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The Best Self Help Books To Kickstart The New Year

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19 December 2022

Reading Time: 4 minutes

It’s that time of year again; the time where people feel inspired to do better and more. A time where the phrase ‘new year, new me’ is permeating everywhere around you. 

So with the new year right around the corner, it’s time to invest in yourself and elevate your aura with your summer reading. 

Here’s my pick of top 3 self help books that will help you kickstart the new year.

The Power Of Letting Go by John Purkiss

The Power Of Letting Go by John Purkiss $13.99

The Power Of Letting Go By John Purkiss is subtitled “how to drop everything that’s holding you back.” 

The perfect time to let go of the old and be in with the new, is over the NZ summer break. It’s the time to relax, dial it back and soak in the year that’s been, while you’re ready for the new.

You often hear phrases like “suffering is created by yourself” or that “the mountain is you” or that “you’re your biggest enemy” and that couldn’t hold truer. Every single person faces challenges which feel insurmountable at times, but those who know how to let go and propel themselves away from wallowing and martyrdom are those who are truly happy.

This book is a great read if you feel like you’ve held on to a lot of emotions this year as Purkiss offers meaningful insights and tried and true techniques on how to let go and also explores the various stages of letting go. 

A powerful learning to take into the new year, this book is a great reminder that when you let go, you’ll live far more intuitively in your natural state of flow instead of trying so hard to control things.

Ikigai – The Japanese Secret to A Long and Happy Life by Francesc Miralles

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia & Francesc Miralles $43.88

If you’re after a book that’s a bit more straight to the point and is more direct by providing steps like “eat well” then this is the book for you. 

Ikigai has been deemed very valuable and meaningful to people’s lives as it unpacks beneficial habits for your mental and physical health as well as providing rules and lessons to live by.

To dial it right back, “Ikigai” is a Japanese concept that means “reason for being.” Boiled down to its true nature, it refers to what drives your sense of purpose and reason for living. The book follows people living in Okinawa who have found their “ikigai” which makes them love everything they do. Ikigai is the right balance of what the world needs, what you love, what you’re good at and what you can make money from to achieve balance.

One thing that makes this book more compelling is that it’s quite factual and instructive (rather than abstract which most self-help books tend to be) but also clearly introduces Japanese culture and values. There are so many interesting chapters in the book with one of them entitled Logotherapy which states that people must keep rediscovering the purpose of their life (as priorities do change), and that search for purpose helps you stay motivated to achieve goals.

A great book with a glimpse into another culture’s beliefs, I would definitely recommend reading this number while you’re laying on the beach!

Burnout; The Secret To Unlocking The Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski

Burnout The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski $25.58

We know that burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion and is linked to excessive and prolonged stress. The authors use simple language and science based facts to explain why women are susceptible to burnout and why they experience burnout differently than men. They explore the idea of our brains’ default mode and how it behaves during rest and how beneficial it is. By understanding the ‘why’ related to stress, they tackle the ‘how’ by creating an equally scientific-based plan to help manage stress and other emotions to ultimately live a more joyful life. 

What I find compelling about this book is that it’s incredibly informative, and because it is geared toward women, this also makes it empowering. There’s acknowledgment of the fact that for women, burnout is only heightened by the fact that it’s a man’s world and we may be overcompensating to level the playing field. 

To end with a great quote from the book – “I do not have to be productive all the time. I can allow my brain to go into default mode”.

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