Books to Form New Life Changing Habits

August 20, 2021

Looking for motivation to form new life changing habits?These first three books offer powerful advice to help you form new life changing habits. While they focus on specific topics, the lessons learned in them can also be translated to other areas in life.

Scroll until the end of the post to see more curated book recommendations:)

Kick the drink easily,  by Jason Vale

I would suggest anyone who reads this book to have a very open mind, and just consider what Vale has to say carefully. Here are just a few points from his book to give you a taste of what he writes about:

Firstly, Vale believes there is no such thing as an alcoholic. There are just various people who are at various stages of addiction, because alcohol is a drug.

Ninety percent is psychological ten percent is physical. It is easy to stop drinking, all we need to do is remove the brainwashing and make sure to support the body with excellent nutrients during the first weeks to help with physical withdrawal.

We drink as a result of being influenced by other drinkers, advertising, social pressure, but what makes people continue to drink after that? People make up all sorts of reasons (built on false beliefs) why they drink alcohol.

Reasons why people drink

  • Habit- When people say they drink out of habit, they just don’t believe they are addicted to a drug.
  • Taste- People think they genuinely like the taste, but a child will spit out alcohol because it is poison. If a person keeps on drinking it one will get used to the taste and start liking it
  • It quenches thirst- Jason says; “Alcohol dehydrates the body so much that even with as little as 3 per cent alcohol and 97 per cent water, the 3 per cent will not only use up the 97 per cent but also rob the body of its own stores.”
  • Pleasure– People believe it gives them genuine pleasure, but the brain is actually experiencing a short circuit. Alcohol is in reality a depressant. Jason says; “Take the idea that it makes you a fun person. Alcohol does not turn you into a fun person. How many people do you know who are dull and annoying and who, after a drink, don’t turn into fun people? Far from it, they become even more boring and annoying and all you want to do is get rid of them.”
  • Helps you relax– Jason uses the argument: if someone is aggressive due to having consumed more alcohol, would you give them another drink to calm them down? Because alcohol destroys the central nervous system, the only thing that alcohol can steady are the nerves of someone who is experiencing alcohol withdrawal.
  • It gives you courage and confidence– Jason says “YOU CANNOT BE COURAGEOUS WITHOUT OVERCOMING FEAR.”
  • You think you are in control Everyone drinking is just on different stages down the slippery slope of alcohol addiction. You think you are in control until you aren’t. Trying to control something when it is controlling you is a battle. If you brag that you haven’t drunk anything in a week, then it means you are already out of control.
  • It relieves stress– “There is only one stress that an alcoholic drink is even partially capable of relieving and that is the stress caused by the last drink. Most violent crimes committed in the UK have been fueled by alcohol.
  • It helps you concentrate better– If this were really true why don’t sports people, race car drivers, surgeons have a drink before they do the job? People think they concentrate better, because having a drink ends the physical low caused by the previous drink.
  • A little bit of alcohol is a good thing- This is not a well known fact, but alcohol is just as toxic as heroin. Is a little bit of heroin good for us?

Towards the end of the book Jason Vale reminds us that our thoughts create our reality.

Your Mind Can…

  • Help you relieve stress in an instant
  •  Give you courage in an instant
  •  Generate confidence in an instant
  •  Make you happy and joyous in an instant
  •  Relax you in an instant
  •  Improve you social skills in an instant.
  • The idea that alcohol can do that for you is just a false illusion.

Kick the Drink Easily is a fun and easy read and a real eye opener for anyone who is considering to change their relationship with alcohol.

Easy way to Stop Smoking,  by Allen Carr

The whole business of smoking is like forcing yourself to wear tight shoes just to get the pleasure of taking them off-Allen Carr

This was the line that really inched its way into my brain. It was true. ‘Why would I be wearing tight shoes for the rest of my life?’ I wanted to just be free!

This lesson served as a foundation and motivation to form new life changing habits in all areas of my life.

The Easy Way to Stop Smoking actually helped me to quit smoking for good! I read this book twice. Once when I was a student; and the second time around before my 30th birthday when I was desperate to stop before I hit 30. Here are Allen Carr’s top 10 tips to quit smoking and my thoughts on what worked for me and what didn’t.

