11 Books About Change to Guide You Through Life’s Seasons | Book Riot


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I’ve never really believed in the whole “New Year, New Me” proclamation. It’s a pretty thought, but honestly nothing changed between December 31 and January 1. However, there is something to be said about turning the page in these books about change and getting a new rush of motivation. The real change in the new year for me has always been the new goals that I believe will change my life for the better. But there’s work to be done to make that change a reality.

These books about change are perfect for those who need a little guidance through life’s transitions as we head into 2022. These are not life-changing books but rather books that can help you through life’s changes, whether it’s inspiration to start a project, pragmatic advice to overcome hurdles, or insight into what’s holding you back.

Every year, we tell ourselves that this is the year to accomplish that one goal. The reality is that accomplishing goals takes consistency. And sometimes, that can be tough when the reality of the year sets in and we have many of the same problems from the year before plus new ones. Life’s tough, but the new year is the perfect time to at least set a goal to jumpstart that process of change, no matter how long it takes.

As someone who’s accomplished as many goals as she’s forgotten (read: gave up on), I can tell you that my biggest hurdle was me. While many of these books are about inspiration, motivation, and mindset, each one really digs into what can keep you from actually getting to the finish line.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

I don’t know about you, but my biggest obstacle is me. I’m a world-class procrastinator who prolongs the inevitable work that needs to be done. The War of Art offers some practical insights into what you, as a creator, need to do so you don’t get in your own way. It’s a great book about self-discipline and creativity, especially if you have some serious creative plans you want to execute in 2022.

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Inner Engineering by Sadhguru

This one is a bit more on the spiritual side, but doing the work on yourself will make achieving your personal goals all that more seamless. Hatha yoga is one of eight branches of yoga and is a vehicle of self empowerment. Inner Engineering uses the principles of hatha yoga and is a valuable text that’ll help you self transform to achieve joy.

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Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty

Jay Shetty is a social media star and offers easily digestible advice on spirituality that he learned from his time as a monk. As you may have guessed from the title of book, Think Like a Monk will, well, make you think like a monk. Shetty will walk you through on everything from how to stop overthinking to the power of kindness. If you have personal goals you want to achieve in 2022 and make some personal changes, consider the lessons in this book.

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Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

I read Kleon’s books in grad school and was taken with his practical approach to creativity. Although I’m not a studio artist, I still value creativity and strive to incorporate it into my daily life, so I found Kleon’s pragmatic advice on imitating and taking inspiration from beloved artists to be useful. If you have a creative project you’re too scared to start, read this book and then create away.

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Grit by Angela Duckworth

I’ve written about Grit in the past, because it’s such an insightful book on what it takes to be successful. Duckwork shows readers that talent isn’t the key to success, but rather grit. It’s what you have inside you that keeps telling you to try again and again. If you’ve quit projects in the past but are determined to finally finish something in 2022, read this book to learn the value of grit. Trust me, you have it.

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The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

This is not your typical book about change, but I really wanted to include a poetry book because poems are the perfect medium in which to impart inspiration. Gorman definitely inspired the entire country with her inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb” in January 2021. It’s truly a powerful poem that eloquently relays how we overcome the difficulties that life throws our way. If you’ve been feeling the ups and downs of the pandemic, give this poem a read for some much-needed hope.

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Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I really like Big Magic because it’s both inspirational and pragmatic. Gilbert guides readers through the mysterious nature of inspiration and encourages you to embrace curiosity. It’s all about attitude when tackling a new project, and Gilbert’s book will show you where to find those “strange jewels” hidden in you. This is a great book if you know you have it in you to do something unique but just need guidance to find that inspirational spark.

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Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Empathy is such an underrated trait in our capitalistic-driven world, but it can really be the key to your personal growth. Lamott’s book is a great starting point for anyone who wants to tell their story. She walks you through writer’s block, dialogue, and false starts and so much more. More than that, she’ll show you what it takes to be a writer and to turn your life into art. Even if you’re not writing a magnum opus, this book is still perfect for anyone who needs practical and empathetic advice on how to address creative challenges.

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The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

Mandino uses fiction and parables to relay his advice on sales and life in general. It’s an eye-opening and unique take on success that acknowledges the small things and wonders that lead to bigger success. “A field of clay touched with the genius of man becomes a castle” is one tidbit he offers. This is a great book to read if you have a small idea that has big potential. It’s not unusual for people to reread this book year after year because of the nuggets of wisdom it imparts.

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Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven

I definitely bought into McRaven’s advice and now religiously make my bed each morning. He’s right: making your bed means that you’ve already accomplished the first task of the day and are ready to complete every other small task for the rest of day, culminating into some real productivity. McRaven’s no-nonsense advice is perfect for those who need a little tough love to jumpstart their 2022 goals.

What Happened to You by Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey Cover

What Happened To You by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey

If you’re looking for a new outlook on life, then read this book. Questioning why we made certain choices or why we can’t control certain behaviors are questions we’ve all asked ourselves at one point. This book contains some deep conversations between Oprah and brain and trauma expert Dr. Perry. If you feel as though your past is holding you back, then read this book.


Not enough inspiration? Check out these inspirational quotes to get you excited to jumpstart your 2022 goals. You can also request personalized recommendations of books about navigating change through our TBR service!

A gif reading TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations. Real Book Nerds Making Tailored Recommendations That Are Really, Really Good.



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