Resolution reading list: Books that inspire healing and personal growth #NewYear 2023

Resolution reading list: Books that inspire healing and personal growth #NewYear 2023

New Year, new you: Non-fiction books that inspired me to feel better and be better PLUS Level up with my 2023 resolution reading list!

The past few years have been 'work on me' years. I suffered from depression and chronic pain for a long time. My healing journey included moving cities, taking a years-long break from dating, adjusting my medications, and letting go of people and things in my life that weren't healthy- or allowing them to walk away on their own. Extreme measures, but it's what I needed to heal. I couldn't pour into anything or anyone if I wasn't filling my own cup. But 2022 was different. I began seeing the effects of my work. I made a new life in a new city. I started dating again and was able to set healthy boundaries and stop myself from falling into old patterns- all while maintaining compassion and empathy. I reduced my medications. I learned to invest in people with all my heart, and at the same time, walk away if needed. 2022 was a personal growth year. The next step in healing. Obviously, I struggled at times. I made it through the devastating experiences easier than in the past. For the most part, 2022 was exciting, educational, successful, passionate, and blissful. Accepting. And calming. I found my peace.

Saint Bernese dog Resolution reading list: Books that inspire healing and personal growth #NewYear 2023

Healing work requires a mix of methods and practices to be successful, although it's not a task we can ever complete. We are always under construction. Healing must be maintained. It doesn't 'just happen.' I did shadow work, and personality testing. I completed mental health workbooks and journaled. Attachment theory and cognitive behavioural therapy have been beneficial to change my inner voice. I consulted with my doctor about my pain medications and we made changes. I lost weight and went back to physio. I made some incredible new connections- some I'll have for years to come. Others were fleeting but taught me valuable lessons. I focused on identifying my needs and boundaries. I've always been a bookworm. I find reading to be particularly impactful and want to share some of the books that have helped me in different areas of life. I hope to inspire you to heal through reading. Maybe one of these books will help you too!

This post contains affiliate links for the books featured and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking one of my links.

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment by Amir Levine, M.D. and Rachel Heller, M.A.

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment by Amir Levine, M.D. and Rachel Heller, M.A.

Attached is the attachment theory book that inspired a relationship revolution. Knowledge of adult attachment theory becoming more common is creating a positive and healthy shift in the current toxic dating culture. If I could only recommend one book on this list, THIS is the one to read. Our adult attachment style is the #1 thing that impacts our romantic relationships, and other close connections. Healing an insecure attachment style is possible! You were not born this way and don't have to stay this way! This book was the gateway to an incredible healing journey for me. It helped me learn to set boundaries, determine compatibility, and helped me understand what true emotional connection is. Most importantly, it reassured me that I don't have to settle for an unfulfilling relationship with an avoidant. Attached will benefit the securely or insecurely attached- if you don't know your attachment style, the attachment theory quiz in the book (or take the quiz online) will help you find out. You will learn effective communication techniques and exercises to reprogram your subconscious mind. It will help you have healthier relationships and become more securely attached. I recommend investing in workbooks to help you identify core wounds and triggers, and create a personal development plan. I'm not a huge fan of the For Dummies book series, but I highly recommend the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook For Dummies. Identifying our relationship needs and boundaries is part of self-discovery. Reading Attached changed my life and helped me be more forgiving of myself. It's not our fault if we are insecurely attached due to childhood trauma and neglect, but it is our responsibility to heal- especially if we are hurting others. It's not an excuse, it's an opportunity to level up.

Wired For Dating: How Understanding Neurobiology And Attachment Style Can Help You Find Your Ideal Mate by Stan Tatkin, PSYD, MFT

Wired For Dating: How Understanding Neurobiology And Attachment Style Can Help You Find Your Ideal Mate by Stan Tatkin, PSYD, MFT

Beginning to date again was scary. I figured it can't hurt to be well-researched and well-prepared! I highly recommend reading Wired For Dating after reading Attached. Having a more comprehensive understanding of attachment theory is important before you read this book, as it uses both your adult attachment style and neurobiology to help you develop skills to help you find a compatible partner. Wired For Dating focuses only on the dating process. If you're single and dating, this book can illuminate how your attachment style impacts your dating life and how to better understand, or "Sherlock", a person's cues as you're vetting them during the dating stage. This book has exercises throughout to help you practice your newfound skills. Both books will help you define what healthy compatibility is for you, so you know when you invest in someone and when to walk away. Doing the work to form a healthy connection is worth it- and the right person is worth the wait!

