them. He shows how digital minimalists are rethinking their relationship to social media, rediscovering the pleasures of the offline world, and reconnecting with their inner selves through regular periods of solitude. He then shares strategies for integrating these practices into your life, starting with a thirty-day “digital declutter” process that has already helped thousands feel less overwhelmed and more in control.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good CookingChef and writer Samin Nosrat has taught everyone from professional chefs to middle school kids to author Michael Pollan to cook using her revolutionary, yet simple, philosophy. Master the use of just four elements—Salt, which enhances flavor; Fat, which delivers flavor and generates texture; Acid, which balances flavor; and Heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food—and anything you cook will be delicious. By explaining the hows and whys of good cooking, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will teach and inspire a new generation of cooks how to confidently make better decisions in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients, anywhere, at any time.

The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You WantThe How of Happiness is a comprehensive guide to understanding the elements of happiness based on years of groundbreaking scientific research. It is also a practical, empowering, and easy-to-follow workbook, incorporating happiness strategies, exercises in new ways of thinking, and quizzes for understanding our individuality, all in an effort to help us realize our innate potential for joy and ways to sustain it in our lives. Drawing upon years of pioneering research with thousands of men and women, The How of Happiness is both a powerful contribution to the field of positive psychology and a gift to people who have sought to take their happiness into their own hands.

Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological WealthUtilizing sophisticated methodology and three decades of research by the world’s leading expert on happiness, Happiness challenges the present thinking of the causes and consequences of happiness and redefines our modern notions of happiness.

Healthy as F*ck: The Habits You Need to Get Lean, Stay Healthy, and Kick Ass at LifeWelcome to a refreshing and gloriously unapologetic conversation about health, fitness and habits. Award-winning trainer Oonagh Duncan cuts through the wellness clutter to drop some truth bombs: it might not be six-pack abs you’re looking for ― it might be happiness, confidence, and acceptance. But if losing your belly is what you want, don’t let anyone ― including yourself ― stop you from going after it. And she’ll show you how to make it happen.

The Lemonade Life: How to Fuel Success, Create Happiness, and Conquer AnythingIn his ground breaking new book, The Lemonade Life, Friedman starts with a fundamental question: What drives success? It’s not only hard work, talent, and skill. The most successful people have one thing in common, the power to flip five internal “switches.” We all have these five switches, and when activated, they are the secret to fuel success, create happiness, and conquer anything.

Becoming a Life Coach: Masters at WorBeing a life coach is a unique career with the ability to change lives. Becoming a Life Coach takes us behind-the-scenes through the experiences of two top-tier life coaches who spend their days working one-on-one with clients to create new paths forward. The result is an entertaining, practical look at how one gets into and grows within this rewarding career.

Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social MediaDrawing invaluable lessons from her experience, Licht shares advice, inspiration, and a healthy dose of real talk in LEAVE YOUR MARK. She delivers personal and professional guidance for people just starting their careers and for people who are well on their way. With a particular emphasis on communicating and building your personal brand–something she knows a thing or two about–Aliza is your sassy, knowledgeable guide to the contemporary working world, where personal and professional lines are blurred and the most important thing you can have is a strong sense of self.

The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with MoneyThe Financial Diet is the personal finance book for people who don’t care about personal finance. Whether you’re in need of an overspending detox, buried under student debt, or just trying to figure out how to live on an entry-level salary, The Financial Diet gives you tools to make a budget, understand investments, and deal with your credit. Chelsea Fagan has tapped a range of experts to help you make the best choices for you, but she also knows that being smarter with money isn’t just about what you put in the bank. It’s about everything―from the clothes you put in your closet, to your financial relationship habits, to the food you put in your kitchen (instead of ordering in again). So The Financial Diet gives you the tools to negotiate a raise and the perfect cocktail recipe to celebrate your new salary.

How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or JobLeadership expert Sally Helgesen and bestselling leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith have trained thousands of high achievers–men and women–to reach even greater heights. Again and again, they see that women face specific and different roadblocks from men as they advance in the workplace. In fact, the very habits that helped women early in their careers can hinder them as they move up. Simply put, what got you here won’t get you there . . . and you might not even realize your blind spots until it’s too late.

Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the EverydayFrom finding your breath to feeling grounded, these practice-based exercises make integrating mindfulness into your routine easy. With over 75 essential meditations―that take between 5-20 minutes from start to finish―Practicing Mindfulness is an approachable way to apply mindfulness in your day-to-day life.

Juliet’s School of Possibilities: A Little Story About the Power of PrioritiesRiley Jenkins is in trouble. An ambitious, hardworking consultant in her late twenties, she’s used to a lifetime of nearly perfect evaluations – until she gets a terrible performance review from her boss. How is that possible when Riley does everything her clients want – including answering emails 24/7 – faster than they expect it? That’s precisely the problem: she’s spread too thin. Despite her insane hours and attention to detail, Riley can’t produce the thoughtful work her clients expect. Now she’s been given thirty days to close a major deal, or she’s out. Meanwhile, her personal life is also on the edge of disaster, with her boyfriend and close friends losing patience with her chronic unavailability. The last thing Riley wants, at a stressful time like this, is to attend a women’s leadership retreat with some of her colleagues. But she can’t get out of her commitment: a weekend in New Jersey at some silly-sounding place called Juliet’s School of Possibilities.

The Joy of Missing Out: Live More by Doing LessIn her highly anticipated first book, Dalton inspires women to reject the pressure to do more, be more, and achieve more. She shows them how to focus on what’s important to them and then helps them develop their own unique productivity systems. Through her proven liveWELL Method, Dalton provides actionable strategies with relevant exercises that help women to discover their purpose, clarify their priorities, simplify their lives, and finally achieve harmony by embracing the “unbalance” that is inherent in their lives. As a result, women discover they can finally live guilt-free, abundant lives–because living a life centered around their priorities results in more satisfaction and success, both at work and at home.

Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) It started with the Sh*t I Do List. Tired of being the “shefault” parent responsible for all aspects of her busy household, Eve Rodsky counted up all the unpaid, invisible work she was doing for her family — and then sent that list to her husband, asking for things to change. His response was… underwhelming. Rodsky realized that simply identifying the issue of unequal labor on the home front wasn’t enough: She needed a solution to this universal problem. Her sanity, identity, career, and marriage depended on it. The result is Fair Play: a time- and anxiety-saving system that offers couples a completely new way to divvy up domestic responsibilities. Rodsky interviewed more than five hundred men and women from all walks of life to figure out what the invisible work in a family actually entails and how to get it all done efficiently. With four easy-to-follow rules, 100 household tasks, and a figurative card game you play with your partner, Fair Play helps you prioritize what’s important to your family and who should take the lead on every chore from laundry to homework to dinner.

Embrace Your Weird: Face Your Fears and Unleash CreativityWhether you enjoy writing, baking, painting, podcasting, playing music, or have yet to uncover your favorite creative outlet, Embrace Your Weird will help you unlock the power of self-expression. Get motivated. Get creative. And get weird.

The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a TimeIn The Sleep Revolution, Arianna explores all the latest science on what exactly is going on while we sleep and dream. She takes on the sleeping pill industry, and all the ways our addiction to technology disrupts our sleep. She also offers a range of recommendations and tips from leading scientists on how we can get better and more restorative sleep, and harness its incredible power.

Why Do I Do That?: Psychological Defense Mechanisms and the Hidden Ways They Shape Our LivesWhy Do I Do That? adapts the basic strategies of psychodynamic psychotherapy to a guided course in self-exploration, highlighting the universal role of defense mechanisms in warding off emotional pain. With easy-to-understand explanations, the first part teaches you about the unconscious mind and the role of psychological defenses in excluding difficult feelings from awareness. Individual chapters in the longer middle section explore the primary defense mechanisms one by one, with exercises to help you identify your own defenses at work. The final part offers guidance for how to “disarm” your defenses and cope more effectively with the unconscious feelings behind them. Psychological defense mechanisms are an inevitable and necessary part of the human experience; but when they become too pervasive or deeply entrenched, they may damage our personal relationships, restrict or distort our emotional lives and prevent us from behaving in ways that promote lasting self-esteem.

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your GoalIn Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.

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Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member