11 Books To Help You Come Up With Resolutions You'll Actually Want To Keep

by E. Ce Miller

I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. Meaning, I love that I always come up with great ones (IMO) that leave me feeling totally inspired and energized about tackling a brand new year… and I hate that by January 15, I’ve pretty much all but given up on them. I’m a compulsive maker of resolutions, with an unbearable lack of follow-through. (Maybe I just need to add “keep my New Year’s resolutions” to my New Year’s resolution list?)

Anyway, if this sounds at all familiar — and please, do put me out of my misery and let me know if it does — I might just have a solution: books that will inspire your New Year’s resolutions, and that might even help you keep them too. (Keeping them really is the key, after all.) From encouraging you to revolutionize your health (and your refrigerator) in 2018, to empowering you to raise your voice in ways that matter this year, to offering you guidance on how to amp up your civic engagement in the months to come, and lots more, these books will definitely keep you on your toes and accountable to manifesting the year you desire.

Here are 11 books that will inspire you best New Year’s resolutions yet — and even help you keep them.

'What the Health' by Eunice Wong with Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn

Published this year as an expansion to the groundbreaking documentary that was released in March, What the Health by Eunice Wong isn't a diet book, but rather a must-have guide for kick-starting your 2018 health revolution. Maybe you’ve been thinking about going vegan but aren’t sure where to start. Maybe you just want to be more mindful of exactly where you food is coming from (and, you know, what exactly is in it.) What the Health dives headfirst into industrial food and the pharmaceutical industry to explore the big business and politics of what we’re really eating and who benefits from the dietary decisions we're compelled to make.

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'The Integrity Advantage' by Kelley Kosow

Published just last month, The Integrity Advantage by Kelley Kosow is the perfect guide for anyone interested in following their heart and being a little more true to themselves in 2018 (and really, couldn’t we all benefit from more of this?) Organized as a step-by-step guide, The Integrity Advantage will encourage you to let go of self-sabotaging behaviors (like, for example, never saying no to anything or never speaking out when you disagree) in favor of discovering and standing proud in your own truth.

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'You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You've Got to Get What You Want' by Sarah Knight

Sarah Knight is the hilarious, irreverent, and no-nonsense author of the titles The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k and Get Your Sh*t Together. The third and most-recent title written to get your as* in gear, You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You've Got to Get What You Want, is all about being yourself, putting your own happiness first, rejecting any social contracts that aren’t working for you, and living life from your own place of power. Get it girl.

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'Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone' by Brené Brown

Brené Brown is one of my go-to writers for those times when I need a little extra (loving) kick in the pants. Her newest book, out this year, is Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, and it is all about being exactly who you are. If you’ve ever felt like you’ve had to do something/be something/change something about yourself in order to fit in with your family, friends, or community (and haven’t we all, at one time or another?) this book reminds you exactly why you DON’T want to do that — demonstrating that connections made through authenticity and honesty are the real path to belonging and empowerment.

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'Feminine Genius: The Provocative Path to Waking Up and Turning On the Wisdom of Being a Woman' by LiYana Silver

What a year it has been for feminists. Although it really is starting to feel like change is a-brewing (yet, again) anyone who has been a woman for very long in the world knows it’s still going to take work. Maybe, this New Year, you’re ready to commit (or recommit) to fighting the good fight for people everywhere. If so, Feminine Genius: The Provocative Path to Waking Up and Turning On the Wisdom of Being a Woman by LiYana Silver is definitely the book to check out. Feminine Genius invites you to pause and remember why and how much you matter in this world — and it'll inspire you to get out there and act for all the other women who matter too. Filled with advice, inspiration, and helpful exercises, this book is all about connecting the knowledge of your body to the wisdom of your spirit in order to find empowerment, balance, fulfillment, and more.

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'Daily Writing Resilience: 365 Meditations & Inspirations for Writers' by Bryan Robinson

You’ll have to wait just a few days (eight, to be exact) into the new year to dive into this one, but Bryan Robinson’s Daily Writing Resilience: 365 Meditations & Inspirations for Writers (or anyone looking to add a little more mindfulness into their 2018 routine) is a great way to check in with yourself — and your resolutions — every day, throughout the new year. (If you’re a writer whose New Year’s resolution just happens to be to write every day, even better.) Filled with exercises in meditation, breath work, yoga, stress management, gratitude, de-cluttering, sleep, exercise, mindful eating, and so much more, Daily Writing Resilience will encourage you to create positive habits, stay focused and centered, find fulfillment, and connect with yourself on the page.

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'The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment In A World Obsessed With Happiness ' by Emily Esfahani Smith

Maybe, your 2018 resolution is simple: you just want to be a little bit happier this year. (So, OK, not simple at all.) But Emily Esfahani Smith’s The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment In A World Obsessed With Happiness is a great book for helping you along the way. Rather than directly focusing on happiness itself, Smith instead focuses on meaning — the real key, she explains, to a happier and more fulfilled life. Sharing real-life anecdotes as well as thoughts for how best to generate more meaning in our own lives, our communities, and the larger culture as whole, The Power of Meaning will have you rethinking happiness — and just maybe, celebrating your happiest year yet.

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'The End Of Protest: A New Playbook For Revolution' by Micah M. White

If 2017 was any indication, we world changers are going to need to amp up our protesting skills to a fever pitch in 2018. If your resolution for 2018 is to work even harder at making the world a better place, fighting the resurgence of injustices in the United States and around the world, and making your voice matter, then definitely check out Micah M. White’s The End Of Protest: A New Playbook For Revolution. White is the co-creator of the original idea for the Occupy Wall Street protests, and his 2016 book The End of Protest explores modern political protest and offers suggestions (much, much-needed suggestions) for success.

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'The Wellness Project: How I Learned to Do Right by My Body, Without Giving Up My Life' by Phoebe Lapine

From blogger Phoebe Lapine of Feed Me Phoebe comes another great New Year’s read — one that will change the way you think about food and what you’re feeding your body, every day. A gluten-free chef and culinary instructor who specializes in teaching people how to feed themselves to wellness and stay well — in body, mind, and spirit — Lapine’s The Wellness Project: How I Learned to Do Right by My Body, Without Giving Up My Life is a great guide for anyone looking to improve their health in the new year, but who can't get past all those stereotypes about kale. After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in her early twenties Lapine struggled with fad diets until she invented a lifestyle that worked for her: overhauling her eating habits, beauty routine, and exercise regimen until she found the perfect balance of what made her well. The Wellness Project is Lapine’s yearlong journey of self-care — funny, relatable, hopeful, and totally inspiring.

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'Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian's Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life' by Annie Spence

Is your resolution to read more books this year? (Great one, I totally approve.) If so, definitely check out Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian's Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life by Annie Spence. Not only will this book — all about one librarian’s life of reading, written as letters to the books she’s loved and the books she’s left behind — leave you cracking up, it’ll have you reaching for your own bookshelves (as soon as you finish Spence’s book, that is.)

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'Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping by and Get Your Financial Life Together' by Erin Lowry

Who couldn’t be a little more conscious of what they spend and how they spend it? If your focus is all about finances in 2018, then definitely grab a copy of Erin Lowry’s Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together — a super helpful, step-by-step guide to dealing with both practical money matters and the complex emotions that are deeply woven into personal finances (yes, you do engage in retail therapy as much as you think.) Guiding you to finally get your finances in order, handle any lingering debt you might have racked up, and find ways to make your money go as far as possible, Broke Millennial is filled with tips, tricks, and tons information to help you be as financially healthy as you can be in the year(s) to come.

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