New Year’s resolutions are a yearly tradition for many. Most people like to set goals at the top of the year, a promise to be better and improve their health or lifestyle choices in the next 12 months to come. However, almost just as many give up their resolutions, often within the first 32 days of the year.1
And it’s easy to see why: people are ambitious! According to a 2021 Statista survey, the top five most common New Year’s resolutions are exercising/losing weight, saving money, improving diet, pursuing career ambitions, and spending more time with family.2 These are no easy undertakings and making a habit out of challenging activities, such as working out or saving money, is understandably difficult. With resolutions like these, we’re surely going to need a little extra support, from friends, family, support groups…and perhaps even books.
Yes, books! There are innumerous books on self-motivation, making habits, and all our top five New Year’s resolutions. The right book can motivate you towards your goals and give you the information you need to successfully fulfill your resolutions this year. And if reading more is one of your resolutions for 2022 (as it should be!), then you can kill two birds with one stone as you read your way towards your other New Year’s goals.
Working Out: Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger by Michael Matthews
These two books break down the complexities of getting fit for males and females respectively. Regarded as two of the best guides on the market for beginners, Matthews accessibly explains the science behind exercise and nutrition to help you achieve your fitness goals. With Matthew’s method, difficult diets, discouraging gym routines, and other fads are unnecessary. Instead, the Leaner Stronger books outline a clear, easy-to-follow, and scientific route to losing weight and getting fit. If getting bigger, leaner, stronger, or even just a little bit healthier is one of your 2022 New Year’s resolutions, Michael Matthew’s books are a great resource to motivate you, teach you, and guide you to your goals.
Saving Money: Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry
I’m sure many millennials have the 2nd most popular New Year’s resolution on their list: save more money. Broke Millennial tailors specifically to the financial needs of those in their 20’s and 30’s, serving as an entertaining and timely financial guide for young people. Lowry’s unique take on personal finance education makes her book not only informative, but a fun read as well, which, I can only imagine, was no easy feat! She covers topics big and small, from student loans to deciding how to split the bill at a restaurant eating out with others. And, of course, Lowry teaches you to save! So if you’re on the younger side and want to save more money in 2022, Broke Millennial is the book for you, helping you save money and improve your financial knowledge without boring you in the process.
Improving Diet: Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy by Walter Willet
Dieting and eating healthy sometimes seem too intimidating to even start. With innumerous diets on the market and tons of conflicting information, how can you ever know what’s right? You know eating properly is the key to a long, healthy life, but you have no idea where to start. This sense of confusion and confliction is the foundation of failed New Year’s Resolutions. Thankfully, books such as Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy take the uncertainty out of eating healthy and serve as clear guides to your dieting goals. Willett debunks dieting myths—including questioning the validity of the food pyramid, which is entangled into many people’s memories of middle school health class—to clear the clutter of misinformation and controversy that surrounds dieting. His instructions are scientifically based, yet easy to understand, and inform about a variety of topics. His book gives practical tips and even offers recipes, making this one of the better healthy eating guides on the market, according to Nerdy Creator.3
Pursuing Career Ambitions: Don’t Keep You Day Job by Cathy Heller
Career-related self help books are less abundant than those on dieting, exercising, and saving money, and many of those that do exist focus more broadly on expanding one’s creative thinking, building healthy habits, and maximizing one’s feelings of happiness overall. All these are beneficial to becoming content and motivated, which are, of course, imperative elements of reaching one’s career goals. However, one book, titled Don’t Keep Your Day Job, focuses on career goals more specifically. Heller’s guide is for those who feel stuck in their ordinary 9-5 jobs and, this year, resolve to take control of their professional lives and build a career around what they love. Heller’s inspiring book is filled with tips on how to build a side hustle, how to generate profits doing what you love, and how to build a fulfilling and successful career on your own. She teaches her readers not only how to be better business people, but also how to identify their worth and get what they desire out of life. Anyone whose 2022 career resolutions at all relate to Don’t Keep Your Day Job must check out this insightful, inspiring, and informative guide.
Increasing Family Time: Make Time: How To Focus On What Matters Every Day by John Zeratsky and Jake Knapp
Some people may feel like they have enough of their family at the end of the day, but many resolve to spend more time with their loved ones for the new year. With work, chores, errands, and responsibilities (and, please, some downtime between it all), some people struggle to find enough time to hang out with their family. While there’s no way to add more hours to the day, as would be ideal, those who wish for more time must practice time management to get the most out of the hours they do have. Many of the time management books on the market discuss managing one’s time better for the sake of productivity; they’re all about working and maximizing one’s output. But we’ve had enough of that; we want to relax with those who are important to us. And that’s why Make Time is a great book for us. Zeratsky and Knapp’s book teaches us how to maximize our personal time, minimize distractions, and focus on what’s important to us in a day, which, in this case, is our family.4 This unique take on time management instruction will maximize the amount of time you get to spend with your loved ones.
There’s no reason to go back on your New Year’s resolutions this year! There’s a plethora of books out there to guide and instruct you on your self-improvement journey. Even if you have resolutions that didn’t make this list, a quick search can procure a variety of books just for you. Don’t forget, reading is an incredibly beneficial activity in and of itself, and reading your way to your other goals will help you become the healthiest, most productive, and happiest version of yourself this year.
- Gervis, Zoya. “The Average American Abandons Their New Year’s Resolutions by This Date.” New York Post, 28 Jan. 2020. https://nypost.com/2020/01/28/the-average-american-abandons-their-new-years-resolution-by-this-date/
- “What Are Your 2021 Resolutions?” Statista, 5 May 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/378105/new-years-resolution/
- “Best Books on Nutrition that Will Help You Be Healthy.” Nerdy Creator, https://nerdycreator.com/bookclub/best-books-on-nutrition/
- “A Friendly Approach to Focus and Energy.” Make Time Blog, https://maketime.blog/