At Health Coach Institute, we talk a lot about habits. In fact, you might say we’re kind of obsessed with them. That’s because habits are the #1 determinants of your quality of life. In fact, they’re responsible for driving about 40% of our daily actions.
Habits are the silent orchestrators that direct your life behind the scenes—which is why it’s SO important to make sure they’re working for you, not against you. When you change a habit, you change your life.
Health Coach Institute Teaches Habit Change
At HCI, we’ve helped 20,000+ students learn how to coach on habit change and in turn help clients around the world transform their lives too. Today’s blog post is the first in our Habit Change series, where we’ll be sharing resources, tips, and strategies for cultivating healthy habits and quitting the bad habits that are harming you.
We’ll be starting with 10 books about habits that will change your life. There’s so much eye-opening research out there on the impact of habits, and reading some of the books from the authors below is a great place to start.
We’ve conveniently linked each title to Amazon for you in case you’re like us and you like to highlight, note-take, or frequently re-read passages. Otherwise, you can find these at your local library!
HCI’s Top 10 Must-Read Books On Creating Healthy Habits
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
This book has been getting some major attention since its release in 2018—and for good reason. Author James Clear distills proven research from biology, psychology, and neuroscience into an easy-to-understand framework for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. He provides tons of practical tips for making and breaking habits, and weaves real-life stories throughout the book from Olympians, artists, business leaders, physicians, and comedians who have used the science of mastering small habits to climb to the top of their field. If we could only recommend one book about habits to you, this would be the one!
- The Power of Habit: by James Duhigg
In this classic habit reference guide, Duhigg explains why habits exist, how they’re formed, and how they can be changed, sharing lots of compelling information and real stories along the way. In researching the book and implementing the strategies he shares, Duhigg changed his own habits for the better, shedding 30 pounds, becoming a runner (and training for a marathon!), and increasing his own productivity. The Power of Habit is an indispensable manual that will help you optimize all areas of your life.
- UnDo It! by Dean Ornish
In this life-changing book, world-renowned pioneer of lifestyle medicine Dean Ornish, M.D. shares revolutionary research proving that lifestyle changes can often reverse the progression of many chronic diseases (like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, and even aging). He shares the habits that can help you live a longer, healthier life, as well as recipes, meal plans, recommended exercises, and stress reduction techniques you can put into practice right away. He also cites real-life examples of how patients transformed their lives by following his plan. We love this book because it makes the case for how we can use healthy lifestyle design to eradicate the chronic disease epidemic we’re currently faced with.
- Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
Written by the author of The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin shares why habits are “the invisible architecture of everyday life” and how you can harness the energy of habits to a build happier, stronger, more productive life. The secret to successful habit formation, she reveals, is actually knowing ourselves. This researched-backed, at times humorous, book dives into the core principles of habit formation and also includes stories of real transformation that will inspire you to take action cultivating new habits before you’re finished reading it!
- High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
We all want to be the best we can be in all areas of our lives. But most of us struggle to identify, adopt, and maintain habits that will support our long-term success. In High Performance Habits, renowned performance coach Brendon Burchard outlines the six habits that will make you extraordinary and help you live a better quality of life, and how to practice these proven habits.
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen J. Covey
As the name implies, author and co-founder of FranklinCovey Co., Stephen J. Covey, discusses the seven habits that help people attain their goals and create personal change for themselves. First published in 1989, this is one of the most highly acclaimed books on habits and still a go-to on many current lists. It takes you step-by-step through the seven habits, and also explains the paradigm shift you’ll need to make in order to successfully implement them. The book isn’t a quick fix, it’s a study guide and a powerful discourse you’ll want to take your time reading and digesting—but it’s well worth your while. To make learning and applying Covey’s principles even easier, the newest edition also includes infographics.
Based on twenty years researching human behavior and his experience coaching over 40,000 people, author and Stanford University habit expert BJ Fogg shares his breakthrough method for building habits quickly and easily. In his book, Fogg cracks the code of habit formation, shares the three keys to changing your life long-term, and provides a simple, fun, practical framework for transforming your life.
- Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
In this inspiring guide for becoming an unstoppable force in your own life, Life Coach Marie Forleo shares how to embrace fear and failure, retrain your brain to think more positively and creatively in the face of setbacks, and reveals the one habit that makes you 42% more likely to achieve the goals you set for yourself. Written in a relatable, encouraging, and humorous way, with helpful exercises to move you forward and integrate her teachings, Forleo is the cheerleader we all need in our corner.
- The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod
Wish you could wake up every day with energy, motivation, and focus to take your life to the next level you desire? Now you can! In The Miracle Morning, author Hal Elrod shows you how adopting six game-changing habits in the morning can help you tap into your full potential and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. Sign us up!
- The 5-Second Rule by Mel Robbins
In this powerful book, motivational speaker, TV host, and author Mel Robbins shares a foolproof method for finding courage, squashing self-doubt, and transforming your life in just five seconds. Seriously. By combining research on the science of habits, real-life stories, and surprising facts from some of the most famous moments in history, art, and business, she teaches about the power of a “push moment” to help you break the habit of procrastination and self-doubt, become more confident, stop worrying, find courage, and feel happier. We all know what we need to do, but Mel shares why we hold ourselves back and how to break the cycle for good.
We hope this list of books about habits serves you and inspires you to start making positive changes in your life. Share this list of life changing books on habits with friends and family too.
Become a Master of Habit Change with Health Coach Institute
Interested in diving deep into the science of habit change and becoming a master of helping others change their habits too as a Health and Life Coach?
Learn more about how our six-month program can help you master healthy habits that serve you for life and launch a fulfilling career transforming lives.