The Happiness Project

Mental Health blog, focused on self-care and learning to love your life!

Bam! There it is, 2020! A new decade, a new year. What are you going to do with it?

New Year’s is always a weird time for me personally. I’m not a big believer in the “resolutions” thing. To me, self-improvement is a year-round goal. You should always try to improve yourself, whether it is for weight-watching, trying a new hobby, or getting that promotion you have been wanting.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good book or two, to help encourage you throughout the year to keep on your goals. So that is where I come in! You guys know I love finding new books, especially to help others out. So enough of me babbling, let’s take a look at what I found for us!

Photo by J A N U P R A S A D on Unsplash


Losing weight is probably the most popular resolution to make for New Years, the evidence is in the huge spike in popularity at your local gyms. But if you are anything like me, you know it is HARD to maintain that goal for yourself. I hate to exercise, there I said it. Gyms are great for having space and equipment to use, but if you struggle with social anxiety like I do, it is like your personal hell on Earth. Plus, it can be expensive, and if you don’t know what you are doing and can’t afford a personal trainer, it can even be hazardous to your health. I’ve already started this goal, but here’s my advice to anywhere out there who is looking for it: Start easy, find activities that you like, and incorporate them into your daily life. My activities include casually riding my bike, swimming, and music. Idaho winters make the first two hard to do, but I’ve noticed my quality of life has been improving since I’ve started doing these more often!

Now, on to books! Here’s what I recommend!

Thin for Life: 10 Keys to Success from People Who Have Lost Weight and Kept It Off by Anne Fletcher – I love this book because instead of some strict dietician telling you what you can and can’t eat, it’s taking accounts from 160 people who have tried to lose weight and they tell you what works and doesn’t. These are real people, who struggle with the same problems we do. Being able to relate easily with others would be a huge asset to achieving your goals of losing weight/getting fit.

Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World by Kelly Starrett – This one isn’t so much on losing weight, it more talks about the importance of reducing aches and pains in your body because of our usual habits in this day and age of sitting at desks or on the computers more and more. I feel like it is super important to take a break from computers and at least stand-up and stretch. Go for a quick walk around your block, or turn on some ambient noise and practice a few yoga moves. (Even if you are like me and can’t do yoga to save your life!)

Own the Day, Own Your Life by Aubrey Marcus – Another key thing to hit with this whole “getting into shape” thing: so much of it starts with the decision to lose weight and get into better shape. Marcus thought the exact same thing, so he made this book. He understands that you have to start mentally accepting the changes and hard work that is needed, so his handbook will help you answer questions like how to optimize each day, or how to break those really hard habits we have been so accustomed to. If you are ready for these changes, pick up this book ASAP!


Let’s be real here, we all need money, and we all like having more money. We can accomplish our goals with it, or create a family, or start a new business/opportunity, or even just buy that new sweater that we’ve been eyeballing at Target. But nowadays, sometimes it seems like we can just never have enough of it to go around. Hopefully, these books can help you set your own budget goals to achieve what you have been putting off all this time.

Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need by Grant Sabatier. Here’s a story that probably all of us have been through at some point. Back in 2010, Mr. Sabatier was 24 and had less than $3 in his bank account. Now, he’s a multi-millionaire changing the game. I have checked this out at my library and so far, I’m loving it.

You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero. You have probably seen her book, “You Are a Badass”; it has been very popular with the crowds. Sincero has a fun, witty personality and has a very easy time to connect with her readers. I read “You Are a Badass” and while it was not my favorite book, I really liked the author and her humor.

The Latte Factor: Why You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Live Rich by David Bach and John David Mann. I assume that most of my readers are on the younger side, so hopefully, this book will hit the nail for you. So many people claim that it is a perfect gift for a high-schooler or college graduate because it will help teach you from a young age on how to enjoy your life, like buying that fancy latte, but also put money back for retirement, savings, or a nice vacation for you and your friends. I wish I had a book like this when I was younger because being twenty-four and not knowing how to do much with money is a real bummer.


I love the term self-help because it covers such a broad range of topics. The most popular topics seem to cover things like managing stress, lifestyle changes, achieving your goals, or exploring your creative side. And there are ALWAYS new ones coming out, it’s a booming genre in the book world. Here are my favorites/recommendations:

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. Shameless fan-girl time? Absolutely. This was my absolute favorite read of 2019. Hollis is like your best friend, that you can carry around in your arms or purse all the time. She’s super sweet, very motivational, and down-to-earth because she knows what the average reader has been through; she built her company from the ground up. She has a podcast that she updates regularly, which I love listening to while working from home. And even just following her on social media (my favorite is her Instagram). It resonates well with women, so even if you don’t think you need a self-help book, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy at your local library. If you are interested in seeing more of my opinions on this book, check out my review here —>

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking. Okay, this one might seem a little odd at first. Hygge (pronounced Hoo-ga) is a way of life for the Danish people. Focused on promoting a warm and relaxing atmosphere, togetherness and good well-being is on the top priority list. I have read this book before and found it extremely interesting. My thoughts: If you find that your current lifestyle is just too chaotic or stressful, and you feel like you need a lot more “me-time”, give this book a try, you might honestly like it.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson. Have you heard the term, “Tough love”? Well, I’m 99% sure that Manson lives by that quote. If you ever needed someone to give you advice without any sugar-coating, Manson would be your inspirational coach. The entire point of the book is to understand that sometimes life is pretty messed up. It’s messy, and not always fair. Instead of turning lemons into lemonade, Manson’s point of view is to learn to stomach the lemons better. I have read this book also, and while I appreciate Manson’s sense of humor and his “go get it” attitude, I’m a baby at heart and need a little sugar-coating ever now and then. Also, I’ve grown up with a very pessimistic attitude, and many loved ones have expressed that I should try to look into the positives of life more often, so for me, I probably won’t re-read this book anytime soon, rather, try to focus on bettering my life in other ways. But I still think it is a good read for people who need it.


There are so many different goals we could try for; volunteer more, drink more water, spend more time with family, quit smoking. My goals for the New Year are:

  1. Write more
  2. Meditate/Focus on the happy things in life
  3. Exercise for 30 minutes at least every day
  4. Save enough money for a trip for the hubby and me and better money management in general
  5. Learning to organize my life and my house better!

Write down your goals, and yes, I mean actually write down your goals. You always do better when you physically write something down, in my opinion. And work towards them, and if you need help (this is the library side of me coming out) visit your local library! I have had so much fun in the last few days helping new patrons who decided to visit the library more this year and finding new books to help achieve their goals. And really, don’t hesitate to ask me for an opinion/help finding a book, it really is what I do best. 🤗

Y’all have a wonderful rest of your week and hopefully can get back into the swing of things at work or school pretty easily. New book reviews will be coming out soon! Yay! 

The Library Lady ♡



One thought on “New Year’s reads!

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