The Resolution Solution: Introducing the Book Coach

Posted by Ben Landau January  12, 2017

Resolution season is in full effect. Whether you’re looking to learn a new language or finally forget your ex, chances are, there’s a book that can help. – possibly in some surprising ways.

Naturally there are how-to books for all of the major resolution types, from losing weight to getting fit to learning to live sparsely and in the “now”, and beyond.  All of these, if followed closely, will result in exactly what they promise.

But we are complex beings and if instructions were all it would take to perfect the imperfections, we would shed them easily.

There are many states of mind that must be addressed to make a change really happen and for this we humbly introduce the concept of the “Book Coach”. A book coach will find you the right idea and the right story to keep you on track throughout the lifetime of your resolution.

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Artist's rendition of what the Book Coach MAY look like.

The book coach may suggest starting at the very, very beginning and might kick you off with books that demonstrate how to think about habits – any and all -- in a new way, enabling you to trade the bad for the better: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg was the groundbreaker, (we talked to him about how hard he had to work to break his cookie a day habit LINK TO KIC) and life coach Gretchen Rubin, who can find a logical process for anything, offers a lot of practical advice to self-improvement in Better Than BeforeBetter is a great place to start on any journey to improvement because it describes the different kinds of instruction-takers that exist. If you are a rebel, for example, a book that gives you a clear list of things to do will become your list of things you would die before doing. But there you have other motivations and knowing what those are will help you achieve your goals.

Want to see more of this book coach business in action? What would a book coach suggest to someone who wants to become more fit?

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Well, find an activity you love to do and do it, obviously, be that running or walking or yoga or boxing.

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For added inspiration there are books that extoll the virtues of virtually any physical activity, virtues that extend far beyond the physical benefits.

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For example, if getting moving is the goal, start with Haruki Murakami’s revelatory memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running; a playful and philosophical ode to writing and running by one of the world’s greatest living writers.

If walking is more your speed, check out Daniel Rubinstein’s Born to Walk, a convincing (and compelling) case for getting back on your feet. Combining fascinating reportage, eye-opening research, and Rubinstein’s own discoveries, Born to Walk explores how far this ancient habit can take us, how much repair is within range, and guarantees that you’ll never again take walking for granted.

But a book coach really kicks in when the shiny new toy that is your gym membership starts to dull, say February or March, and no amount of mere “get out there and do it” will keep you motivated and off the sofa.

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Get into the mind of a champion with Eleven Rings by famed NBA player and coach Phil Jackson. In the book, Jackson describes his reinvention from a South Dakota preacher’s son to the innovative “Zen master” he has become.

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Misery loves company, and perhaps no athlete has so humbly and openly described the truth of the effort it takes to succeed as Andre Agassi in his memoir, Open. In it he confirms that even the greats sometimes hate the effort it takes, and is also a supremely enlightening book on what it takes to win, to lose, to live after the fact. 

Should motivation continue to wane, a book coach may recommend finding that extra Spark, John Ratey’s groundbreaking investigation into the psychological benefits of getting your sweat on.

SparkAnd if none of this seems to work and the pull of the sofa is just too strong, the book coach can of course recommend a list of books that will keep you well entertained until resolution season rolls around again.

Want to give the book coach a try? Let us know your resolution and we will propose a list of books that will get you there, through all the phases of change.


Resolutions not your thing? Happy with the “old” you? It just so happens that we have a little something for you too.

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