We all feel motivated when the New Year comes around, right? And what better way to start off the New Year than with a self-help book (or eleven) to get you into the right frame of mind.
I’m a huge believer in making lists of goals for the year ahead, not resolutions, and you can read my 2024 goals here.
To help form this mindset and feel motivated, I’ve put together a list of 11 books that can help give you that kickstart to the New Year and get your 2024 off to the best possible start.
11 Books to Kickstart Your New Year Right
1. Atomic Habits by James Clear
No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving—every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.
If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.
Clear is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, readers will be inspired and entertained with true stories from Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field.
2. The 5am Club by Robin Sharma
Part manifesto for mastery, part playbook for genius-grade productivity and part companion for a life lived beautifully, the 5 am club is a work that will transform your life. Forever.
Legendary leadership and elite performance expert Robin Sharma introduced The 5 AM Club concept over twenty years ago, based on a revolutionary morning routine that has helped his clients maximize their productivity, activate their best health and bulletproof their serenity in this age of overwhelming complexity.
Now, in this life-changing book, handcrafted by the author over a rigorous four year period, you will discover the early-rising habit that has helped so many accomplish epic results while upgrading their happiness, helpfulness and feelings of aliveness.
3. Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
“For the last two years, I’ve interviewed more than 200 world-class performers for my podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. The guests range from super celebs (Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.) and athletes (icons of powerlifting, gymnastics, surfing, etc.) to legendary Special Operations commanders and black-market biochemists. For most of my guests, it’s the first time they’ve agreed to a two-to-three-hour interview. This unusual depth has helped make The Tim Ferriss Show the first business/interview podcast to pass 100 million downloads.
This book contains the distilled tools, tactics, and ‘inside baseball’ you won’t find anywhere else. It also includes new tips from past guests, and life lessons from new ‘guests’ you haven’t met.
Everything within these pages has been vetted, explored, and applied to my own life in some fashion. I’ve used dozens of the tactics and philosophies in high-stakes negotiations, high-risk environments, or large business dealings. The lessons have made me millions of dollars and saved me years of wasted effort and frustration.
I created this book, my ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools, for myself. It’s changed my life, and I hope the same for you.”
4. Find Your Why by Simon Sinek
“I believe fulfillment is a right and not a privilege. We are all entitled to wake up in the morning inspired to go to work, feel safe when we’re there and return home fulfilled at the end of the day. Achieving that fulfillment starts with understanding exactly WHY we do what we do.
As Start With Why has spread around the world, countless readers have asked me the same question: How can I apply Start With Why to my career, team, company or nonprofit? Along with two of my colleagues, Peter Docker and David Mead, I created this hands-on, step-by-step guide to help you find your WHY.”
5. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Rich Dad Poor Dad is Robert’s story of growing up with two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend, his “rich dad” — and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.
6. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
“I’ve been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me.
Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges – how to get relative with the inevitable – you can enjoy a state of success I call “catching greenlights.”
So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops.”
7. The Mountain is You by Brianna Wiest
This is a book about self-sabotage. Why we do it, when we do it, and how to stop doing it—for good. Coexisting but conflicting needs create self-sabotaging behaviors. This is why we resist efforts to change, often until they feel completely futile. But by extracting crucial insight from our most damaging habits, building emotional intelligence by better understanding our brains and bodies, releasing past experiences at a cellular level, and learning to act as our highest potential future selves, we can step out of our own way and into our potential.
For centuries, the mountain has been used as a metaphor for the big challenges we face, especially ones that seem impossible to overcome. To scale our mountains, we actually have to do the deep internal work of excavating trauma, building resilience, and adjusting how we show up for the climb. In the end, it is not the mountain we master, but ourselves.
8. Know Your Worth by Anna Mathur
Your worth never changed. Your awareness of it did.
A strong understanding of self-worth is crucial to living an authentic and fulfilling life, yet so many of us have lost that sense of who we truly are and what we are worthy of. On the surface, this may look like low confidence, imposter syndrome, chronic busy-ness, exhaustion, overwhelm, fear or anxiety, but at the core, it’s low self-worth.
In her second book, Sunday Times bestselling author and psychotherapist Anna Mathur will set you on a journey towards greater self-worth. Anna will use her personal and professional insight to guide you to a place of balance that will allow you to recognise and appreciate your self-worth, build your self-esteem, grow in confidence and worry less about what other people think.
Using Anna’s own experience of embarking on this journey herself, and spending ten years facilitating her therapy clients to do the same, Know Your Worth will help you to understand why you feel the way you do, what perpetuates it and what the cost of low self-esteem has been for you. It will provide the coping mechanisms, habits and tips that will redirect your self-esteem on a healthy and fulfilling upward spiral and help you to escape the relentless desire to ‘be better’ and ‘do more’ with the realisation that perhaps you were actually far more acceptable than you first thought.
9. You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word. If you’re ready to make some serious changes around here, You Are a Badass will help you: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, blast past your fears so you can take big exciting risks, figure out how to make some damn money already, learn to love yourself and others, set big goals and reach them – it will basically show you how to create a life you totally love, and how to create it now.
By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.
10. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
Fragments of a Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions, and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation that will be life-transforming for all who experience it.
In this book, you’ll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your life—money, health, relationships, happiness, and in every interaction you have in the world. You’ll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that’s within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life.
The Secret contains wisdom from modern-day teachers—men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.
11. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
In this stunning book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”—the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?
His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.