The best behavior modification books

Many authors have picked their favorite books about behavior modification and why they recommend each book.

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Book cover of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff . . . and It's All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life

A wonderful little book that provides simple techniques for managing stress. In its simplicity it provides perspective to our daily stresses, reinforcing that much of what we stress about can often be easily managed.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff . . . and It's All Small Stuff

By Richard Carlson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Don't Sweat the Small Stuff . . . and It's All Small Stuff as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

So many of us would like to live our lives in a calmer and less stressful way, and be able to let go of our problems. This is the book that can show you how to stop letting the little things in life drive you crazy.

Dr Richard Carlson teaches us, in his gentle and encouraging style, simple strategies for living a more fulfilled and peaceful life.

We can all learn to put things in perspective, and by making the small daily changes he suggests, including surrendering to the fact that sometimes life isn't fair, and asking yourself, 'Will this…


Who am I?

As a best selling author, TV host and global beauty and wellness expert, much of my career has been spent determining the best ways to look younger naturally. It turns out that many of the techniques I recommend to achieve younger looking skin, also reduce stress and the impacts of stress on the body. Having spent more than 30 years in the fashion and beauty industry I can say with absolute certainty that when it comes to the way we age; how we look cannot be separated from how we feel.


I wrote...

Stop Stress Fast: 12 Quick, Proven Stress Relief Techniques to Help You Feel Good Everyday

By Gregory Landsman,

Book cover of Stop Stress Fast: 12 Quick, Proven Stress Relief Techniques to Help You Feel Good Everyday

What is my book about?

Stress impacts our quality of life & prematurely ages the skin! Managing stress has been a daily part of my life since my early thirties. At this time I looked ten years older than my age and was close to a breakdown from stress, overwork, and unresolved childhood emotional issues. The stress that I felt on a daily basis was impacting the quality of my relationships, my business, my health, and my state of mind.

My quality of life and my health depended on making real and lasting changes, and this started me on a journey to explore how I could manage stress day-to-day so I could live more peacefully, have more energy, and look and feel healthy. Stop Stress Fast shows how to use the power of breath and food to reduce stress, counteract the wrinkle-causing hormone, and take years off the face! It is a book for anyone who is serious about reducing stress in their lives and would like to feel calmer and take years off the face at the same time.

"When we actively make a decision to reduce stress, we nurture the body, mind and spirit, and what previously felt ordinary becomes extraordinary, as we begin to recognise that our external world only changes when we make changes to our internal world."

Gregory Landsman

Counselling for Toads

By Robert de Board,

Book cover of Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure

This is a joyful book to read – a clever pastiche of Graham Greene’s Wind In the Willows it explains the principles of Transactional Analysis in a way that more ‘technical’ books on the subject can’t reach. Once again it is about awareness of how you are speaking and impacting on others and how shifting your approach can help them shift their thinking.

The ‘story’ format is hypnotic...and I love the hypnotic quality of stories that convey learning in an almost imperceptible way. The poet Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate, a countryman of mine summed up the power of poetry (and by implication I think) of stories, in this way:

“I can’t think of a case where poems changed the world, but what they do is change people’s understanding of what is going on in the world.”

Counselling for Toads

By Robert de Board,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Counselling for Toads as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Toad', the famous character in Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows is in a very depressed state and his good friends Rat, Mole and Badger, are 'worried that he might do something silly'...
First they nursed him. Then they encouraged him. Then they told him to pull himself together... Finally, Badger could stand it no longer. That admirable animal, though long on exhortation, was short on patience.
'Now look here Toad, this can go on no longer', he said sternly. 'There is only one thing left. You must have counselling!'
Robert de Board's engaging account of Toad's experience of…


Who am I?

I'm an author, trainer, coach, and podcaster – a description that would have shocked my much younger self. My own journey of self-development has taken me to the privileged position, through my business, of helping others on their journey to discover their own potential. The joy of seeing this emerge is fresh with every individual and group I work with, and of course my own journey of discovery continues too. Someone once said to the Dalai Lama, "When do you get to enlightenment?"…. "When I die!" came the reply. He recognised the value of being open to ideas and change… which is just some of the fabulous gifts we get from books and each other!

