Hate New Year’s Resolutions? Do this instead.

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Confession? We’re not big on New Year’s Resolutions at Dooli™.

I know! It’s not a popular stance to have this time of year. But hear us out...

According to US News, roughly 80% of New Year’s Resolution fail by February. For all the wonderful intentions we have while setting resolutions, it’s just not a practical way to bring real change into your life for the new year.

While we’re not into resolutions, here’s what we are into:

  • Taking small steps in the right direction
  • Prioritizing self-care and time for relaxation
  • Incorporating as much warmth and coziness as possible in chilly January

Instead of writing about how to keep your New Year’s Resolutions (because who needs another post about that?) we’re sharing our top book picks for starting the new year on the right foot.

These books will inspire you and give you tons of fresh ideas. They’ll provide you with ample wind-down time to relax. And when you add a crackling fire and a steaming mug of herbal tea (or mulled wine) to this reading list, you’ve got everything you need for a pretty perfect January night in.

Let’s start with a simple question: What do you want to accomplish this year?

Tackle Your Finances

Recommended reading: You Need a Budget: The Proven System for Breaking the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle, Getting Out of Debt, and Living the Life You Want  by Jesse Mecham

If getting out of debt, growing your wealth, saving more money, or simply feeling in control of your finances is on your wish list for 2018, this book is a must-read!

Jesse Mecham is the lovechild of your super smart financial advisor and your uber down-to-earth brother. His financial advice is simple, brilliant, and easy to swallow. He keeps it easy by sticking to four clear rules to manage your finances.

Our favorite rule? Use last month’s income to budget this month’s expenses. Genius, right?

There’s also budgeting software of the same name (You Need a Budget) that goes along with the book. It’s absolutely life-changing and they offer a 34-day free trial!

*Not* Hate Your Husband

Recommended reading: How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn

If you’re like most moms, something crazy happens when you have kids. Suddenly, you’re fighting with your spouse about everything. That pile of dishes next to the sink that you used to quietly do yourself now launches you into a tirade.

When Jancee Dunn started noticing her six-year-old daughter standing in front of her husband saying “don’t yell at Daddy!” when they argued, she knew they had a problem on their hands. For the sake of her daughter, and her marriage (which Dunn willingly admits was the #2 priority in that scenario!) she set out on a journey to *not* hate her husband while raising their daughter.

Seeking the advice of relationship coaches, marriage counselors, and leading social psychology researchers, Dunn provides actionable tips to help you work better as a team.

In addition to proven strategies to improve your relationship with your partner AND encourage a more equal share of housework, Dunn also shares hilarious anecdotes and moments so relatable you’ll feel like you found your new best friend.

Better Know Yourself

Recommended reading: The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too) by Gretchen Rubin

Asking one little question can make a world of difference. In this book, human nature investigator Gretchen Rubin zeroed in on this one: “How do I respond to expectations?”

In this book, Rubin shows how people’s answers to that question fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Tendencies shape our behavior, our realities, our world.

Rubin’s style is refreshingly honest and thoughtful. You’ll laugh as you see yourself (and others) so clearly in this book. You’ll learn how to work with your natural Tendency to be more effective in managing stress, relating to others, and accomplishing your goals — both at work and at home.

Fearlessly Say “Yes”

Recommended reading: Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes’s life was forever changed one Thanksgiving when her sister uttered six little words while chopping up the veggies: “You never say yes to anything.”

The words haunted her until January, when Rhimes resolved not to spend another year staying feeling afraid and playing small. She challenged herself to say “yes” to every offer that came her way that year, even (and especially) the ones that scared the pants off of her.

The book is written in Rhimes’s signature snarky style and is equal parts uplifting, inspiring, and smile-creepily-while-you-read enjoyable. It will make you reconsider the side effects of playing life too safely and fire you up to embrace the moment and say “yes” to the opportunities in your life.

We recommend getting this one on audiobook, as Miss Shonda reads it herself!

Raise Self-Sufficient Bébés 

Recommended reading: Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman

Did you know that in France, it’s common for babies to sleep through the night at six weeks old? Or that mothers quickly return to their pre-baby weights and maintain active sex lives with their husbands? Or that French toddlers willingly eat leeks, Haricots Verts, and foie gras...which they order themselves...while sitting politely with their parents at a restaurant?!?

Pamela Druckerman, an American mom living in Paris, realized this by living it. Parenting in France is a whole different ballgame than the US, with very different results. Pamela consulted doctors, parenting experts, and French moms to learn the secrets to raising self-sufficient children, one cadre at a time. (You’ll get it when you read the book.)

Simplify Your Life

Recommended reading: L'art de la Simplicité: How to Live More with Less by Dominique Loreau

What woman doesn’t crave more simplicity in her life? If you loved The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, you’ll love L'art de la Simplicité.

This book is all about embracing the concept of “less, but better”. Loreau marries her French background with what she’s learned from living in Japan, arguably two of the most minimalistic cultures who also love good quality.

From clothing and home design to food and health, this book helps you zero in on the things that matter and gracefully let go of the things that don’t.

Improve Your Physical Health

Recommended reading: Sweet Potato Soul by Jenné Claiborne

Most of us want to embrace a healthier lifestyle. And we know eating a plant-based diet has a whole slew of health benefits. But you (and we’re willing to bet, your partner) don’t want to sacrifice taste to eat healthily, right?

Enter: Sweet Potato Soul. This book contains 100 temping vegan recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Fried cauliflower chicken? Bootylicious gumbo? Sweet potato cinnamon rolls?!? Yes, yes, and oh dear Lord, yes.

We’ve been a fan of Jenné’s forever over on her blog of the same name. The cookbook doesn’t come out until early February, so in the meantime, curl up with her blog archives to give you plenty of January cooking ideas (like this comfort food heaven mushroom gravy and vegan mashed potatoes) until the book comes out!

New Year’s Resolutions may not be the secret to lasting change. But you know what is?

Small steps, consistently, over time.

Whether you want to improve your relationship, gain self-awareness, grow your finances, or simplify your life this year, choose the book that most excites you right now and get going! Never underestimate the value of excitement and momentum — small steps (combined with a cozy night in) can make a world of difference.

One super easy way to improve your finances? Use your own bags in your Diaper Genie®.

The Dooli™ bag adapter allows you to re-use any plastic bag in your Diaper Genie® or Litter Genie®. Throughout the year, the savings really add up!

Click to order your Diaper Genie® Compatible Bag Adapter or Litter Genie® Compatible Bag Adapter today!

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