The new year is only a few weeks away, and with its arrival will come the promise of some new beginnings, as well as those pesky, but annually persistent resolutions. I don't know about you, but I often steer clear of making resolutions out of fear that I won't stick to them. But this year, I've decided to say to hell with it, and set some new year's
intentions rather than resolutions. If you want to get on the bandwagon with me, consider some of these books to read in the new year that will inspire you from the inside out — either by giving you helpful pointers about navigating this weird thing called life, or by simply reminding you that what you want is always worth the commitment and resilience, no matter how difficult it may be to stick to your path for change.
Remember, new year's resolutions — or as I'm calling them, new year's intentions — don't have to be specific tasks to accomplish, like always keeping your room clean or cutting out dairy. And sure, if those types of goals work for you, more power to you. But new year's intentions can also include things like focusing more on friendships, making regular gratitude lists, or even making a commitment to volunteer.
Whatever it is, take a look at a few of these books, and make room for the best kind of inspiration to keep you committed to your goals as we move into 2018.
For Those Who Want To Improve Their Relationships In 2018
Having a little trouble in the relationships department? Consider focusing on that for your goals and intentions in the upcoming year.
Of course, "relationships" could refer to romance, family matters, or even co-workers. Regardless, though, making a resolution to give some major thought to how you think about love and communication with others in general can be a great way to start making some major shifts in your relationships.
All About Love: New Visions talks about love in modern society, and asks the reader to work toward a definition of love, so you can get a grasp on both what it is, and what it isn't. One of the eminent writers on intersectionality, Bell Hooks is also one of the smartest freakin' people in the world, and this book on love is as philosophical as it is applicable to your own psyche and relationships. Click here to buy. 02
For Anyone Who Wants To Overcome Self-Doubt
After I saw this book in my roommate's bedroom, I will admit, I actually laughed out loud. And then I read it myself, and found out he was totally onto something.
The philosophy behind this book is plain and simple: You can do what you want, and part of that is about banishing self-doubt.
Yes, there are absolutely some cringeworthy moments in
all self-help books, but there's no denying that you can pick up some pretty good pointers on getting sh*t done and moving forward from this captivating read. Click here to buy. 03
For Anyone Who's Down To Dismantle The Patriarchy
If you aren't familiar with this book, get excited, because it's pretty much considered a modern classic.
The book is an adaptation of author
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED Talk, and reading it just might keep you inspired to stick to the collective resolution of dismantling the patriarchy in 2018, especially on days when it feels like the feat is next to impossible. Click here to buy. 04
For Those Who Want To Cultivate Truly Healthy Habits
As my therapist says, habits are one of the most powerful tools we have, for better or for worse.
Gretchen Rubin, who also wrote
The Happiness Project, writes about this very true phenomenon, and how you can go about "mastering" your habits to better support the kind of life you want. Click here to buy. 05
For Those Who Want To Be More Optimistic In 2018
This is, more or less, a book about optimism, and how to find it when it seems like all hope is lost — especially for those of us concerned with the world on a socio-political level, but also on a personal level, too.
How do we keep going with our "resolutions" to make change and do things differently? Regardless of the struggles we face, Rebecca Solnit says it's possible.
Click here to buy. 06
For Those Who Want To Meditate, But Don't Know Where To Start
If you've been trying to incorporate a daily meditation practice into your routine, or even if you're just thinking about it, you've likely come to find it's easier said than done.
So, read a guidebook on it! Learn about mindfulness techniques that will get you to that place of calm, so you can feel more energized, productive, and at peace in the new year.
Click here to buy. 07
For Those Who Need A Little Inspiration
Maya Angelou is one of those rare artists and activists who seems like she was sent to us from a different planet to experience Earth and then explain it to everyone else. She writes about race, love, being a black woman in America, family, motherhood, and peace, among other fascinating topics.
This is a beautiful poem about peace, one that Angelou read at the
White House Christmas tree lighting in 2005 during the Bush administration. Angelou writes, We look at each other, then into ourselves / And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation. / Peace, My Brother. /Peace, My Sister. / Peace, My Soul.
Let Angelou's beautiful words open your heart and mind during the holiday season, and carry those feelings over into the new year. Use her words as inspiration to continue with your resolutions, no matter what obstacles may come your way.
Click here to buy. 08
For Those Who Always Say "No," But Want To Say "Yes"
Hollywood powerhouse Shonda Rhimes spent a year of her life saying "yes" to every opportunity that came her way. It's one of those life-changing habits for those of us more inclined to say "no thanks, maybe next time."
Rhimes opens up in this book about being someone who once hated public appearances, and wasn't too keen on doing new things, despite all she had accomplished in her life, both personal and professional.
Click here to buy. 09
For Those Who Want To Stop Overthinking In 2018
I'm not the only one who has a tendency to be really, really, really hard on themselves, right?
This book has all the tips you'll never need about how to get out of your head and start living the life you want — and, you know, being a little kinder to yourself in the process.
Click here to buy.
Here's to the best new year yet, y'all!