I wrote...

The Intention Impact Conundrum: Practical ways to achieve the impact you want

By Florence Madden,

Book cover of The Intention Impact Conundrum: Practical ways to achieve the impact you want

What is my book about?

Have you ever wondered… What it is like to be on the receiving end of you? Why don’t people see things as you do? How you can improve your relationships with others?

These questions were the starting point of my own quest – which in turn fired my passion for personal development and redefining what is possible. In my book, I blend NLP with other complementary approaches for giving and receiving feedback better, becoming aware of the power of language, and shifting our patterns of thinking to see ourselves and others in a more resourceful way. For years I resisted clients’ suggestions that I ‘write this stuff down’ ….and finally, I did! So much of our happiness and success depends on our mindset…and this book happened when I changed mine!

Atomic Habits

By James Clear,

Book cover of Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

When I was getting my side hustle off the ground, I found myself running into a lot of my bad habits. For example, procrastination was a huge problem area for me. As such, nipping these bad habits in the bud is essential for success with your hustle. Atomic Habits shows you how to not only rid yourself of bad habits, but replace these with better ones. Above all else, this book demonstrates how the small things we do each day can compound to have massive results.

Atomic Habits

By James Clear,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Atomic Habits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller. Over 4 million copies sold!

Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving--every day. James Clear, one of the world's leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don't want to change, but because you have the…


Who am I?

I’ve been trying to make money on the internet since I was 12. While it took me many failed attempts to eventually figure out how, I succeeded with this goal in 2016. I launched a YouTube channel related to one of my lifelong passions; personal finance. From there, I broadened my horizons by creating multiple standalone affiliate blogs unrelated to my YouTube channel. Every one of my successes and failures has taught me valuable lessons about the side hustle journey.


I wrote...

From Side Hustle to Main Hustle to Millionaire: 13 Lessons to Turn Your Passion Into a Passive Paycheck

By Ryan Scribner,

Book cover of From Side Hustle to Main Hustle to Millionaire: 13 Lessons to Turn Your Passion Into a Passive Paycheck

What is my book about?

In From Side Hustle To Main Hustle To Millionaire, Ryan Scribner shares the tactics and strategies he used to leverage his simple internet-based side hustle into becoming a millionaire by the age of 26. Ryan breaks down the side hustle journey into specific stages, walking the reader through the entire process. 

Through 13 simple lessons, Ryan shares what it takes to leave the workforce behind, follow your passions, and earn passive income. Learn how to build a successful side business that you can grow to your main source of income over time, with specific guidance on each step of the side hustle journey.

Don't Shoot the Dog

By Karen Pryor,

Book cover of Don't Shoot the Dog: The Art of Teaching and Training

This best-selling book, from the incredibly talented Karen Pryor, looks at behavior through a scientific and practical lens. When it comes to animals and humans, we aren’t that different in terms of our behavior and how it can be corrected positively. Through encouraging reinforcement, we can learn new ways of taking in and dealing with conflict in a more constructive way. I have found the methods suggested in this book extremely beneficial and have successfully incorporated them in my own life. 

Don't Shoot the Dog

By Karen Pryor,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Don't Shoot the Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Karen Pryor’s clear and entertaining explanation of behavioral training methods made Don’t Shoot the Dog a bestselling classic with revolutionary insights into animal—and human—behavior.

In her groundbreaking approach to improving behavior, behavioral biologist Karen Pryor says, “Whatever the task, whether keeping a four-year-old quiet in public, housebreaking a puppy, coaching a team, or memorizing a poem, it will go fast, and better, and be more fun, if you know how to use reinforcement.”

Now Pryor clearly explains the underlying principles of behavioral training and reveals how this art can be applied to virtually any common situation. And best of all,…


Who am I?

I wasn’t always a reader. Diagnosed with a learning disorder in elementary school, I hated reading and school. Eventually, I discovered my passion for psychology, neurolinguistics, and persuasion and influence, and have now become a lifelong reader! Through my boutique consulting firm Solutions In Mind, my colleagues and I have been coaching executive teams to make the changes required to improve sales, organizational behavior, and communication. In my latest book, Ignite a Shift, I equip readers to think about how they and those around them think, feel and do. With greater awareness you’ll be able to better establish and meet your goals and persuade and influence others to do the same. 


