Somehow 2017 is winding to a close, which means the new year is just around the corner. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of resolutions because I prefer working on self-improvement year round, but even I can’t resist the urge to use a new year as a chance for a fresh start. If you’re ready to start kicking ass, try picking up one (or all) of these books to help.
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I’m not gonna lie: This book changed my life. I read it on my honeymoon, and it prompted an amazing heart-to-heart with my husband (and some tears) while making me laugh. Not only that, Mark Manson’s no-nonsense advice will help you sort out your priorities and help reduce your stress level considerably.
Bottom Line: Life isn’t easy (and it isn’t supposed to be), so why are we doling out f*cks like ice cream at summer camp? Focus on the things that matter, and—most importantly—the things you can control.
Dan Harris’s story is pretty freaking inspiring. After having a panic attack on national television, he started searching for ways to reduce stress and anxiety.
This book is phenomenal because it sorts through the bullsh*t for you. Harris has tried it all— gurus, pastors, scientists—and his book narrows it down so you don’t have to worry about it.
Bottom Line: Meditation works, and it might be time for you to try it.
Getting your life together is about more than reducing stress. Sometimes, getting your life together means finding the courage to pursue your passions and live creatively.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic is one of the best guides to creativity that I’ve read, and it’s a must-read for anyone looking to dream big.
Bottom Line: This isn’t just for artists and creatives. Gilbert reminds us that we need to embrace our passions to find happiness, whether that’s writing or figure skating, and that you don’t necessarily need to quit your day job to do it.
There’s a reason why Dave Ramsey’s book is still the No. 1 personal finance book on Amazon. Money is a big part of life, whether you want it to be or not. And whether you need a refresher on budgeting or help getting out of debt, Dave Ramsey can help you navigate the financial waters and start building your retirement savings before it’s too late.
Bottom Line: Pay cash whenever possible, learn to live within your means, and start building good money habits sooner rather than later. Ramsey’s strategies for destroying debt work, but you have to put your money where your mouth is and actually do them.
Tired of eating like crap? Want to breathe life into your meals without spending hours in the kitchen? Thug Kitchen’s Fast as F*ck cookbook is the potty-mouthed primer to healthy eating that’s easy, delicious, and—most importantly—quick.
Figure out your eating in 2018 without spending a ton on fad diets, fancy food, or extra kitchen gadgets. From starters to soups to really freaking good burritos, this book is a staple for everyone.
Bottom Line: These recipes are good. Really good. With simple ingredients that are easy to prepare (and take less than an hour from start to finish), Thug Kitchen makes healthy cooking funny and delicious.
Jandra Sutton is an author, historian, and public speaker. After graduating from Huntington University with a B.A. in history, she went on to receive a master’s degree in modern British history from the University of East Anglia. In her spare time, Sutton enjoys fangirling, running, and anything related to ice cream. Pluto is still a planet in her heart. She lives in Nashville with her husband and their two dogs. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.