Habit Books Featured Image

10 Best Habit Books to Learn and Develop Lasting Habits

Habits are invisible architects, silently shaping our actions, thoughts, and, ultimately, our lives. 

By mastering the art of habit formation, you can achieve personal growth, a productive mindset, and a fulfilling life. 

Whether you want to boost your health, improve your creativity, or achieve ambitious goals, the right book can act as your compass on this transformative journey.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 books to teach you how to develop healthy habits to improve your life.

Summarize this article with AI ClickUp Brain not only saves you precious time by instantly summarizing articles, it also leverages AI to connect your tasks, docs, people, and more, streamlining your workflow like never before.
ClickUp Brain
Avatar of person using AI Summarize this article for me please

10 Best Habit Books to Read in 2024

Dive into these 10 powerful reads, meticulously selected to equip you with practical strategies and insightful perspectives on the power of changing habits:

1. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic Habits Cover Image
via Amazon
  • Author: Jamеs Clear
  • No. of pages: 270
  • Year published: 2018
  • Estimated reading time: 3 hours and 55 minutes
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.8/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.4/5 (Goodreads)

Do you want to change your life for the better but don’t know where to start? If so, this book is for you. Atomic Habits is a #1 New York Times bestseller that reveals the secrets of habit formation based on cutting-edge research and real-life examples. 

Clear’s four laws of behavior change—cue, craving, response, and reward—and practical tips make this book a valuable resource for anyone seeking lasting change. You’ll also discover the not-so-obvious secret of how to make small, incremental improvements that add to big results over time. 

Whether you want to lose weight, boost your productivity, improve your relationships, or achieve any other goal, this book will show you how to harness the power of atomic habits.

Quote from the book

When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running.

Jamеs Clear

Atomic Habits key takeaways

  • Focus on small, sustainable changes rather than drastic goals
  • Make your habits easy to start and hard to stop. Use cues and rewards to trigger and reinforce your behavior
  • Stack good habits onto existing ones for easier implementation

What readers say

“Following the simple steps laid out in this book have [sic] improved the way I set and attain goals for my business and personal transformation, the way I look at and perform daily activities related to my health and wellness, and personal life.”

2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
via Amazon
  • Author: Stephen R. Covey
  • No. of pages: 464
  • Year published: 1989
  • Estimated reading time: 6 hours and 41 minutes
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.8/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.2/5 (Goodreads)

What makes some people more successful than others? How can you achieve your goals and live a meaningful life? These are some of the questions that this book answers. 

This classic on the power of habit explores timeless principles for personal and professional effectiveness. Covey’s seven high-performance habits, from independence to synergy, provide a framework for a fulfilling and productive life.

This book teaches you how to develop work habits that will help you become more proactive, independent, interdependent, and synergistic. You will also discover how to align your actions with your values, communicate effectively, and solve problems creatively.

Quote from the book

Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.

Stephen R. Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’s Key Takeaways

  • Change your paradigms and principles. Adopt a mindset of responsibility, initiative, and vision
  • Embrace the character ethic. Build your character on universal and enduring values, not on superficial traits
  • Master the seven habits to achieve personal fulfillment, build stronger relationships, and contribute meaningfully to communities and organizations

What readers say

“I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is trying to establish better habits. They can be summarized into just one or two pages of things, but going through the entire book really helps to put things into perspective. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone who wants to improve their life.”

3. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip & Dan Heath

 Switch Book
via Amazon
  • Authors: Chip & Dan Heath
  • No. of pages: 305
  • Year published: 2010
  • Estimated reading time: 5 hours and 40 minutes
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 4/5 (Goodreads)

Change is hard but not impossible. That’s the message of this book, which explores the psychology of change and how to overcome it. The authors use the metaphor of the Rider and the Elephant to illustrate the two aspects of our mind: the rational and the emotional. 

They also introduce the concept of the Path, which represents the environment and the situation. Understanding these three elements teaches you how to direct the Rider, shape the Elephant, and clear the Path for successful change. 