I wrote...

Ignite a Shift: Engaging Minds, Guiding Emotions and Driving Behavior

By Stephen McGarvey,

Book cover of Ignite a Shift: Engaging Minds, Guiding Emotions and Driving Behavior

What is my book about?

My book, Ignite a Shift, asks readers to reconsider the way they communicate, as well as think, feel, and act, to create new and quantifiable changes in their daily lives. Whether you’re a C-Suite executive seeking ways to become a more effective leader, a parent wanting to improve communication with your teen, or a sales and marketing specialist looking for ways to improve your persuasion and influence prowess, Ignite a Shift offers you the everyday techniques that will help you achieve your goals and succeed in life. 

Smart Change

By Art Markman PhD,

Book cover of Smart Change: Five Tools to Create New and Sustainable Habits in Yourself and Others

Any kind of growth and improvement requires change. And change is hard! In the crowded field of books on habit change, Smart Change is a quiet standout. It’s one of the few on the topic written by an actual psychologist and the benefits of that are quickly apparent. But don’t be concerned it’s written like a textbook—it’s not. It’s relatable, interesting, and filled with easy, actionable ideas on changing any kind of habits and adopting lasting new behaviors that will feed your success. This is a book I refer to over and over again for both myself and my clients.

Smart Change

By Art Markman PhD,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Smart Change as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An insightful guide that shows how habits of behavior are formed, and how we can transform bad habits into positive behaviors in ourselves and others.

Smart Change explores the psychological mechanisms that form and maintain habits in individuals and groups and offers real, accessible and actionable advice for changing habits. In an engaging narrative, Markman covers a wide range of habits, from individual behaviors like eating better and exercising regularly to work-related behaviors such as learning effectively and influencing customers’ purchases. He proposes that there are five effective tools to help individuals change behavior and to help people influence the…


Who am I?

I’ve spent my entire career working with people who have achieved impressive personal and professional success, but in a way that leaves them exhausted, overwhelmed, and stressed. My passion is to help them see that exhaustion is optional, and they can offer their unique gifts to the world in a way that inspires and energizes them. The collection of books I’ve recommended here provide a wonderful starting point for some of the most common challenges I see my clients experiencing: distraction, overcoming unhelpful habits, stress and burnout, and the growing prevalence of remote work and distributed teams. This collection is for busy, driven professionals who are dedicated to personal growth.


I wrote...

Attention Management: How to Create Success and Gain Productivity -- Every Day

By Maura Thomas,

Book cover of Attention Management: How to Create Success and Gain Productivity -- Every Day

What is my book about?

Have you tried everything to become more productive―but you're still too busy and stressed? That's because the old approaches to productivity just don't work in today's fast-paced, tech-driven workplaces. Time management is outdated. What does work? Attention management is the solution you need.

Attention management is an essential skill to live a life of choice and intention rather than a life of reaction and distraction. It's a collection of behaviors including focus, mindfulness, control, presence, flow, and others, that will support your success in the environment of constant distraction we’re all subjected to today. I’m a productivity speaker, trainer, and author, and the first book in my Empowered Productivity series, Attention Management, will show you how to master this important skill by offering practical strategies that will make an immediate impact. 

Book cover of How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism

One of my favorite sayings (by G.K. Chesterton) is, “If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.” With these well-chosen words, Chesterton converted me to “imperfectionism.” It’s not that as imperfectionists we should aim to do things badly, but that we should aim to do necessary things and accept that we’re going to make mistakes on the way. Guise’s writing isn’t always elegant. However, he puts the case strongly that perfectionism is not something to humble-brag about, and is a “disorder of the mind.” More importantly, though, he offers detailed, practical, easy-to-implement steps for developing an imperfectionist mindset where we “lose our crippling fear of not doing [things] well.”