1. Set date and time to stop

Just carry on smoking until the date and time you chose to stop. Don’t stop before, it just makes your cigarettes seem more precious than they really are.

✔︎ Setting the date and time really did work for me because it committed me to my decision.

2. Be excited about quitting

Smoking robs you of your health, your money, your freedom and the quality of the rest of your life. Remember smoking gives you nothing. You are only losing. Get excited about the fact that you will soon be free

✔︎ Reminding myself of this was very powerful. By the end of my first week after I quit smoking, I rewarded myself with a new necklace. It was pretty satisfying to know I was spending money on improving the quality of my life instead of squandering my money and health away on cigarettes.

3. Smoke a final cigarette

Have you final cigarette, and vow no matter what happens that you will never smoke again. Your life depends on it. Know and trust that you have made the right decision and never ever question the decision!

✔︎ This is by far the most important point. Don’t question the decision and don’t negotiate. The moment you start doing that your resolve will become weaker. You are wasting brain power and depleting will power. Just don’t go there.

 4. Don’t freak out about withdrawal

Yes, you will have a bit of withdrawal for a few days, but the effects are very slight. Just ride the wave and relax. Nothing bad will happen. Only good is coming from this. If you are for example used to having a cigarette with you coffee, don’t feel miserable that you are now having your coffee without the cigarette. Instead be happy that you are no longer killing yourself with nicotine!

✔︎ I can safely say I was proper smoker, not just a social smoker. I smoked for a good 15 years of my life. Was the withdrawal bad? No! Not at all! A few headaches; crankiness, thirst, but all in all nothing worse than that.

5. Keep on socializing

Carry on with your normal social life after you’ve quit smoking. Don’t envy smokers; pity them. If you are offered a cigarette; don’t jump into a long story about why you don’t smoke; or even preach the dangers of smoking. Nobody likes to be preached at. Just say; ‘No thanks-I don’t smoke.’

Carrying on with my normal social life did not work for me. Being around smoke in the first few weeks just triggered my senses too much. I found it best to avoid situations in which I would be around smokers. I avoided pubs and if my friends smoked in a group outside, I would stay in. Slowly slowly I exposed myself to smoking until I was finally ready to be fully around it again.

6. Think about smoking

The moment you tell yourself you are not allowed to think about it; you feel deprived of something. Be happy that you quit and and that you are now free!

✔︎ Being mindful of my reasons to quit smoking was very important during the first weeks. The moment I caught myself trying to negotiate reasons for smoking; I would gently steer my thoughts back into the opposite direction and remind myself that I am no longer enslaved to a silent killer!

7. Forget about “just one” after you’ve quit smoking.

When you get here; then go back to step 3. You have smoked your final cigarette. Don’t think you can have the odd cigarette just to be sociable or use it as a crutch during difficult moments in life. Don’t question the decision and don’t negotiate.

✔︎ and Some months and years after I quit smoking I did in fact have the odd cigarette (definitely no more than 3!) It was not because I craved it in any way. I was just curious to see how I would feel. The next morning my lungs were bursting and I felt like I had harmed myself terribly. The last time after I had a cigarette at a wedding after party I also developed ulcers inside my lips. Would I ever become a social smoker or a regular smoker again? No NEVER again!

8. Avoid nicotine substitutes

Nicotine patches, sprays, e-cigarettes etc keep the addiction to nicotine alive. Don’t use them!

✔︎ I never felt the need to use any of these substitutes but I did chew regular old gum A LOT. Wrigleys Spearmint Gum was a lifesaver for me back in the day- keeping my mouth busy while riding the craving. It was either gum or food!

9. Get rid your cigarettes

If you keep cigarettes around it means you are doubting your decision. If you have quit smoking you are a non-smoker, and non-smokers don’t keep cigarettes around.

While this makes perfect sense in every way, it did not work for me. Taking my cigarettes away felt to me like someone had snatched away my comfort blanket and a terrible fear kicked in. I kept a box of smokes in my drawer knowing that I could smoke them if I wanted to; but I chose not to. After a month or so I chucked the cigarettes away when i was finally ready.