Cues: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication by Vanessa Van Edwards

Cues: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication by Vanessa Van Edwards

I'm always working to improve my communication skills. To be clear and concise. To use solution-based communication during conflict resolution. To express compassion and empathy, even when I'm hurting. To not allow triggers and trauma responses to control how I communicate. Dialogue only scratches the surface. 65% of people are visual learners. Body language speaks louder than words. I just started reading Cues and I'm 'captivated' by Vanessa Van Edwards. I saw her interview with Lewis Howes on the School of Greatness podcast and wanted to learn more about her research on becoming more charismatic. Why does charisma matter? Charisma is the perfect blend of warmth and competence. Charisma helps us be taken seriously. It conveys trustworthiness. Our Cues and gestures can make or break us before we even have the chance to use our words. This book decodes cues, gestures, and vocal cues- what they mean and how to use them to convey power, trust, leadership, likeability, and charisma in every interaction. Having a deeper understanding of people's cues and body language, and how to effectively display my own, has improved my communication skills already. 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

I'm pretty sure my mum gave me this book when I was a teenager. Of course, I defiantly refused to read it. Later in life, I saw the value in it and while it's a 'classic,' the lessons are timeless. Three decades later this book is still famous and used by leaders, educators, and parents alike. In 2020 Covey released a 30th Anniversary Edition of this book with updated insights. The 7 Habits have helped shape workplace training programs, school curriculums, and parenting practices because they work. I can't say it any better than the book description: "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." It's a great book to read if you want to develop habits to bring success to all areas of your life.

Resolution reading list: # non-fiction books that inspired me to feel better and be better #NewYear 2023

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey

If you're looking for a book that dishes dirt about Donald Trump, this book is pretty clean compared to others. If you're looking for a book about ethical leadership, this is the book for you. Former FBI director James Comey did a good job of marketing the book by sharing never-told stories and behind-the-scenes insights from the Trump Whitehouse, which it delivers. It's certainly what piqued my interest. I was pleasantly surprised by the lessons in effective leadership and decision-making shared in A Higher Loyalty, passed down from someone who held one of the most powerful positions in the U.S. justice system. Ethical decision-making is important to me, but it's not always black and white. Additionally, the right decision is often the most difficult decision. 

Turn this Ship Around book

Turn The Ship Around! A True Story Of Turning Followers Into Leaders by L. David Marquet

Actively working on becoming a better leader has had a positive impact on all areas of my life. Whether you have natural charisma or not, leadership qualities need to be worked on. They are like a muscle that needs exercising or they will atrophy. My former boss asked me to read Turn The Ship Around a few years ago. I think this book has value for anyone who wants to overcome negativity, in the workplace or life. The author L. David Marquet is a retired captain in the U.S. Navy, so he knows a thing or two about leadership. He uses experiences from his career and his personal leadership story to develop leadership methods that can benefit strong or struggling teams. Turn The Ship Around has an accompanying workbook of exercises you can integrate into your team training. Bonus: The book contains a forward by 7 Habits writer Stephen R. Covey

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

Developing a deeper understanding of where we come from and where we are going as a civilization has been a part of my journey of self-discovery. The Sixth Extinction captivated my attention from start to finish. The Pulitzer Prize-winning book maps out history's five mass extinctions and educates about the inevitable sixth extinction that's predicted for the future. It is a well-researched book that is surprisingly easy to read, even for someone like me who has no formal scientific education. While it's unsurprisingly depressing at times- to be expected when the subject matter is extinction- it inspired me to think about what it means to be human, the impact that mankind has made, and the fate of our species. It's a reminder that we are a small part of a bigger picture. The author uses anecdotes and facts about different animal and plant species to take the reader on a journey to a better understanding of extinction, why it happens and our potential to prevent the next big extinction. Environmental activism has given me a higher sense of purpose that impacts my mental health tremendously, and I have made so many incredible connections through environmental causes.

The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature by David Suzuki

The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature by David Suzuki 

Spending time in nature and connecting with the Earth on a deeper level has dramatically improved my quality of life. This is the quintessential David Suzuki book about the interconnectedness of all things in the natural world. It's a classic and recently received a 25th-anniversary edition update! The Sacred Balance will truly help you rediscover your place in nature. This book examines each creature's place in the ecosystem- humans included. While the information is scientific and Suzuki covers topics like global warming, it's really about the connections made on our planet. The insights from Suzuki's own experience are increasingly valuable now that he announced his retirement from his longstanding TV show The Nature of Things to focus on activism and calling out "BS." That's the growth I want to mirror! Like Suzuki, I do not invest in the status quo.

Resolution reading list: # non-fiction books that inspired me to feel better and be better #NewYear 2023

Don't Even Think About It by George Marshall

Building on my connection to nature and understanding the future of biodiversity inspired me to act on climate change through education and activism. Don't Even Think About It is THE book about climate denial. It's honest and unapologetic. Some have criticized this book for not sending a hopeful message. I appreciate the realism. That is what mobilizes folks to act. Understanding how the mind works to deny human-caused environmental destruction can apply to other areas of life, especially for those with more avoidant trauma responses. This book educates about cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias and makes you question why we believe what we believe. It taught me how to better approach conversations with climate deniers and conspiracy theorists. 

