10 books about building habits

At Ailuna, we love helping people build better habits. Habits that are good for you and for the planet. Habits that actually stick! We call them habits with impact. On our journey to creating the Ailuna app (which you can download free on the Apple App Store and Google Play now), we’ve discovered a lot of good books about building habits. So we’ve rounded them up for you to discover too.

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Why is it useful to read books about building better habits?

There are many benefits to reading these books about building habits, and applying what you’ve learnt to help those habits to stick, long term.

Building good habits can help build consistent, healthier or more productive routines, help you stick to goals, maintain boundaries and increase motivation. And in the case of Ailuna, building better habits can even help change the world!

Our top 10 books about building habits

Without further ado, here are our top 10 books about building habits, in reverse order:

Habit building book #10: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

This habit-building book is 30 years old and still going strong. It’s got to be a classic for a reason. 

These 7 habits have become famous and adopted by millions around the world. 

Follow step-by-step pathways provided by Stephen Covey and (if you’ve got the 30th-anniversary edition) review updates provided by Stephen’s son, Sean Covey, on how these habits can be used in our modern age. 


Habit-building book #9: The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp 

Wanting to add some creativity into your life? All it takes is the willingness to make it a habit. 

This book will provide you with 32 practical exercises to help you put your creativity to use. 

Learn to observe the world in ‘Where’s Your Pencil?’, restore order and peace in ‘Coins and Chaos’, or clean the clutter from your mind with ‘Do a Verb’. 

Get yourself out of ruts and into productive grooves while being guided by the author through the first difficult steps. 


Habit-building book #8: Habit Stacking by S Scott 

Habit stacking is taking a series of small changes and building a ritual that you follow on a daily basis. The small changes element really appeals to us, because we know that starting small and building up is the way to make sure your new habits are here to stay.

Eliminate the stress of trying to change too much at once and focus on a single routine that takes 15-30 minutes to complete. 

Your routine will contain a series of small changes or actions and all you have to do is follow it every day. 


Habit-building book #7: Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza


Once you break the habit of being yourself and truly change your mind, your life will never be the same.  You create the reality you choose. 

This book will give you the knowledge you need to change any aspect of yourself and will take you through the tools to apply what you learn in order to make measurable changes in any area of your life. 


Habit-building book #6: Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Yes, that’s the Shonda Rhimes responsible for the viral TV show, Bridgerton! Not strictly a book about habit-building but we do think that the habit of saying yes is a pretty powerful one, so that’s why this book is included.

Shonda’s sister challenges her to saying yes, for one year. Yes to the unexpected invitations that come her way, yes to opportunity, yes to things she’d usually say no to!

This is Shonda’s chronicle of the impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life and may well give you the encouragement you need to use that one little word and see where it takes you. 


Habit-building book #5: High-Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard 

The focus of this research is that, when adopted, just 6 habits will change your life. 

Seek clarity, generate energy, raise necessity, increase productivity, develop influence and demonstrate courage. 

This book is about the art and science of how to practice these proven habits. 

Each habit is illustrated through science, exercises, and real-world practices that you can adopt daily and implement right now. 


Habit-building book #4: Good Habits, Bad Habits by Wendy Wood

Recommended by Ailuna’s behavioural science advisor, Dr Emmie FultonGood Habits, Bad Habits delves into the scientific reasons we all develop habits, and how we can use that knowledge to build positive habits that stick.

We spend over 40% of every day carrying out tasks and repeating actions we’ve done before, without even thinking. This book will help you identify, break and make habits, and understand the science behind habits in the process,


Habit-building book #3: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Deep in the human brain, there are secret pressure points that can change a life.  

From exercise to weight loss, business or social success, having the right habits can change everything. By harnessing the power of habit, you can make a difference in your life. 

Charles Duhigg describes why we do what we do, and how we can change our habits, even the most ingrained! This book covers habits on an individual, organisational and societal level, so gives great insight into human behaviours.


Habit-building book #2: Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg 

When setting any goal, the saying goes to start small. 

Use this science-based approach to changes that are simple to achieve but sticky enough to last. 

It’s time to focus on quick wins and embed tiny habits so that you can focus on what you want to do, not what you should do; what is easy, not what is hard.


Habit-building book #1: Atomic Habits by James Clear 

This had to take the top spot. A lot of James Clear’s advice and methodology has helped us to build the Ailuna app, so this couldn’t be in any other position!

World-renowned habits expert James Clear knows that real change comes from the compound effect of making hundreds of small decisions. Also known as atomic habits. 

In this book, learn how these minuscule changes can grow into life-altering outcomes. Learn a handful of simple life hacks such as Habit Stacking and the Two Minute Rule and delve into cutting-edge psychology to understand why they matter.

Where to buy books about habit building

When it comes to buying these books, the most environmentally responsible way to purchase them is on an e-reader or from a second-hand bookstore (local if possible, to avoid long distance shipping).

If you can’t find these books second-hand or digitally, Ethical Consumer shows that World of Books takes the top spot when their environmental, sustainability, people, and company ethos were all taken into account. At the time of writing, all ten of the books listed above were available on the World of Books website. 


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