10 Best Books on Habit-Breaking and Building

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Do you have any bad habits you want to break? What are the best books on habit? 

Whether you’re looking to break bad habits or form good ones, reading self-improvement books is a good place to start. In these books, you’ll learn how powerful habits really are, and the steps you can take to benefit from them.

Below are ten books on habits that you should read to instill healthy behaviors.

Best Books to Change Your Habits

Self-help books on habit cover a wide range of topics. You can learn how to maximize your time, kick bad habits, and form good routines. 

Let’s dive into a collection of books that will help you succeed personally and professionally by creating new and improved habits.

Atomic Habits

Do you struggle with bad habits? Do you try to create good habits that will bring positive changes to your life, but have trouble making them stick? In Atomic Habits, James Clear argues that adopting the right habits will drastically improve your life—but to do so, you must understand how habits work and how you can change yours.

In this book, you’ll discover why habits matter and the three mindsets you can use to create them. You’ll then learn how habits form and the four keys to changing yours. Finally, you’ll learn how to continue improving the habits you’ve implemented.

The Power of Habit

In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charles Duhigg draws on extensive research to explore how habits develop into automatic behaviors that influence personal lives, businesses, and communities. He explains why unhealthy habits are notoriously difficult to break and provides a practical framework to help you understand and change any habit.

In this book, Duhigg gives his key ideas to focus on how your habits form and what you can do to change them. 

The Coaching Habit

Coaching in the workplace can bring out the best in your team members and increase productivity, while also lightening your workload. But many managers and leaders avoid coaching, thinking that it’s just another task to add to a burgeoning to-do list or that it’s too complicated or awkward to put into practice. Others mistakenly believe that they’re already coaching, when all they’re doing is giving advice.

In this book, you’ll learn how to turn coaching into an informal, effective daily habit by asking team members seven essential questions. Find out how listening instead of speaking for just 10 minutes a day can refresh and revamp your interactions with your team members and ultimately transform the way you and your teamwork.

Tiny Habits

Have you ever tried to introduce a new habit (or kick an old one) and flopped? In Tiny Habits, Stanford behavioral scientist BJ Fogg diagnoses why you failed and shows you how to succeed next time. The Tiny Habits method is judgment-free and science-based, and it has resulted in success for thousands of people around the world.

Find out why relying on motivation will get you nowhere, what you should do instead, and why you should celebrate in style after each tiny win. Tiny Habits will show you how flossing one tooth can lead to something great, one tiny step at a time.

High Performance Habits

High performers are people who maintain their success and well-being over a long period of time. Many people believe that if they work hard, practice consistently, and focus on the things they’re good at, they’ll become one of these high performers. However, while these are wonderful practices, they don’t lead to high performance. 

High performance is consistent and continued success and growth at a high level. It requires that you build effective habits, adapt to your environment, and align your priorities. There are six high-performance habits (the HP6) that will help achieve your goals in a healthy and sustainable way. 

They’re deliberate habits, or habits that you actively choose to do and constantly revisit to improve your performance. They’re often challenging and require your full attention. This book explains why each of these habits is important, the dangers of not developing them, and ways to implement them in your daily life. The six high-performance habits are:

  • Search for Clarity
  • Improve Your Health
  • Find Your Drive
  • Increase Your Efficiency
  • Generate Influence
  • Be Courageous

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People reveals seven lifelong practices for being more principled, collaborative, and focused on building the life you want. Encouraging readers to take initiative, collaborate, and practice self-care, this self-help classic has become a staple on the bookshelves of executives, presidents, and everyday people because of its potential to accelerate both personal and professional growth.

In this book, Covey explains each of his seven habits, his methodology and rationale in developing them, and why they’re more applicable today than ever. 

The 8th Habit 

Stephen R. Covey was a business and leadership consultant and the internationally bestselling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, Covey adds a habit to the original seven: finding your voice and helping others do the same. This is the habit of leadership.

The 8th Habit examines the uniqueness of the contributions we all make as human beings, arguing that the most important job of leaders is to nurture this individuality. Covey explains that most leaders fail to lead well because they’re trapped inside outdated paradigms, and he offers advice on how to escape. 

The Now Habit

Why do we put off the things that matter most to us, even when we know that doing so makes us unhappy in the long run? According to psychologist and productivity coach Neil Fiore, the problem isn’t that we’re lazy—it’s that procrastination is a symptom of the fear and anxiety we sometimes feel about our work. In his 1988 book The Now Habit, Fiore explains what procrastination is, why we do it, and most importantly, how to avoid it. 

The Now Habit combines psychological insights and time management tips designed to eliminate procrastination by lowering our resistance to work. Fiore promises that if you follow his system, you’ll get more done while enjoying a more relaxed and balanced life.

The One Thing

In The One Thing, real estate entrepreneur Gary Keller argues that the key to extraordinary success is focusing daily on the “One Thing” that will make the biggest difference in achieving your goal. 

Keller, the founder of the world’s largest real estate company Keller Williams, says that success comes from choosing and doing the right things sequentially, each connected to and building on the previous one, rather than doing a lot of disparate things, regardless of value, simultaneously. Extraordinary focus on One Thing each day is what leads to extraordinary success.

You start by thinking big—imagining extraordinary results—then narrowing your focus until you’re thinking small—that is, focusing on the most important thing you can do at the moment to help get you where you ultimately want to go. Focus on it exclusively, and when you complete it, move on to the next One Thing on your way to your goal.


Modern technology has us addicted to its use. While you might be aware that you’re addicted to your phone or favorite apps, you might not know exactly how you got addicted. It just happened without you noticing it. 

Hooked provides a useful framework for how tech products build lasting habits in their users. Understanding this is useful for product designers and users alike. The core of the Hooked model is the 4-step feedback loop: Trigger, Action, Reward, and Investment.

Wrapping Up

Now that you have a list of the best books on habits, where do you start? Any of these books is a good place to start, and you’ll quickly see an improvement in the way you live your life. So squash your bad habits with these books and enhance your routine, one habit at a time.

Did we miss any of the best books on habit? If so, leave your suggestions in the comments below!

10 Best Books on Habit-Breaking and Building

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Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

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