How to Be an Imperfectionist

By Stephen Guise,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Be an Imperfectionist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From an early age, kids are taught to color inside the lines, and any color that strays outside the lines is considered to be a mistake that must be avoided. Perfectionism is a naturally limiting mindset. Imperfectionism, however, frees us to live outside the lines, where possibilities are infinite, mistakes are allowed, and self-judgment is minimal.The old way to approach perfectionism was to inspire people to “let go” of their need for perfection and hope they could do it. The new way is to show people how simple but highly strategic "mini actions” can empower them to gradually and effortlessly…


Who am I?

I went through a particularly hard time several years ago and to get through it I was forced to dig deep into what I’d learned about compassion and self-compassion over three decades of meditating. Because I’m a meditation teacher, I wanted to share with my students everything I learned about being kind and supportive toward myself as I went through the toughest challenges I’d ever faced so that they could benefit as well. That’s why I wrote This Difficult Thing of Being Human. Self-compassion has become the core of everything I’ve taught since then, and one of the wonderful things about it is that once you’ve shown yourself compassion, you automatically find yourself treating others with compassion too.


I wrote...

This Difficult Thing of Being Human: The Art of Self-Compassion

By Bodhipaksa,

Book cover of This Difficult Thing of Being Human: The Art of Self-Compassion

What is my book about?

It sounds like a simple idea: to be kind to yourself. But if you pay attention to your thoughts, habits, and self-talk, you may find that it’s more difficult than it sounds.

The intentional practice of self-compassion, outlined here by Buddhist scholar and teacher Bodhipaksa, can help you find greater overall wellbeing, emotional resilience, physical health, and willpower. Bodhipaksa provides both the why and the how of mindful self-compassion, drawing on contemporary psychology and neuroscience and also on Buddhist psychology, weaving the modern and ancient together into a coherent whole.

Book cover of Freeing Your Child from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Powerful, Practical Program for Parents of Children and Adolescents

If you have a child who suffers from OCD, this is the only book you really need. Dr. Chansky is one of the nation’s experts in pediatric OCD, and this book is the most informative and practical book I have read on the subject. This book with help you understand OCD (how it presents, what causes it) and how to help your child overcome this disorder. 

Freeing Your Child from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

By Tamar Chansky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Freeing Your Child from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you're a parent of one of the more than one million children in this country with obsessive-compulsive disorder, you know how confusing, even frightening, the symptoms of OCD can be. You're terrified of losing your child and angry about the havoc this disorder has wreaked in your family. More than anything, you want to be able to unlock the secrets of OCD, understand the cause of your child's bizarre symptoms, and help your child break free of these disruptive, relentless thoughts and actions.

In her landmark book, Freeing Your Child from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Dr. Tamar E. Chansky creates a…


Who am I?

I’ve been a practicing clinical psychologist for over thirty years. I’ve seen many patients who have suffered from OCD – some to the point of being debilitated by their symptoms. Few things are as gratifying as helping someone overcome OCD and live a normal life. While the disorder can be confusing, once people understand what OCD is and how to treat it, they can literally change their lives for the better. This is why I went into this field to begin with, and after thirty years, I still feel privileged and grateful when I can help someone escape the prison of OCD symptoms. 


I wrote...

The Obsessive Compulsive Trap: Real Help for a Real Struggle

By Mark E. Crawford,

Book cover of The Obsessive Compulsive Trap: Real Help for a Real Struggle

What is my book about?

OCD can be debilitating for those who suffer from this disorder. Many people suffer in silence because symptoms can be confusing and embarrassing. Most people have a stereotype of what OCD looks like, but this disorder can masquerade in many forms. The good news is that OCD is a well-researched biological disorder with very effective treatments that can help people overcome intrusive thoughts and the need to engage in compulsive behaviors.

This book was written as an easy-to-understand overview of OCD in order to help people demystify and understand this disorder and to learn ways to overcome it. 

Bewilderment

By Richard Powers,

Book cover of Bewilderment

This novel intrigued me because of Robin, a young boy who cares deeply about endangered animals. Powers uses the child as a device to make readers think about our earth and its inhabitants. I did the same with the character in my novel. Both children agonize over how to make adults pay attention to the crisis we face.

While the plot centers on a father’s intense devotion to his struggling son, Powers succeeds in portraying nature’s magnificence and its increasing fragility. I am in awe of his ability to create such a page-turning plot in a message-driven book.

