Now that we’re just past the halfway point of 2022, how are those New Year’s resolutions going? If you’re like me, you probably just cringed reading those words. Don’t worry, you’re in good company; out of the 41% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions, only 9% successfully keep them to the end of the year, according to Discover Happy Habits. It seems there are a thousand reasons why we’re set up for failure, from setting unrealistic expectations to feeling like we don’t have enough time in our busy day-to-day lives. And when we set goals for ourselves that feel like a drag — start waking up at 5 am, push yourself through exercise even when it’s tedious — it’s no wonder we fall short of our own expectations.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Among the thousands of wellness guides focusing on deprivation and sacrifice, some health experts are preaching for a more practical solution. After all, if we set our intentions with positivity, we have a better chance of continuing with our efforts and finding success. With this outlook in mind, let’s take a look at these six wellness guides that will have you actually looking forward to working on your goals. Written by top experts in their respective fields, these books combine actionable advice and up-to-date research to help you set realistic goals, keep up your motivation and become the best you that you can be.
‘Train Happy: An Intuitive Exercise Plan for Every Body’ by Tally Rye (Pavilion Books)
When you’re looking to fulfill your fitness goals, you may set your sights on intense programs like CrossFit and HIIT exercises. After all, the harder the workout, the bigger the gains, right? Wrong. Starting off with exhausting workouts is a surefire way to burn out your motivation and push your body past its limits, increasing your risk of injury if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Personal trainer and broadcaster Tally Rye has seen what toxic workout culture has done to undermine people’s relationships with healthy exercise, and she’s here to put a stop to it. In “Train Happy,” Rye outlines her 10-week training plan of manageable, accessible exercises that can all be done in the comfort of your home. This how-to guide focuses on an encouraging, health-first approach to exercise, praising readers for their hard work rather than pushing for self-punishment. From weekly challenges to body weight workouts, users of “Train Happy” will see improvement both in their physical health and their relationship with exercise as a whole.
‘You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life’ by Jen Sincero (Running Press)
The right mindset is key to every endeavor — including how you view yourself. It’s common knowledge that having good self-esteem improves your overall mood, helps you manage times of stress and can even get you ahead in your career. Of course, it’s easier said than done to think of yourself in a better light. When it seems like all your peers are thriving at life, it’s easy for your own inner monologue to turn negative and tank your self-confidence.
Not so fast, Jen Sincero says. This bestselling author and world-renowned success coach has compiled all her best advice into one book, fittingly labeled “You Are a Badass.” This rawly funny and relatable guide is more than just a list of positive affirmations; from inspiring stories to down-to-earth and applicable advice, Sincero’s book will help readers stop self-sabotage in its tracks. If you need a kick in the pants to get your life back on track, look no further — and learn that you are badass enough to make it happen.
Think Healthy, Be Healthy: Simple Strategies to Gain Confidence Through Fitness, Nutrition, and a Well-Balanced Lifestyle’ by Beth Linder-Moss (Stronger Than You Think Books)
Listen, we get it — life is busy, and the thought of adding six books to your to-be-read list may seem overwhelming. So if you need to cut to the chase in order to take control of your life, Beth Linder-Moss is here to help. She’s packed all her experience as a health and wellness coach, fitness coach and exercise physiologist into this all-powerful guide to getting your life on track. “Think Healthy, Be Healthy” touches on every aspect of self-improvement: healthy and easy-to-make recipes, fun exercises to get your blood pumping and small changes you can make to transform your daily life.
But perhaps the most important advice Linder-Moss gives is that “it’s not too hard and it’s not too late. Even if it feels intimidating, do it anyway. Your journey to the radiant, confident, best version of you begins NOW.” With this focus on positivity in place of perfectionism, Think Healthy, Be Healthy helps readers reframe wellness as an enjoyable experience, giving them the ultimate chance to succeed.
‘Nourish: How to Heal Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Self’ by Heidi Schauster (Hummingbird Press)
Even mentioning diets can bring on a host of emotional weight. It’s a loaded word — and for many people, one that’s intrinsically tied to guilt and self-judgment. With such gravity attached to the practice, many people looking to improve their health find themselves at a loss for where to start. What food advice is right? Why is there so much conflicting information? And how do you practice healthy eating without creating a toxic relationship with food?
Writer, nutrition therapist and educator Heidi Schauster is just the person to turn to. As the founder of Nourishing Words Nutrition Therapy, she has made it her life’s mission to study eating disorders recovery, whole-self-wellness and advocating for positive eating habits. With her twenty years of experience as well as being a vocal supporter of the Health-at-Every-Size (HAES) movement and the No Diet Book Clubs, Schauster is a leading voice in the world of positive nutrition. This book is packed with actionable advice and empathy with the reader, reminding us that food is meant to nourish and fuel us. With her book in hand, facing the question of healthy nutrition will no longer be such a source of dread.
‘Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle’ by Amelia and Emily Nagoski (Random House)
‘Burnout’ is a word we’ve been hearing more and more these days, and it’s no secret why. When it feels like the whole world is coming down around you, of course you’re going to feel overwhelmed! But that level of stress and agitation takes a toll — from your work life to your personal life, you might find yourself falling behind and struggling to catch up.
Amelia and Emily Nagoski, authors of “Burnout,” aren’t surprised. They’ve joined forces to delve deep into the parts of our society that fog our brains, and specifically the kind of stress that targets women. From the pressure to be a “girlboss” to beauty standards and social media telling us how we should look, it can feel like there’s an inundation of anxiety coming at us from all sides. Their subversive take? That since stress is so baked into our society, the goal shouldn’t be avoidance — it should be on learning to take the bull by the horns and work through the stress. This New York Times bestseller will show you the techniques to find your motivation again, take control of what’s causing your anxiety and feel empowered to rise to the challenge.
‘The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It’ by W. Chris Winter, MD (Berkley)
Yes, you may just need a guidebook for sleep! While some people may think snoozing is as easy as breathing, others can attest to the struggles that come with falling — and staying — asleep. Luckily there’s such a thing as a somnologist, aka “sleep doctor.” One such specialist is Dr. Winter, and his guidebook “The Sleep Solution” is just what nighttime sufferers have been looking for. Dubbed the “Sleep Whisperer” by Arianna Huffington, he doesn’t just discuss common sleeping problems like insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome — but don’t worry, those topics are definitely covered as well. In tandem, Dr. Winter gets to the root of common sleeping problems by discussing the science of sleep itself. By understanding the process of resting, the reader can gain a better understanding of why such sleep problems are happening and will have a better understanding of how a long-term solution will work. From discussion of the way foods, blue light and technology impact sleep to common sleep misconceptions, “The Sleep Solution” will leave you better educated, better equipped to handle your sleep struggles and, above all, well rested.