10 Books to Help You Keep Your Resolutions

Let these books help you plan ahead & follow through

Northern Arizona University
7 min readJan 9, 2023

✨ New Year, New You ✨

Verywell / Joshua Seong

Chances are you might have made a New Year’s resolution in the past— and then broken it.

This year, stop the cycle of not following through by adding these books to your reading list.

Why books? Reading up on the topic you want to improve on is an inexpensive and valuable way to help you on your path.

Learning from others can help you create your own plan and what action steps to take.

Whether you want to eat healthier, manage your time better, get better grades or increase your self-care — you can bet there’s a book out there for that.

Louie’s New Years Book List 🎉

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

This is a great book to start with for anyone looking to make changes in the new year.

No matter what your goal is, habit-formation expert James Clear has advice on creating systems for keeping consistent habits toward that goal.

Here you’ll learn practical strategies for forming good habits, ditching bad ones and designing your environment for success.

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” — James Clear, Atomic Habits

Lumberjack Tip: Subscribe to the author’s weekly 3–2–1 newsletter for an extra dose of motivation.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

This memoir/inspirational book from the Queen of Thursday Night TV will make you want to say “yes!” and change your life.

While self-proclaimed introvert Shonda Rhimes has been busy delivering hit shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, she has also been notorious for saying “no” to about everything else.

Here she explains in skilled storytelling how her life changed for the better when she committed to saying “yes” to every invitation for one year.

This book is for you if your goal is to try new things, have more fun or get out of your comfort zone in the coming year.

“Losing yourself does not happen all at once. Losing yourself happens one no at a time.”

— Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes

Super Attractor: Methods for Manifesting a Life beyond Your Wildest Dreams by Gabrielle Bernstein

Learn the ways of working with the universe to attract the things you want in your life.

Gabrielle Bernstein is a spiritual writer who focuses on tuning into energetic ways with the universe. Learn about methods like visualization, universal signs and vision boards to create and manifest the life of your dreams.

The steps in this book can also help you feel lighter and more present in your everyday actions.

“If you want to manifest a new job — find ways to have more fun in the job you currently have. The good energy you bring to whatever work you do helps open doors for new opportunities.” — Gabrielle Bernstein, Super Attractor

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam

Make your weekly 168 hours count by prioritizing what’s really important.

Of course we wouldn’t have any problems achieving our goals if we just had more time, right?

Well, we each have 168 hours a week to fit in what we need to and what we choose to.

Time-management expert Laura Vanderkam shares her research on how happy, successful people use their time in this quick guide.

If you’re looking to find more time for exercise or a hobby or a part-time job without giving up other quality time — this book will help you see your time differently.

“When it comes to daily life, the time-crunch narrative doesn’t tell the whole story. The problem is not that we’re all overworked or underrested, it’s that most of us have absolutely no idea how we spend our 168 hours.” — Laura Vanderkam, 168 Hours

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Maria Kondo

Clean up your environment to start the new year off right.

Sometimes it’s our living spaces that need a clean slate. Every year we collect more and more things that take up space in our homes and our minds. Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo teaches how to declutter your home, little by little, and keep the things that spark joy for you.

“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”
Marie Kondō, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad by Austin Kleon

This book is a short and sweet manual for sticking with a creative project when your motivation is zapped.

Austin Kleon’s book of sage advice and helpful doodles is one to come back to throughout the year. Whether you face rejection with your work or you are wallowing in self-doubt, Keep Going is the pick-me-up to help you carry on.

Just flip to one of the short chapters and try one of Kleon’s tips to stick with it.

“We have so little control over our lives. The only thing we can really control is what we spend our days on.” — Austin Kleon, Keep Going

Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking by Jon Acuff

The thoughts you tell yourself create your identity.

This title might not sound as motivational as the others on this list, but Soundtracks is all about the mindset to help you progress toward your goals.

For example, we might convolute our goal of writing a book by overthinking everything that goes into it. Yet, a simple soundtrack in your thoughts of “writers write” gets you sitting in the chair writing every day, making progress toward your book.

Jon Acuff is also a bit of a comedian and delivers plenty of laughs within.

“One of the greatest mistakes you can make in life is assuming all your thoughts are true.” — Jon Acuff, Soundtracks

It Takes What It Takes: How to Think Neutrally and Gain Control of Your Life by Trevor Moawad

This straightforward advice from the late mental conditioning coach Trevor Moawad will change your mindset around achieving your goals.

Trevor Moawad was a mental conditioning coach to top performers, like NFL players and business leaders in Fortune 500 companies.

Moawad gives strategies and techniques for overcoming the negative and getting your mind to a neutral state to thrive even through the most challenging circumstances.

“Thinking about all 26.2 miles is overwhelming. Thinking about the next few steps is manageable.” — Trevor Moawad, It Takes What It Takes

Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection by Jia Jiang

An inspirational story of how one man faced his fears head-on

No one likes rejection — but some of us are so afraid of being told no that it keeps us from going for anything meaningful. Such was the case for Jia Jiang, who came to the United States with the dream of being the next Bill Gates.

In order to conquer his fear, he set on a self-driven challenge: 100 Days of Rejection. What Jiang learned from willingly facing rejection day after day is invaluable for anyone’s journey toward achieving their goals.

“…by not even asking, we are rejecting ourselves by default — and probably missing out on opportunity as a result.” — Jia Jiang, Rejection Proof

The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins

Mel Robbins offers a simple but life-changing trick to get up and get after it.

If you’re looking to leave procrastination behind in 2022, The 5 Second Rule is the book to start your year with.

Want a taste of what this book is like? Watch Mel Robbins explain the 5 Second Rule in this interview.

Make 2023 your best year yet! Get some tips from these inspirational books, and let us know your own favorite reads for achieving your dreams in the comments.



Northern Arizona University

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