The authors offer actionable strategies to form habits, change behavior, and motivate individuals and organizations to embrace positive change.

Quote from the book

Why are habits so important? They are, in essence, behavioral autopilot.

Chip Heath

Switch key takeaways

  • The Rider, the Elephant, and the Path: Understand the internal forces influencing human behavior
  • Directing the Rider: Motivate the rational part of your mind through facts and data
  • Shaping the Elephant: Address emotional resistance through positive reinforcement and clear direction

What readers say

“Switch” teaches a specific process to implement change. It is predominantly targeted at change within an organization but could just as easily be applied to life in general. The authors wrote this specifically for people with limited resources and little authority.”

4. Tiny Habits by B.J. Fogg

Tiny Habits by B.J. Fogg
via Amazon
  • Author: B.J. Fogg
  • No. of pages: 320
  • Year published: 2019
  • Estimated reading time:  5 hours and 55 minutes
  • Ratings:
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.1/5 (Goodreads)

Do you think changing your habits is hard? Think again. This book teaches you how to create tiny habits that can transform your life. Tiny habits are small, easy, and specific actions you can perform in less than a minute. 

They are based on your existing behavior and motivation, requiring little effort or willpower. By creating tiny habits over time, you can achieve long-term outcomes, such as improving your health, building wealth, or fostering close relationships.

Quote from the book

In order to design successful habits and change your behaviors, you should do three things. Stop judging yourself. Take your aspirations and break them down into tiny behaviors. Embrace mistakes as discoveries and use them to move forward.

B.J. Fogg

Tiny Habit’s key takeaways

  • Start with habits so small they’re almost impossible to resist
  • Focus on making habits enjoyable and rewarding
  • Pair new habits with existing routines for easier implementation

What readers say

“The book ‘Tiny Habits’ is based on the ground-breaking research on Habits by Stanford Prof. BJ Fogg. The book provides an in-depth yet easy-to-read understanding of the science behind habits. It goes on to suggest practical strategies and tools to inculcate any new habit or get rid of an undesirable one. Written in a conversational style with plenty of examples from the author’s own life and of several others who adopted the Tiny Habits Method, the book is an interesting read. I’m glad I picked it up.”

5. The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp

 The Creative Habit
via Amazon
  • Author: Twyla Tharp
  • No. of pages: 256
  • Year published: 2003
  • Estimated reading time: 4 hours and 40 minutes
  • Ratings:
    • 4.5/5 (Amazon)
    • 4/5 (Goodreads)

Creativity is not a gift; it’s a habit. That’s the premise of this book, written by one of the most celebrated choreographers of our time. Twyla Tharp reveals how she has developed her creative habit over decades of artistic work and how you can do the same. 

This inspiring book encourages readers to overcome self-doubt, develop discipline, and embrace a growth mindset. You’ll also get access to dozens of exercises and challenges that will help you tap into your creative potential in any field.

Quote from the book

Reading, conversation, environment, culture, heroes, mentors, nature – all are lottery tickets for creativity. Scratch away at them and you’ll find out how big a prize you’ve won.

Twyla Tharp

The Creative Habit key takeaways

  • Cultivate a daily routine that prioritizes creativity
  • Embrace self-discipline and overcome the fear of failure
  • Find inspiration from diverse sources and challenge yourself constantly

What readers say

“There might be something in you you need to follow and nourish. Twyla calls it Creative DNA and I wonder if everyone has it in any way. It means that your thinking is hardwired to one or the other kind of art. If you see a picture and start to make up stories in your mind, you might be a writer. If the picture makes you hear music in your thoughts, you are a musician. Interesting concept.

This book also gives hints about how to handle the bigger and smaller problems of an artist, like a creative block or what to do when the body doesn’t allow everything anymore.”