Bewilderment

By Richard Powers,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Bewilderment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The astrobiologist Theo Byrne searches for life throughout the cosmos while single-handedly raising his unusual nine-year-old, Robin, following the death of his wife. Robin is a warm, kind boy who spends hours painting elaborate pictures of endangered animals. He's also about to be expelled from third grade for smashing his friend in the face. As his son grows more troubled, Theo hopes to keep him off psychoactive drugs. He learns of an experimental neurofeedback treatment to bolster Robin's emotional control, one that involves training the boy on the recorded patterns of his mother's brain...

With its soaring descriptions of the…


Who am I?

When I began writing my first novel, the words “what happens next is up to all of us” became my guiding mantra. I have just completed my second novel with the same theme, The Space Between Dark and Light. It will be released early in 2023. During the years between the two books, I have become a speaker on topics related to the environment and peace. In 2020, I received an award as a Creative Environmental and Peace Activist from Visioneers International Network. It is the thought of the world our grandchildren (and generations after them) will inherit from us that makes me care passionately about the future.


I wrote...

I Call Myself Earth Girl

By Jan Krause Greene,

Book cover of I Call Myself Earth Girl

What is my book about?

All Gloria ever wanted was a normal life. Instead, she is having recurring dreams about Earth Girl who recounts the story of her abduction and rape during a time of war. When Gloria discovers she is pregnant, despite her husband’s long absence, she begins to question her sanity. Could she really be carrying Earth Girl’s baby? While unraveling the mystery that ties her to the past and the future, Gloria confronts questions about the way we live, the choices we make, our relationship to the earth, and our responsibility to future generations. 

Synanon Kid

By C. A. Wittman,

Book cover of Synanon Kid: A Memoir of Growing Up in the Synanon Cult

In this novel, which is set in the late 1970s, the protagonist, Celena, is abducted by two extremist women who are members of the Synanon cult. She would later find out that one of those women was her mother, whom she had not seen for more than two years at the time of the kidnapping. The culture of Synanon was one of abuse and deviation. This book packs a punch, and its story is an important one in the ongoing battle against cults that recruit parents to give over their children under the guise of improving their quality of life.

The accounts of survivors of the troubled teen industry are extremely upsetting due to the cultic practices of the industry, which include shunning, abuse, the use of forced labor, sexual assault, and more. It is essential to place a hold on this book because it provides one of the most…

Synanon Kid

By C. A. Wittman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Synanon Kid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I told you mothers do not matter here. We are all your mothers. Isn't that better than just having one?"

An ordinary weekend becomes surreal when Celena's mother, whom she has not seen for years, returns to claim her. Told that she is going to visit a place called Synanon, six-year-old Celena leaves her native Los Angeles on a bus for a secluded ranch setting in Northern California where the residents are strangely bald and dressed uniformly in overalls.

Coming to realize this eerie institution is to be her new home, Celena is ultimately forced to develop a new strength…


Who am I?

Because I was brought up in a cult, I'm determined to serve as a voice for children. I'm an advocate for assisting children born into cults or taken into them in finding their true identities outside of the indoctrination they received. It's important to me that there is a network of support available to those who want to learn how to lead a balanced life. As a post-cult adult, I went on to study creative writing and art at the University of Tennessee. I have a deep appreciation for poetry as a form of expression, and I recommend using it as a method to work through the complex range of feelings.


I wrote...

Cult Child

By Vennie Kocsis,

Book cover of Cult Child

What is my book about?

The book Cult Child is based on the author Vennie Kocsis's actual life experiences. When she was only three years old, her mother was recruited into Sam Fife's Move of God, one of America's most violent cults. Cult Child is an in-depth look at the author's childhood near-death experience as a result of abuse and the author's experience of growing up in two remote cult compounds. Cult Child transports the reader to Sila's world.

"Poignant, gripping and ultimately triumphant, Vennie Kocsis' Cult Child will leave you inspired by the pure strength of will that children use to cope themselves through trauma. Her fortress is no bigger than the space between her ears; but through quiet internal resistance, Sila halts her opponents and outlasts their ten-year siege." Dolon Hickmon, author of 13:24

Bookshelves related to behavior modification