10 Books You Should Read to be Successful in 2020

One of my 2020 goals was to finish a book every week. I’m on track (so far anyway!) and wanted to share a few of my favorite reads from 2019 and some new favorites from 2020.

The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden — For a significant portion of my life, I thought I had to be exceptionally motivated to do something. I would wait until I had these moments of inspiration where I would work for a bit on a side project and drop it again for days until that sudden moment of inspiration would hit once more. Instead, Jeff Haden lays out the truth about motivation. Motivation is what happens after you have success. You create motivation. Motivation as we know it? A myth. After I read The Motivation Myth, I started just sitting down and doing what I wished I had the motivation to do. Now, I’m reading more every day, cutting down on screen time, exercising more, and watching less television.

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Photo by Ajda Berzin on Unsplash

Willpower Doesn’t Work by Benjamin Hardy — This book is all about altering your surroundings to become successful. Instead of trying to rely on willpower. Some of the changes I made after reading this book — I stopped filling my cabinets with junk food. And because I didn’t have that option and it wasn’t right there to snack on, I started eating healthier. After I had a healthier environment, it created a healthy habit. I don’t even want to eat junk food anymore. I also cancelled all my streaming accounts so my environment wouldn’t include television and deleted the iPad apps. After I didn’t have the option to watch television, I didn’t want to watch it anymore. I now will occasionally watch a movie with my significant other for a date night, but I never sit and watch an episode of a random show by myself anymore. I view it as a waste of time now.

Relentless by Tim S. Grover — Want to learn from someone who trained Michael Jordan and improved his game? I consider this book my new motto for life. It’s all about being mentally tough and getting in the zone. One of my favorite sections in the book is about how the strongest people in the world don’t think. They immediately react and take action. Think about it — do the most successful people you know sit and wonder what steps they should take to achieve their goals and if they should go after something? Or do they just immediately go for it?

I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi — I’ve had this book for years and it’s the essential guide to taking control of your finances.

There’s No Plan B for Your A-Game by Bo Eason — This book changed my life last year. The little voice in my head that told me I couldn’t do something was gone for good after reading this book. I started making significant changes and going after what I wanted in life far more. I started claiming the space around me and being the person I wanted to be instead of waiting to somehow change into that person.

The One Thing by Gary Keller — This was another game changer for me this past year. Once I read The One Thing, I changed my mindset about every day. Instead of thinking about all the things I needed to get done that day, I focused on the one thing I needed to do most at that moment. I started making prioritized lists and not checking email, slack, or my phone until my most important tasks were done. This can even apply to your relationships or pets. Keller outlines this in his book far more eloquently than me but it’s about starting your weekend helping your wife with chores and giving her a hug. Take your dog for a walk and give them an extra belly rub. You can improve every aspect of your life by using the concepts from The One Thing.

15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management By Kevin Kruse — An oldie but a goodie. After I read this, I started mapping out my entire day on my calendar. I scheduled time blocks for every single thing I wanted to get done that day down to walking my dog and meditating. I started immediately seeing where I was wasting time (scrolling Twitter endlessly..) and cut those activities out. I was able to create four more hours in my day (discussed in The One Thing) to work on my goals.

Atomic Habits by James Clear — One of the biggest reasons I achieved my 2019 goals was because I started using the tactics that James Clear outlines in Atomic Habits. Year after year, I would tell myself I was going to workout for an hour a day or write for two hours. And it wouldn’t happen. After I read Atomic Habits, I started using the two minute rule. I would sit down for just two minutes and write. Or I would do an unpleasant task for two minutes. Most of the time after the two minutes were up, I would feel so motivated that I would work or write for another half hour. I slowly built up from two minutes to fifteen to thirty to forty five to an hour.

The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran — Do you ever make lofty goals come January 1st and never actually take any steps to achieve them? Instead of thinking of my goals in terms of the next year, I started thinking about goals over the span of the next twelve weeks. What could I actually achieve? I have a dry erase board that I write my goals for the year, and after reading this book, I erased it. I wrote down my goals for the next twelve weeks instead. Everything immediately seemed far more attainable. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by my goals anymore.

Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind Of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers — I had a hardcore obsession with CD Baby when I was a kid. I thought it was the coolest thing that independent artists could put their music online and sell it without a record deal. I would spend hours recording my own music and designing artwork. Derek Sivers started his business by finding an actual need and waiting to expand until the demand was there.

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