New Year, Same You: Reading Ideas for Realistic, Achievable Improvement

Posted on January 3, 2019

by Amy H

With each new year, most of us determine to Start. Living. Better. We set up all kinds of goals and ideals and march determinedly forward. And then before we know it, we’re slumped exhausted and depressed on the couch. The trick is to find realistic ways to make better daily decisions and break bad habits we’ve developed over a lifetime. Finding the right help is essential. Take a look at one of these to create your very own personal vice squad.

Books to Help Break Bad Habits

Get Help with Addiction / Recovery

Rewired: A Bold New Approach to Addiction and Recovery by Erica Spiegelman

By helping us to build a healthy space to support our own recovery, we can rewrite the negative behaviors that result in addiction. Usable in conjunction with or in place of 12-step programs, Rewired allows for a more holistic approach, helping to create a personalized treatment plan focusing on patience and compassion, that is right for you.

Smoke-Free in 30 Days: the Pain-Free, Permanent Way to Quit by Daniel Seidman

Based on twenty years of research and hands-on work with countless smokers in his clinics at Columbia University and New York Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Daniel F. Seidman understands that people smoke — and quit — for different reasons and what works for one smoker might not work for another. In a comprehensive, 30-day program, Dr. Seidman explains how to retrain your brain, take advantage of all the tools at your disposal, and end the month smoke-free and feeling stronger than ever!

Get Organized

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up : The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

Spark Joy : An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Tidying expert Marie Kondo’s follow-up to her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” is an illustrated master manual on her renowned KonMari Method with item-specific guidance and step-by-step folding illustrations.

Get Active

Get Up! Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It by James Levine

That the average adult spends 50 to 70 percent of their day sitting is no surprise to anyone who works in an office environment. Health expert James A. Levine’s research shows that today’s chair-based world is having negative consequences on our health, and is a leading cause of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Over the decades, humans have moved from a primarily active lifestyle to one that is largely sedentary, and this change has reshaped every facet of our lives—from social interaction to classroom design. Levine shows how to throw off the shackles of inertia and reverse these negative trends through simple changes in our daily lives.

Designed to Move : The Science-Backed Program to Fight Sitting Disease and Enjoy Lifelong Health by Joan Vernikos

A practical, easy-to-follow movement plan to help deskbound professionals fight the debilitating, life-shortening effects of sitting disease.

Develop Healthy Mini Habits

Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results by Stephen Guise by Stephen Guise

A mini habit is a very small positive behavior that you force yourself to do every day; its “too small to fail” nature makes it weightless, deceptively powerful, and a superior habit-building strategy. You will have no choice but to believe in yourself when you’re always moving forward. The barrier to the first step is so low that even depressed or “stuck” people can find early success and begin to reverse their lives right away. And if you think one push-up a day is too small to matter, read otherwise in this book.

Mini Habits for Weight Loss : Stop Dieting, Form New Habits, Change Your Lifestyle Without Suffering by Stephen Guise

To help others maximize their potential, Guise has developed an array of unconventional, result-driven ideas that anyone can use to improve their health habits. In particular, his ideas of conserving willpower, no-motivation-required action plans, multiple-cue habit formation, success-cycling, and “stupid small” steps form the unique foundation for this super helpful book.

Change Your Relationship with Food

50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food by Susan Albers

Albers offers a collection of mindfulness skills and practices for relaxing the body in times of stress and ending your dependence on eating as a means of coping with difficult emotions. You’ll not only discover easy ways to soothe urges to overeat, you’ll also learn how to differentiate emotion-driven hunger from healthy hunger. Reach for this book instead of the refrigerator next time you feel the urge to snack-these alternatives are just as satisfying!

Whole New You: How Real Food Transforms Your Life, for a Healthier, More Gorgeous You by Tia Mowry

Sharing the diet that helped clear up several of her health problems, the star of the Cooking Channel’s Tia Mowry at Home presents a clean eating cookbook with healthy updates on comfort food, soul food and kitchen classics and shows readers how they can turn their health around.

Use Mindfulness to Improve Overall Wellness

Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and their parents) by Eline Snel

A very appealing introduction to mindfulness meditation for children and their parents. In a simple and accessible way, it describes what mindfulness is and how mindfulness-based practices can help children calm down, become more focused, fall asleep more easily, alleviate worry, manage anger, and generally become more patient and aware.

Slow : Simple Living for a Frantic World by Brooke McAlary

A popular podcaster, blogger and “slow-living” guru describes how to find health and happiness in our busy modern lives by focusing on what really matters and decluttering, disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with people you love.

Embrace Financial Empowerment

Women & Money : Be Strong, Be Smart, Be Secure by Suze Orman

At the center of this fully revised and updated edition, Suze presents an all-new Financial Empowerment Plan, designed to get you to a place of emotional and financial security as quickly as possible—because the most precious commodity women have is time. Divided into four essential components, the plan will teach you how to protect yourself financially, spend smart, build a stable financial future, and how to responsibly give to others and charities that are important to you.

Your Score : An Insider’s Secrets to Understanding, Controlling and Protecting Your Credit Score by Anthony Davenport with Matthew Rudy

A road map for how to navigate the confusing, secretive world of consumer credit, and how to upgrade and correct your score.


Tell us what you’ve enjoyed reading, watching or listening to, and our librarians will give you personalized recommendations.

No algorithms, cookies or data mining – just real experts in your community sharing their love of great books, music and movies with you. We call it Give 3 Get 3.

Get started today at


Did you like this blog post? Keep up to date with all of our posts by subscribing to the Library’s newsletters!

Keep your reading list updated with our book lists. Our staff love to read and they’ll give you the scoop on new tv-series inspired titles, hobbies, educational resources, pop culture, current events, and more!

Looking for more great titles? Get personalized recommendations from our librarians with this simple form.