6. Dollars And Sense by Dan Ariely & Jeff Kreisler

Dollars And Sense by Dan Ariely & Jeff Kreisler
via Amazon
  • Authors: Dan Ariely & Jeff Kreisler
  • No. of pages: 288
  • Year published: 2017
  • Estimated reading time:  5 hours and 15 minutes
  • Ratings:
    • 4.4/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.7/5 (Goodreads)

This book delves into the psychology of money, revealing how our biases and emotions influence financial decisions. It reveals our common mistakes with money, such as overspending, under-saving, and falling for discounts. 

It also provides practical advice on how to make better financial decisions and develop healthier financial habits. Whether you want to save more, spend less, or invest wisely, this book will help you understand your money mind and improve your money life.

Quote from the book

Which would you buy? A dress shirt priced at $60 or the very same dress shirt, priced at $100, but “On Sale! 40% off! Only $60!”?

Dan Ariely

Dollars And Sense key takeaways

  • Tame the ‘discount dragon.’  Ask yourself if you would buy the discounted item at full price and if you really need it. Think of what else you could do with that money
  • Future-proof your finances. Tell friends or family about your financial goals for accountability
  • Simplify your budget. Track spending in areas like housing, food, and transportation. Allocate 50% to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings/debt

What readers say

“Dollars and Sense is an excellent book that helps readers explore their relationship with money and why they have the spending habits they have. A good 2/3rds of the book is dedicated to uncovering the behaviors behind our spending habits and showing people how to recognize those behaviors. The last 1/3rd of the book is focused on possible solutions and changes we can make to be better spenders of our own money. I recommend this book if you want to understand your very own habits and spending patterns.”

7. You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Control Method for Rewiring Your Brain to Break Bad Habits and Reprogram Your Life by Jeffrey M. Schwartz

You Are Not Your Brain
via Amazon
  • Author: Jeffrey M. Schwartz
  • No. of pages: 384
  • Year published: 2011
  • Estimated reading time: 6 hours and 41 minutes
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.9/5 (Goodreads)

Do you ever feel like your brain is working against you? Do you struggle with bad habits, negative thoughts, or unhealthy behaviors that you can’t seem to change? These are some of the problems that this book will help you solve. 

You Are Not Your Brain reveals how your brain can deceive you and sabotage your well-being. It also shows you how to regain control of your mind and life using a proven four-step method. 

Quote from the book

The experience of learning how to Relabel, Reframe, Refocus, and Revalue was eye-opening for them because it allowed them to see that their time could be better spent on other pursuits and in healthier ways.

Jeffrey M. Schwartz

You Are Not Your Brain key takeaways

  • Recognize the ‘habit mind’ and its triggers. Identify the false messages and impulses that your brain sends you, such as ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I need this now’
  • Learn how to ‘rewire’ your brain through awareness and mindfulness
  • Develop self-compassion and acceptance as part of the change process
  • Create new habits that support your goals and values

What readers say

“The understanding from scientific research in this book has enabled me to rapidly see when my brain is sending messages that simply are not true in terms of my objective reality, and makes it much easier for me to redirect my attention to something that calms me down.”

8. The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal

The Willpower Instinct
via Amazon
  • Author: Kelly McGonigal
  • No. of pages: 290
  • Year published: 2011
  • Estimated reading time: 5 hours and 20 minutes
  • Ratings:
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.3/5 (Goodreads)

Do you want to have more willpower to resist temptations, overcome procrastination, and achieve your goals? If so, this book is for you. The Willpower Instinct is a science-based guide that reveals how willpower works and how to improve it.

You’ll learn how to challenge the myths and misconceptions about willpower, such as the idea that it is a limited resource that runs out. You’ll also discover how to use the power of positive emotions, mindfulness, self-compassion, and motivation to boost your willpower and resilience.

Quote from the book

A short practice that you do every day is better than a long practice you keep putting off to tomorrow.

