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From forming good habits to finding your focus, these practical guides have your every goal covered.

| By Sukriti Wahi | Journal

In Need of Some Mid-Year Motivation? These 7 Self-Help Books Will Get You Back on Track

From forming good habits to finding your focus, these practical guides have your every goal covered.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had grand plans to start a new habit, hit a goal or finally become a morning person (guilty), and then felt the motivation pull itself out like a rug from under us.

Often faltering because we run into roadblocks we don’t know how to beat, we end up taking a few steps back – but that doesn’t mean we can’t get back on track.

Luckily, a good self-help book can offer expert advice and insights to set us up for success. And if you’ve been looking for some practical inspiration to guide you while your motivation is on vacation, this is the only list you need.

From unlocking your creativity to finding your focus and beyond: these seven self-help books have your every goal covered.

1. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Best for: Forming and sticking to good habits

Selling over 15 million copies for its “easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones”, this is quite literally the handbook if you’re looking to do just that. Loved by the likes of Arianna Huffington and Brené Brown, it presents ultra-digestible ways to get 1% better every day, cutting the fluff and leaving you with practical steps to make tiny shifts for remarkable results.

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

Best for: Becoming a morning person

If you’ve always wanted but struggled to become a morning person, let Robin Sharma be your very informed guide. An elite performance expert and advocate for waking at 5 am to maximise the “victory hour” – the hour pre-sunrise while most people are still asleep and there are fewer distractions – he makes a convincing case for the power of the 20/20/20 rule: exercising for 20 minutes, planning or journaling for 20 minutes, and then studying for 20 minutes. And he does provide his formula and plenty of practical neuroscience-led tips to implement it in your own life.

3. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Best for: Finding your focus

Feel overstimulated? Struggle to stay on task? This bestselling book might be exactly what you need to find your focus and get back on track. Offering nuanced insights and techniques to enter the state of “deep work” – compared to the more common “shallow work”, which the book does elaborate on – author Cal Newport explains everything in a light, logical way that’s easy to follow and put into practice.

4. Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day by Jay Shetty

Best for: Cultivating inner calm

Drawing on his experience as a former Vedic monk and motivational speaker, Jay Shetty distils timeless wisdom to help people lead a less anxious, more meaningful life. His New York Times bestselling book is brimming with palatable, practical advice spanning everything from managing stress to improving relationships, identifying our hidden abilities and more.

5. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Best for: Figuring out what you really want in life

A pragmatic guide that progresses by chapter, this book is written to make mapping out what you want in life as straightforward as possible. Starting from the bottom – helping you assess where you currently are in the balance between health, work, play and love – all the way through to how to make the right choices for where you want to go, each “lesson” finishes with actionable steps so you’re never left guessing what you should do.

6. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Best for: Hitting your goals

The key to long-term success? Grit, according to acclaimed psychologist Angela Duckworth – and she’s pulled together the research to show it. Per Duckworth, grit – the combination of passion and perseverance – outweighs talent in achieving success, and this bestselling book offers captivating insights and real-life examples to help you build your resilience to reach the goals you’ve always wanted. Curious? Check out Duckworth’s TED Talk for a taster.

7. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Best for: Unlocking your creativity

Whether you’re in a creative career or just looking to find more ‘play’ in your day-to-day, Elizabeth Gilbert – yes, of Eat, Pray, Love fame – has poured a font of wisdom into Big Magic. Sharing stories from her own life and well as those who've inspired her, she soulfully delves into the mysterious nature of inspiration, facing down the fears that block us from being imaginative and the attitudes and habits we need to live our most creative lives.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualised wellbeing advice or psychological support. If you are concerned about your mental health and wellbeing, please speak to your GP, who will advise on the correct treatment plan. You can also call Lifeline 24/7 for mental health support on 13 11 14.

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