10. Enjoy your freedom!

Congratulate yourself that you have broken out of the prison whenever your mind starts to convince you to get back in. Enjoy the benefits of a renewed health for the rest of your life!

✔︎ When I quit smoking so many people congratulated me for doing this. I must say I felt terribly proud of being able to quit. After about 6 months of quitting; I no longer even identified with the fact that I used to be a smoker. Being a non smoker had become the new norm, and I no longer even thought about it at all. I was finally free!

Easy Way to Stop Smoking is a no brainer for anyone who wants to stop smoking. This book has helped millions of people, and it might just help you too!

Body for life,  by Bill Phillips

In my mid 20’s I found myself 15 kg overweight, tired, sluggish with terrible acne. I desperately needed motivation to form new life changing habits.

Bill Phillips’ book was just what I needed at the time! After reading his book I took on the 12 week challenge transformed my body completely—like body builder completely!

My experience is based on Bill Philips’ book (for men and women), but you can also check out Dr. Pamela Peeke’s book which tailors the Body for Life experience specifically for women.

Lessons I learned

One of the things that really stood out for me was this: he writes that our cells are in a constant state of renewal. You can transform every single cell in your body and create a whole new body by simply following the easy instructions in the book.

Bill Phillips explains exactly how you should approach a 20 minute cardio workout which you alternate with a weights workout (about 40 minutes either upper body or lower body). On the seventh day you can rest and eat anything you like—this is your cheat day:)

For six days you must eat 5-6 small meal portions a day every 3-4 hours. Bill Phillips’ food list shows you exactly what food items you can eat per meal. You also learn how to read labels at the back of products so that you can understand which quantity of fat, protein and carbohydrates you are allowed to consume.

WOW what can I say! In 12 short weeks I turned into an educated gym bunny with the help of Bill Philips’ book!

I followed the instructions in this book (almost) to the letter, and the results were spectacular! I felt invincible like super woman, and my skin cleared up completely. My blood sugar levels no longer jumped around like crazy, because I had learned to combine carbohydrates with a portion of protein.

I also learned that I can eat two fist fulls of carbs with a protein portion the size of my palm and high as deck of cards in one meal. I learned that fruit is not just something you can eat unlimited amounts of because its healthy (like my grandma said), but in fact fruit is a carbohydrate and full of sugars.

After completing the 12 week challenge

In the past when I was dieting; I thought I should eat one huge meal a day and starve myself for the rest of the day. This caused extreme fluctuations in my blood-sugar levels which influenced my mood and impacted my skin health. Learning to graze throughout the day was a game changer for me.

Since then I have tried intermittent fasting and all sorts of other diets like Keto, Atkins, Vegetarian, Raw, Vegan, Bloodtype, Food combining etc. (I’m a health and nutrition junky) but the way of eating that has worked best for me to this day is having a protein (vegetarian or animal) portion with a carb (gluten free) portion 4 times a day.

After I completed the 12 week challenge, I went on to do other programs like P90X and Tracy Anderson’s workouts and many more, but I have always returned to Body For Life as my foundation plan for workouts.

Since then my weight has gone up or down no more than 3-5kg in the past ten years, which is healthy and normal. What I learned about nutrition and exercises in Body For Life has stayed with me FOR LIFE!

Body for life is an easy to read manual for anyone who has no idea where to begin with their weight loss and healthy eating journey. If you follow the instructions in this book preferably by the letter (or as best you can), you will completely transform your body and your mind in just 12 weeks!

More Book Recommendations to Form New Life Changing Habits

  • The Power of Habit: Why we do what we we do in life and business-Charles Duhigg
  • Switch: How to change things when change is hard- Chip Heath
  • Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength- Roy F. Baumeister
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success- Carol S. Dweck
  • The unexpected joy of being sober- Catherine Gray
  • This Naked Mind- Annie Grace
  • Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World- William H. McRaven
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing- Marie Kondo
  • Atomic Habits: An Easy Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones- James Clear

*Looking for some more mindset inspirations? Check out Inspirational books to help you change your mindset, change your life.

Best wishes on your transformation journey! If you have any questions or tips to add, please comment in the box below!

Sincerely,
Elaine

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