new year, new you

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I’ll admit to something rather nerdy here: I really enjoy self help books. Not so much the cheesy ones, but those that provide a real insight into how humans work and interact. I’m especially prone to books that include a lot of science and research. I can’t help it – I find it fascinating. Because it’s almost a new year and everyone will be thinking about how to better themselves for 2017, I thought I’d compile a list of my favorite books about improving your life.

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. This is a little bit different from the books I usually enjoy. It’s less science based and more “get out there and start kicking ass already.” But the author’s good humor and overwhelming positivity will leave you ready to make some big changes.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Okay, I know we’re all so over the whole KonMari thing, but it was super popular for a reason. Some portions are a little over the top (the part about her routine when she comes home from work immediately springs to mind), but the general concept is a good one.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. This one is heavy on science and research. It breaks down how and why habits are formed and what you can do to break them or create new ones. In addition to being full of good advice, it’s a fascinating read.

Getting Things Done by David Allen. An old boss of mine gave this to me as a gift one year and when I finally got around to reading it, I understood why. For a organizational nerd like myself, this is a foolproof system for keeping on top of things. If you need to be more productive, start here.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. This one might be at the top of my list. While I didn’t rush out to undertake my own happiness project after reading it, there were a few ideas worth keeping. I love the idea of really focusing in on one particular aspect of your life each month, but it wasn’t quite feasible for me at the time. I still want to do my own full happiness project someday, but this is a great read even if you don’t plan to.

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. I debated whether to include this book or Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist, but ultimately I felt like this book had more of an impact on me. Vulnerability is not something I excel at, and this book brings into focus why it’s so important in many aspects of life. I’ve read it a few times now and feel like I get something new out of it each time.

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