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The 11 best motivational books to kickstart 2023

Whether you’re reading this article during the early days of the year, or want a beach read for Summer 2023 — it’s never too late to reinvent yourself. And while some may reach for an expensive life coach, therapist or career adviser, those aren’t the only options. Consider investing in a motivational, self-help book to get you back in gear.

Books like “Atomic Habits” and “Year of Yes” can be super beneficial when it comes to making those big changes you’re craving in life. Whether you’re looking to get more organized, need guidance on making a career change or a 101 guide on how to live the life you’ve always wanted — the perfect book is probably right at your fingertips.

In an effort to highlight some of the best motivational books on the market, the New York Post shopping team rounded up some pretty great options that can you shop below.

For more “New Year, New Me” content, check out our articles on planners, the best online classes to master a new skill in 2023, meditation apps to zen out, plus elliptical machines and strength training equipment to get healthy in the next 12-months.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones" by James Clear

If you’re having trouble changing a few bad habits (who isn’t) consider giving “Atomic Habits” a read. No matter your goals, the book offers a framework for improving your every day life.

“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 amazing results.”

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book

For nearly 30 decades, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” has captivated readers with a principle-centered approach for solving both personal and professional problems.

“With penetrating insights and practical anecdotes, Stephen R. Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity—principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.”

The Power of Habit book

In “The Power of Habit,” business reporter Charles Duhigg takes readers through the edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed for the better.

“Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential.” 

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

From the same author who brought us bestselling novel and film, “Eat, Prey Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert dives into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity.

“She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us.”

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

For those looking for an autobiography-meets-motivational-read, consider famous screenwriter, Shonda Rhimes’ novel “Year of Yes.”

“This poignant, intimate, and hilarious memoir explores Shonda’s life before her Year of Yes—from her nerdy, book-loving childhood to her devotion to creating television characters who reflected the world she saw around her. The book chronicles her life after her Year of Yes had begun—when Shonda forced herself out of the house and onto the stage; when she learned to explore, empower, applaud, and love her truest self.”

The Mountain Is You by Brianna Wiest

For something a bit more sentimental, consider one of author Brianna Wiest’s poetic books. This one is about self-sabotage and everything about it.

“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.”

"The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life" by Mark Manson

With nearly 85,000 Amazon reviews, if you’re looking to live a better, authentic, more fulfilling life, chances are this book may get you there.

Manson “cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be ‘positive’ all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.”

“Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better.”

"The 5AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life." by Robin Sharma

For the aspiring morning person that always has “get up earlier” on their vision board, consider giving Robin Sharma’s “The 5am Club” a read.

This book “shows how embracing a revolutionary morning routine can deliver epic results. Through the enchanting story of an entrepreneur, an artist, and their eccentric billionaire mentor, it explains how you can use the first hour of your day to drive personal growth and get the most out of life.”

"The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less" by Richard Koch

As the old saying goes, work smarter, not harder.

Richard Koch’s “The 80/20 Principle” shows how we can achieve much more with much less effort, time, and resources, simply by identifying and focusing our efforts on the 20 percent that really counts.

"Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior" by Mark Goulston

While this book was released more than 25 years ago, the material will stand the test of time. For those that are struggling with fear, guilt, procrastination or even imposter syndrome, give “Get Out of Your Own Way” a try.

“Practical, proven self help steps show how to transform 40 common self-defeating behaviors, including procrastination, envy, obsession, anger, self-pity, compulsion, neediness, guilt, rebellion, inaction, and more.”

"The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life" by Shawn Achor

Looking for happiness? Here’s how to get it.

“Conventional wisdom holds that once we succeed, we’ll be happy; that once we get that great job, win that next promotion, lose those five pounds, happiness will follow. But the science reveals this formula to be backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around.”

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