Kelly McGonigal

The Willpower Instinct’s Key Takeaways

  • Willpower is not a finite resource but a skill that can be developed
  • Stress and negative emotions deplete willpower, while positive emotions boost it
  • Focus on building habits and environments that support healthy choices

What readers say

“The author leaves no stone unturned as she cites study after study to explain why we lack willpower and how we can get more of it. An important theme throughout the book is awareness– once we understand the circumstances under which we fail to exercise willpower, then we can begin [sic] to make changes. 

As the author points out at the close of the book, the mere act of becoming more self-aware is sufficient enough to create change in some people’s everyday lives. However, do not mistake this to mean that this is simply a book full of academic theory about willpower; rather, each chapter is replete with “experiments” that provide clear-cut guidance as to how you can put the theory into practice in your own life”.

9. The 8th Habit by Stephen R. Covey

The 8th Habit by Stephen R. Covey
via Amazon
  • Author: Stephen R. Covey
  • No. of pages: 432
  • Year published: 2004
  • Estimated reading time: 7 hours and 10 minutes
  • Ratings:
    • 4.5/5 (Amazon)
    • 4/5 (Goodreads)

The 8th Habit is a follow-up to the author’s bestselling 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Like its predecessor, this book also explores finding your voice and contributing to a better world.

It will teach you how to shift from a self-centered mindset to a purpose-centered one and cultivate a holistic view of yourself and others. You’ll also discover how to unleash your unique talents and passions and how to help others do the same.

Quote from the book

No matter how long we’ve walked life’s pathway to mediocrity, we can always choose to switch paths. Always. It’s never too late. We can find our voice

Stephen R. Covey

The 8th Habit key takeaways

  • Shift from ‘Effectiveness’ to ‘Greatness’: Don’t settle for being good at what you do; strive to be great at what you love
  • Cultivate a ‘Whole-Person Paradigm’: Recognize that you and others are not just things to be controlled, but human beings with four dimensions: body, mind, heart, and spirit
  • Thrive in a changing world: Adapt to new challenges and embrace innovation

What readers say

“Covey says he worked a year to produce the Best-Selling 7 Habits of Effective People” and 5 years to produce the 8th Habit. I believe him. This book can change your life—it changed mine.”

10. Better than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits by Gretchen Rubin

Better than Before
via Amazon
  • Author: Gretchen Rubin
  • No. of pages: 322
  • Year published: 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 6 hours and 15 minutes
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.4/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.8/5 (Goodreads)

Do you struggle with changing your habits? Do you feel like you’ve tried everything, but nothing sticks? Do you wish there was a way to make change easier and more enjoyable?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to read Better Than Before. This is not your typical self-help book with generic advice and unrealistic expectations. This book helps you understand yourself better and find the best strategies for your personality.

In Better Than Before, you’ll learn about the four ‘habit personalities’: Upholder, Rebel, Questioner, and Obliger. Each one has different strengths and weaknesses when forming and breaking habits.

Filled with relatable stories and science-backed tips, it’s like having a supportive friend by your side, guiding you to ditch unwanted habits and build a life you truly love, one tailored to you and your unique personality. 

Quote from the book

The biggest waste of time is to do well something that we need not do at all

Gretchen Rubin

Better than Before key takeaways

  • Start small and celebrate your progress
  • Use rewards and accountability to stay motivated
  • Create a supportive environment and surround yourself with positive influences

What readers say

“I really loved this book by Gretchen Rubin. It is a very fast-paced, well-written book that gives many practical suggestions on how to leverage habits to serve our long-term well-being and happiness.”

Summarize this article with AI ClickUp Brain not only saves you precious time by instantly summarizing articles, it also leverages AI to connect your tasks, docs, people, and more, streamlining your workflow like never before.
ClickUp Brain
Avatar of person using AI Summarize this article for me please

Build and Maintain Productive Habits with ClickUp

These 10 habit books are a great starting point for еnhancing your habit-building journey. However, learning alone isn’t enough. 

Building lasting habits requires dedication, but the right tools can make the journey smoother and more enjoyable. ClickUp, a powerful task management tool, can be your personalized command center for habit-building success. 

