Do you want to eat better and make exercising part of your weekly routine? The ability to form good habits (and break bad ones) is essential to healthy living and active aging. But developing new habits isn’t easy at any age and can be especially difficult the older we become.
Habits keep us doing what we’ve always done, despite our best intentions to act otherwise. According to a study from Duke University, almost half of the choices we make every day are shaped by habits, rather than conscious decision making. Almost half!
To better understand how good habits are made and bad ones broken we’ve rounded-up 10 books about behavior change. From fitness to food, willpower and routines, we cover it all.
1. The Power of Habit
Pulitzer Prize-winning business reporter, Charles Duhigg explains why habits exist and how they can be changed. The book argues that understanding how habits work is the key to exercising regularly, losing weight and becoming more productive.
2. The Achievement Habit
Author Bernard Roth is the co-founder of the design school at Stanford University. Roth shows you how design thinking can help you achieve your goals. The Achievement Habit explores the distinction between trying and doing, how subtle language changes can help us overcome barriers and how to build resiliency by reinforcing what we do rather than what we accomplish.
Willpower shares lessons on how to focus your strength, resist temptation and redirect your life. You’ll learn how to set goals, track your progress and, importantly, how to keep the faith when things don’t go as planned.
4. Essential Zen Habits
Quit bad habits, deal with life’s struggles and find mindfulness in just six weeks. This book is a no-nonsense guide to changing your behavior with a straight-shooting style of instruction.
5. The Healthiest You
Dr. Kelly Traver combines cutting-edge discoveries in neuroscience with the latest information in the worlds of medicine, nutrition and fitness to help you change your body —and your life — by better understanding how your brain works.
Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two systems: the rational mind and the emotional mind. Both minds compete for control. The rational mind wants a fit body; the emotional mind wants a cookie. The tension can make change difficult. But if it’s overcome, change can come quickly. Authors Chip and Dan Heath show how everyday people have united both minds to achieve dramatic results.
7. Transform Your Habits
Author James Clear observes people in a range of disciplines to uncover the habits and routines that make them the best at what they do. At the core of his work is this simple question: How can we live better? Clear’s guide is filled with proven research on how to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals.
8. Eating with Fierce Kindness
Forget dieting. Author, Sasha T. Loring argues that eating with fierce kindness and compassion rather than shame and self-blame will empower you to change your relationship with food.
9. Disease Proof
Dr. David Katz is a leading specialist in preventative medicine. Drawing upon the latest scientific evidence and decades of clinical experience, he explains how we can cut our risk of major chronic diseases by an astounding 80%. Dr. Katz equips us with what he calls “skillpower”, a set of tools that help us make behavioral changes that have a big impact on our health and well-being.
10. Well Nourished
Author and registered dietitian nutritionist, Andrea Lieberstein explores a life where we feel nourished emotionally, intellectual, physically, psychologically and socially. Well Nourished shows us how to develop a mindful relationship with food to create a fulfilling, joyful life.