No matter what you want to accomplish in the new year, it will take will power and way power. This … [+]
If you’re like us, the new year offers a clean slate for picking up a good habit, letting go of a bad one, improving an existing skill, or learning a new one. New Year’s resolutions or picking a word of the year on which to set your intentions are a great way to move in the direction you want.
According to renown psychologist C.R. Snyder, to have hope in succeeding at your resolution, you need three things: First you need a dream that tells you where you want to go. Second, you need efficacy, which is a belief in your ability to reach the goal; this is sometimes called will power. Third, you need access to the path to get you there; we call this way power.
A dream + will power + way power = higher probability of success.
Here’s an example: let’s say you dream of playing the guitar, so you’ve made that your New Year’s resolution. Will power is believing you’ll learn if you practice every day; it’s knowing you can draw on your personal strengths, and those of your friends and teachers, to develop the skill. Way power is having access to a guitar and a chord book, videos, or lessons. Do you actually know everything required of you to succeed? Of course not. But you do know the first steps on the path. When will power and way power are solidly in place, you have a higher hope of succeeding.
One of the best ways we know to strengthen will power and build way power is to get informed about your topic. Below, we share some of our favorite books, organized by the New Year’s resolutions they can help you address. Got a recommendation of your own? Message us via Twitter, @ValuesDriven, to share your tips.
A book list based on your New Year’s resolutions
If you want to … be more mindful
Leaders around the world have found that developing their mindfulness helps reduce anxiety, improve focus, and benefits their health. (Here’s a link to one example, with some compelling stats.) If mindfulness, focus, or a better mental state is your 2020 goal, we recommend:
· Love 2.0: Finding Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection, by Barbara Fredrickson
The more skeptical among us may also enjoy:
· 10% Happier (Revised Edition): How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help that Actually Works, by Dan Harris, who famously had a nationally televised panic attack.
If you want to … be more productive
Who doesn’t want to get more done? If 2020 is your year for working efficiently, prioritizing what matters, and working with focus, then we recommend the following:
· Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, by Cal Newport.
· Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown
Also, on January 9, our Center will host a free online workshop, New Year, New Results: New Insights for Leading High-Performing Teams. During the session, we’ll share science-based insights for leading more productive, more engaged teams. You can find more details and RSVP to attend at this link.
If you want to … be more inclusive
For us, the last few years have been a journey of asking what it might look like for our workplaces, classrooms, and societies to be more inclusive. We have a long way to go. A colleague and friend, Salwa Rahim-Dillard, Diversity & Inclusion Leader for U.S. Cellular, recommends this book for those who want to learn about inclusion:
· Our Search for Belonging: How Our Need to Connect is Tearing Us Apart, by Howard J. Ross with Jonrobert Tartaglione
If you want to … exercise more, or eat less, or be healthier overall.
Who doesn’t? Few among us have mastered healthy living. Find inspiration with this recommendation by Tom Rath, whom you might know as the author of several Strengths Based Leadership.
If you want to … go green.
The New Year is a great opportunity to make environmentally friendly changes to your personal and professional life. Here are a few resources (not books) to help you out:
· Send less to the landfill; this guide from Earth 911 will help you identify what can be recycled and find locations to recycle electronics and other household items.
· Make some lifestyle changes that help you reduce your consumption, especially of disposable products; this BBC article offers easy ideas that can have an impact.
· Reduce travel for work when possible and make smarter travel choices. This GreenBiz article suggests smart choices companies can make to reduce travel related C02 output.
If you want to … develop a new skill
No matter what you’ve resolved to do in 2020, a growth mindset will be an asset to both your will power and your way power. We encourage you to read the following book and be sure to check out the self-portrait illustration the author uses. It will help convince you of your ability to develop any new skill.
· Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck
No matter what you want to make happen in 2020, you’ll have to combine your will power and your way power. We hope these book recommendations help. Let us know how it goes.