Resolution reading list: # non-fiction books that inspired me to feel better and be better #NewYear 2023

Books about truth and reconciliation

For me, personal growth includes creating a more equitable culture. An accountability culture. Indigenous relations are at the top of my list. In the summer of 2022 I read 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph. As a Canadian who has lived most of my life in the dark about the full scope of the atrocities faced by Indigenous in my country, I've dedicated myself to pursuing the education I never received in school. Joseph's follow-up book Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions To Make Reconciliation A Reality is a book that turns education into action. I think it's also important to learn more about the culture and values of Indigenous peoples and celebrate their successes. Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save The World by Tyson Yunkaporta brings a crucial Indigenous perspective to historical and cultural issues of history, education, money, power, and sustainability- and offers a new template for living.


My 2023 resolution reading list. Let's continue to grow and level up!

It wouldn't be a resolution reading list without adding a few books I resolve to read in 2023! These are the personal growth books waiting in my queue.

Resolution reading list: # non-fiction books that inspired me to feel better and be better #NewYear 2023

The Mountain is You: Transforming Self-sabotage Into Self-mastery by Brianna Wiest

We are constantly standing in the way of our own happiness and pushing away people and things we care about. It's time to get out of our own way! I just purchased the e-book version of The Mountain is You: Transforming Self-sabotage Into Self-mastery and can't wait to read it! You have to be brave to tackle topics in this book, and I'm ready for it! The book is about how we stand in our own way and helps reprogram some of the subconscious triggers that lead to self-sabotage. Here is the synopsis: "Coexisting but conflicting needs create self-sabotaging behaviours. 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. For centuries, the mountain has been used as a metaphor for the big challenges we face, especially ones that seem impossible to overcome. To scale our mountains, we actually have to do the deep internal work of excavating trauma, building resilience, and adjusting how we show up for the climb. In the end, it is not the mountain we master, but ourselves."

The Myth of Normal book

The Myth Of Normal: Trauma, Illness And Healing In A Toxic Culture by Gabor Maté, M.D. 

How do we heal our trauma when we live in a toxic culture? Our healthcare system will medicate us, but medication doesn't heal trauma. Our society often relies on mood-altering medications and avoids doing the healing work to resolve the root cause of our issues. It's not healing, it's masking. In The Myth Of Normal, the author "eloquently dissects how in Western countries that pride themselves on their health care systems, chronic illness and general ill health are on the rise. So what is really “normal” when it comes to health? For all our expertise and technological sophistication, Western medicine often fails to treat the whole person, ignoring how today’s culture stresses the body, burdens the immune system, and undermines emotional balance. In The Myth of Normal, co-written with his son Daniel, Maté brings his perspective to the great untangling of common myths about what makes us sick, connects the dots between the maladies of individuals and the declining soundness of society, and offers a compassionate guide for health and healing. The result is Maté’s most ambitious and urgent book yet."

Resolution reading list: # non-fiction books that inspired me to feel better and be better #NewYear 2023

Outliers: The Story Of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

I just picked up this book! I want 2023 to be my most successful year yet, so I need to better understand other successful people. Why are some people so successful? In Outliers, author Gladwell "takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of 'outliers'- the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way, he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band."

Radical Candor: Fully Revised & Updated Edition: Be A Kick-ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott

Radical Candor has been on my reading list for a while. It's mentioned in almost every leadership course and webinar I've completed. I pride myself on not being a "yes man" in the workplace because candour and honesty foster healthy communication and lead to more innovation. Finding a balance can be tricky, but this book will help with that. Here is the synopsis: "You don't have to choose between being a pushover and a jerk. Using Radical Candor- avoiding the perils of Obnoxious Aggression, Manipulative Insincerity, and Ruinous Empathy- you can be kind and clear at the same time. Radical Candor is about caring personally and challenging directly, soliciting criticism to improve your leadership and also providing guidance that helps others grow. It focuses on praise but doesn't shy away from criticism- to help you love your work and the people you work with."

The Legacy

The Legacy: An Elder's Vision for Our Sustainable Future by David Suzuki

The Legacy is the perfect environmental book to add to my resolution reading list! David Suzuki mixes sustainable living and elder wisdom to encourage greener, ethical living. "In his living memory, Suzuki has witnessed cataclysmic changes in society and our relationship with the planet: the doubling of the world’s population, our increased ecological footprint, and massive technological growth. Today we are in a state of crisis, and we must join together to respond to that crisis. If we do so, Suzuki envisions a future in which we understand that we are the Earth and live accordingly. All it takes is imagination and a determination to live within our, and the planet's means. This book is the culmination of David Suzuki’s amazing life and all of his knowledge, experience, and passion is his legacy."

Resolution reading list: Books that inspire healing and personal growth #NewYear 2023

Do you have a favourite book that inspired your healing and personal growth? Are you reading a book to help you level up your life? Let me know in the comments!

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