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12 Books that will improve your outlook on life

Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Mandy recently moved to Flagstaff to pursue a career in pediatric nursing. She attends Northern Arizona University and spends most of her free time with friends and family, hiking, running, and studying...

A year of self-improvement

In the midst of our chaotic schedules, it is important to slow down and take time for self-reflection. Ultimately, this leads to self-improvement and a happier you.
A year of self-improvement

There are several tools that can guide you on this journey, books being one of the most powerful. Check out these 12 hot reads, one for every month, that are sure to improve your outlook on life.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Learn to love yourself. You can overcome any obstacle. These books are all about improving yourself and possibly changing the way you think about life. What if you could live comfortably in your own skin, fearless and flawless in your own eyes? You could learn to let go of whatever is holding you back, to pursue the dreams you thought impossible and live at peace. Let's make this year one for the books (pun intended).


A year of self-improvement

Think Big by Ben Carson

"I am convinced that knowledge is power — to overcome our past, to change our situations, to fight new obstacles, to make better decisions." Neurosurgeon and author Ben Carson makes a good point in describing the importance of recognition in making change. Dr. Carson spells out his formula for success in Think Big. Here's to the start of a positive, successful new year!


A year of self-improvement

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Love is complicated. Luckily, Gary Chapman is here to help! In The 5 Love Languages, he categorizes love and guides couples in their understanding of each other’s unique love language. By recognizing your mate’s love language, you can act accordingly and build a happier relationship.


A year of self-improvement

Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss

Time to bring out the kid in all of us! Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is the perfect motivational book to guide you through any change you may be going through. The humor throughout reminds us never to take ourselves too seriously.


A year of self-improvement

Focus on the Good Stuff by Mike Robbins

Everyone faces struggles; it’s how we react that makes all the difference. Focus on the Good Stuff teaches us how to be genuinely appreciative of life, even in times of distress. The book provides a clear-cut approach to overcoming obstacles.


A year of self-improvement

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

"The days are long, but the years are short." Gretchen Rubin writes about her journey to happiness in The Happiness Project, unlocking secrets to inner peace along the way. This book will teach you about the power of small changes toward creating the life you desire.


A year of self-improvement

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

Now that we are halfway through the year, it may be time to really start implementing the new you. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People explains the importance of changing attitudes and behaviors to ultimately change yourself. The habits discussed will help you better adapt to what life throws your way and teach you to seize every moment and opportunity.


A year of self-improvement

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz

Celebrate your own independence this Fourth of July! The Four Agreements highlights four strategies, including always doing your best and not taking things personally, that can ultimately lead to personal freedom.


A year of self-improvement

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

In The Art of Racing in the Rain, main character Enzo tells his heart-wrenching story of the value of love and family. Enzo teaches us that things are not always as they seem; there is a lot of truth to stopping and smelling the roses. Oh, did I mention that Enzo is a dog?


A year of self-improvement

The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie

Although this book is targeted especially to those who are co-dependent, we can all learn something from The Language of Letting Go. This is a daily meditation book in which the importance of taking responsibility for yourself and self-care are highlighted.


A year of self-improvement

Overcoming Anxiety, Worry, and Fear by Gregory L. Jantz with Ann McMurray

What better way to celebrate Halloween this year than to overcome fear? Overcoming Anxiety, Worry, and Fear teaches us to do just that! The book will help free you of the weight of negative emotions that is holding you down.


A year of self-improvement

The Power of Appreciation: The Key to a Vibrant Life by Noelle C. Nelson

What are you thankful for this year? The Power of Appreciation will teach you the value of appreciation, and what showing and feeling it can do for your mind, body and soul. Scientific references, examples and quizzes make this book even more personal and interactive.


A year of self-improvement

One Thousand Gifts:  A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

In honor of the giving season, we conclude our year of self-improvement with One Thousand Gifts. This book guides us on a journey to find joy in everyday life, and how we can gain from being grateful even in times of despair.


So what are you waiting for? Time to grab a latte, cozy up by the fireplace and get started on the new you!

More on self-improvement

How stress distorts your self-image and ways to break the vicious cycle
How to magnify your happiness at home and in life
4 Steps to cleanse negativity and how it really helped one woman

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