You Are a Badass Every Day
Success coach Jen Sincero offers one hundred exercises, reflections, and tips for staying focused on the trail towards badassery. Sincero knows that as we strive towards personal transformation, we could all use a cheerleader. This book is just that, helping you stay driven and grateful as you tackle your goals.
Ever look at Beyoncé and wonder how the heck her body looks so flawless and how this mom of three has the energy to dance and sing for hours straight during a show? Well, wonder no more. Marco Borges, nutritionist and lifestyle coach for Jay-Z and Beyoncé, offers this plant-based way of living that will shift your mindset, improve your health, help you lose weight, increase your energy, and positively impact the planet.
T Is for Transformation
I know Shaun T. from his rockin’ workout program Hip Hop Abs, but I didn’t know all that he overcame to become the fitness sensation he is today. In his new book, Shaun describes the abuse he suffered as a child and his own body image issues and offers 7 transformational principles (trust and flexibility, among them) that he has relied on in his own life—after all, building inner strength is imperative before we can focus on the exterior.
One thing to do this year? Change your habits; stop bad ones and start some good ones. This book suggests breaking down big goals into teeny, tiny, manageable steps and offers a proven system to make time for new habits (even when life gets crazy), overcome a lack of motivation, and to get back on track when you slip.
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics
Count me among the fidgety skeptics. I never used to think I could meditate, because I didn’t think I could sit still for that long. But the benefits of meditation are too good to miss. This book helped me turn off my brain, moderate my emotions, and, yes, actually meditate. Since I started this fall, I have seen increased attention span in meetings and less anxiety, so it’s definitely something I want to continue to practice in the new year.
Erling Kagge is a Norwegian explorer who was the first person to reach the South Pole alone, so the guy knows a bit about quiet introspection. This slim, poetic volume draws on his experiences, as well as those of artists, writers, and explorers, to share why silence is absolutely vital for our sanity and happiness, especially in this age of noise, and why getting silent can increase your gratitude and wonder.
The All-or-Nothing Marriage
Eli J. Finkel
I’m not married, but if you recently got engaged over the holidays, or you’re about to celebrate your 20th anniversary, start the year with a refresher course on your partnership. Eli J. Finkel’s insightful investigation of marriage combines scientific research with practical advice to help couples communicate better, recalibrate when things go off-kilter, and appreciate your mate. Hanging on to this one for future me.
Dean Ornish, M.D.
Dr. Dean Ornish recommends that simply eating well, moving more, stressing less, and loving more can help your body reverse the progression of some of the most common chronic diseases. His plan for a plant-based diet, gentle exercise like walking, meditation, and intimacy can stem and even prevent disease. Even without feeling symptoms of any disease, it’s an easy enough life shift that will have a huge impact later in life. Uh, sign me up.
Advice Not Given
Mark Epstein, M.D.
I know from my own experience: ego, and the accompanying self-doubt, that urges us to be perfect, better and more in control, is an enemy of progress. Dr. Mark Epstein uses Buddhism and Western psychotherapy to prove that the ego is the biggest barrier to our well-being—and tips on how we can let it go.
Aristotle was the first philosopher to inquire into subjective happiness and he realized it came from a lasting state of contentment—finding a purpose, realizing our potential and becoming the best versions of ourselves. Understanding his teachings can help us tap into our own innate happiness through meaning, creativity, and positivity, which is exactly the energy I’m bringing into next year.
Happy New Year! As we enter a new year, I’m eager to make a few changes to create an even better life in the coming 365 days. Call them resolutions or goals, but the key to starting something new is to rely on great resources to guide you along your journey. For me, that’s books! These reads are geared toward helping you eat better, transforming your body, reshaping your relationships, finding happiness, and reframing your mind.
Featured image: @criene via Twenty20