Four new books to help you get back on track with New Year’s resolutions

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If you’re like the majority of people (64%!) who forgoing new year’s resolutions in the first monththen these four new books can help you get back on track:

Inaction: Rethinking the Path to Results by Jinny Uppal

It may seem counterintuitive that deliberately doing nothing can increase your momentum, but Inaction: rethinking the path to results constitutes a convincing argument in favor of the “strategic pause”. Uppal is a former retail director for Macy’s, Kohls and Bed, Beth & Beyond. Using his own experience, as well as secondary and primary research (30 interviews across geographies, industries, and roles), Uppal has put together a fascinating compilation of real-life examples where benefits have come from nothing. do (e.g. a Russian general leaving an empty town and leaving Napoleon to attack), letting your mind wander and taking a career shortcut rather than the typical path. The premise of the book is that our society has a penchant for action, but inaction has value. Uppal’s thesis can be summed up in this quote:

Life is not as hard as it seems. Life is not a hamster wheel, which only turns if we keep running. Something much more than our actions makes our world go round. It is worth stopping long enough to connect with the rippling flow of life. It is worth riding this stream of life, which can take us further than we could ever go alone. This book deals with the mastery of action, that is to say the discernment of when to act and when not to act. It’s about reducing unnecessary action and leveraging inaction to drive results. – Jinny Uppal in Inaction: rethinking the path to results

Short and entertaining to read, the author delivers on his promise, and it’s a refreshing change from the more typical type-A advice in the personal development genre. The book includes suggestions for adopting more inaction. A favorite recommendation:

Learn to read your physical and mental cues. The more ambition you have, the more likely you are to develop urgency. Sometimes urgency will be timely, and sometimes it will be wrong. Learn your own signals when ambition and urgency take you across the line of thoughtless action. – Jinny Uppal in Inaction: rethinking the path to results

1 Day Money Back by Donna McGeorge

If taking a full break is too scary, McGeorge’s book a recall of only 15% may be more attractive. McGeorge is a productivity coach and author of About time series, including Reimbursement in 1 day is the third book. McGeorge has worked in training for Ernst & Young, KPMG and other large companies, and it shows in the book’s organized and accessible format. The book presents a credible argument for building buffer time (15% equals one day per week):

Blocking out time doesn’t mean you’re doing nothing; it means you decide what you want to do – Donna McGeorge in Reimbursement in 1 day

McGeorge shares helpful strategies for managing your calendar, organizing your workspace, and even pruning relationships that no longer serve you. My favorite recommendation is to organize the day in blocks of two hours, where the first two hours are reserved for proactive time since most people are most alert at the start of the day, while the last two hours are reserved for ” preactive” (low intensity, but high impact time spent planning and prioritizing the next day). The middle blocks are for encounters with people and physical activity, depending on where mental and physical energy tends to come and go. McGeorge is big on energy management:

Instead of trading time for money, we need to trade energy for impact Donna McGeorge in Reimbursement in 1 day

Maximize your return on life by Shari Greico Reiches

Passing time management tips (although these also appear in Maximize your return on life), Reiches offers advice on managing your money. Reiches has spent more than 30 years in the wealth management industry and was previously vice chairman and board member of the Illinois State Board of Investments, a $23 billion retirement system. However, it is not a number-only personal finance book. Maximize your return on life gives priority to the personal aspect over the financial aspect.

This quick and accessible read provides a basic overview of common financial advice with reflective questions at the end of each chapter, which the reader can use to make key points actionable – for example, does your spending reflect your core values? The book also includes an 8-week challenge, where the first task is to organize your doctor and dentist appointments – truly holistic thinking! Finally, several chapters are devoted to tips for teaching children good financial habits, including advice for new graduates. Amid the serious subjects, Reiches remains light and fun:

The investment cycle has five key phases: optimism, elation, nervousness, fear, and relief/stability. Sound familiar? The sensations of a first love at first sight? – Shari Greco Reiches in Maximize your return on life

Dare to own yourself by Liz Brunner

While the three books above contain personal anecdotes, Dare to own yourself by Liz Brunner is an educational memoir built around Brunner’s many fascinating career pivots. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is a bold career change, Brunner’s book may provide just the right boost to start your career change journey.

Liz Brunner was a music major (and Miss Illinois in the 1979 Miss America pageant) and began her career as a teacher. She then transitioned into a community relations role in television, into the airwaves (total of 28 years in media) and eventually started a communications coaching business in her 50s.

I didn’t know I was an entrepreneur until I became one – Liz Brunner in Dare to own yourself

“A mosaic of nationalities” Brunner is Indian, Spanish, German, French, Dutch and Scottish. Brunner offers tips for finding your unique voice – both literally (i.e. how to communicate effectively) and figuratively (i.e. in the choices you make).

The most important story is the one we tell ourselves – Liz Brunner in Dare to own yourself

Dare to own yourself includes leadership coaching tips in the 2n/a half of the book and career change advice in the last section. Each chapter ends with reflective questions that are useful for reviewing key points and making lessons actionable.


If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to read more, you now have four new titles to add to your list.

What career advice, personal development or leadership coaching books do you read?

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