Here are some ways to use ClickUp to develop healthy habits:

1. Organize your habits

Organize your habits by theme, goal, or area of life. Use ClickUp Spaces to create separate workspaces for fitness habits, personal development goals, or creative pursuits.

ClickUp Spaces
Build private and shared spaces (with your accountability buddies, for example) to organize habits with ClickUp Spaces

Break down each habit into smaller, actionable steps using flexible ClickUp Task Checklists. Create daily, weekly, or monthly checklists to track continuous improvement and celebrate milestones.

For example, the checklist for your fitness goal of losing 20 pounds could look something like this:

  • Lift weights 2x a week
  • Run 20 miles every week
  • Give up carbonated drinks
ClickUp Checklists
Create and customize checklists for habit-tracking with ClickUp Checklists

Add specific details to your habits with ClickUp Custom Fields. Track repetitions, time spent, mood, or notes for enhanced productivity and adjustments. This feature helps you focus on what’s important so you don’t break the habit loop.

2. Stay on track with reminders and automation

Through ClickUp’s Task Priorities feature, you can set recurring tasks for your daily habits, ensuring they consistently appear on your to-do list. ClickUp allows you to customize the frequency and even specify reminders to nudge you when it’s time for action.

ClickUp to strengthen your good habits
Set habit reminders, reschedule actions, and assign priorities in ClickUp to strengthen your good habits

Free your mind by automating repetitive tasks. Use ClickUp Automation to automatically mark habits complete when reaching a specific metric or trigger reminders based on location or time of the day.

ClickUp Automation
Save time and focus on what matters with ClickUp Automation

3. Visualize progress and stay motivated

Set clear goals for your habits and track your progress through ClickUp Tasks. This feature lets you quickly navigate between different tasks to track impediments and progress in self-improvement.  

ClickUp Tasks Dashboard Image
Get more done with ClickUp Tasks

Customizable ClickUp Dashboards also help you track progress across habit categories. Use charts and graphs to see your streaks, identify areas for improvement, and celebrate achievements.

ClickUp Dashboards
Track real-time progress on habit formation with ClickUp Dashboards

Use ClickUp’s Dependencies feature to link completed habits to rewards. Treat yourself to a movie night after a week of healthy eating, or enjoy a relaxing bath after finishing your meditation practice. Use add-ons like ‘blocking’ or ‘waiting on’ dependencies between tasks to set a clear order of tasks so you know which one to get to first.

ClickUp Dependencies
Use Dependencies in ClickUp to connect any number of tasks to access related work items quickly 

ClickUp’s Personal Habit Tracker Template helps you keep track of your personal goals and ensure you’re managing multiple tasks efficiently and responsibly throughout the day.

Hold yourself accountable with ClickUp’s Personal Habit Tracker Template

This habit tracker template allows you to set goals, break bad habits, track progress toward mastering a new habit, track workloads against daily targets, and get a quick overview of your success and failure in real-time.

Summarize this article with AI ClickUp Brain not only saves you precious time by instantly summarizing articles, it also leverages AI to connect your tasks, docs, people, and more, streamlining your workflow like never before.
ClickUp Brain
Avatar of person using AI Summarize this article for me please

Creating Healthy Habits One Step at a Time

Creating healthy habits is not a matter of willpower or luck but a process of learning and practicing. 

By following the principles and strategies from these habit-forming books, you can discover how to make small, consistent, enjoyable changes that lead to big results over time. 

If you want to improve your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual well-being, you can achieve your goals and live a happier and healthier life by creating healthier habits.

ClickUp is a versatile tool to ensure you stay on top of your goals. Remember to explore and personalize it to match your unique needs and preferences. It has a free plan so that you can get started today. 

Sign up to ClickUp to start working on your healthy habits, one step at a time.

Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.

Sign up for FREE and start using ClickUp in seconds!
Please enter valid email address