Best Books of 2019 for Mindset and Motivation

I freaking love books and this year I listened to more audio books than ever.

They far outweighed my reading of physical books for one very good reason…

Most of my listening time was out while I was training for triathlons, like on a long run or a long bike ride.

I’ve learned a lot this year from these authors so I thought I’d share my favourites.

My fave mindset and motivation books in 2019 are……

Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

My all time fave book of the year was a surprise to me as it wasn’t one that any one recommended (well Audible did) and my initial reaction to it was that it was not the type of title I’d pick up.

Not only was this an incredible listen, but one of THE most motivating books ever – perfect for the days I didn’t have as much excitement about my training as normal.

It is also the first audiobook ever to have discussions with the author after every chapter, which made it a far more immersive experience.It’s a great read or listen to master your mindset and defy the odds.

He reveals that most of us tap into only 40% of our capabilities and then shows you how to reach your full potential.

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

This book was a complete eye opener and made me appreciate that a good quality sleep is really the answer to all our problems!

Plus Matthew has this brilliant British accent that I could listen to for hours, and did actually put me to sleep one eve – which he encourages!

He covers off on not only the different types of sleep cycles we go through, but every area of our life that sleep can affect and more importantly what happens when we don’t get enough of it.

Matthew then goes beyond this to talk about systemic problems in areas like driving, hospitals and children’s health that are affected when sleep isn’t given a priority.

This book probably will change your life and definitely your sleep!

How to Be F*cking Awesome by Dan Meredith

This is a short, sharp, funny as listen about sticking a finger up to the law of attraction and a thumb up to action.If you need a good kick in the arse, with a lot of laughs, this book is for you.

Dan again has a great British accent and a tell it how it is nature to him that’s likeable yet powerful. You’re welcome!

The Alter Ego Effect by Todd Herman

This book came out at just the right time for me to tap into my super human athlete ego for my triathlons.

You can use Todd’s method to step into who you want to be for anything – just like Beyonce did when she used Sasha Fierce to become the powerhouse she is today.

He takes you through how to develop your alter ego when you need it most, and then how to go on and embody and eventually become the person you really want to be.

Exactly What to Say by Phil Jones

This is another short, powerful book on how to use the magic of words for influence and impact.

A must listen for anyone who wants to get more of what they want in life.

It’s particularly great for entrepreneurs who want to understand how to use the power of language and behavioural psychology to sell to more customers, by knowing their triggers, doubts and fears.

At the end of the day it’s a lesson in having empathy and insight and using this to your advantage – in a good way of course!


Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

An oldie but a goodie, I’ve read this classic book written in 1937, twice before, and each time I do, more sinks in.

But there was something about listening to the audio version was a great refresher in the steps you need to totally commit to and go after a life you dream of with absolute certainty backed up by deliberate action.

Definitely one to keep on your book shelf and refer to regularly. There are many newer versions out that aren’t so blatantly sexist and male dominated too!

Finish What You Start by Peter Hollins

This is a brilliant, short book about the art of following through, taking action, execution and self discipline.

It was a refreshing reminder for me, who loves all these things, on how I could do them even better, and is essentially the best hacks and tips you’ve probably heard before, pulled together with great examples for you to apply to your life.

It’s hugely motivating and a great read to head into the New Year.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

This is a bloody brilliant book to listen to as it’s narrated by Michelle herself and I could listen to her for hours. And did, almost 19 hours in fact!

It’s a fascinating insight into her life, from childhood through to her teenage years, to meeting Obama and life in the Whitehouse.

More importantly it shows that her character, strength, charm, warmth and determination existed in her from the get go, and it will inspire you!

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollins

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t love this book initially – although I did appreciate it and had a few good laughs, but I’ve since fallen in love with Rachel Hollis.


While many parts of this book didn’t resonate with me or apply to my life or attitude, I know they would if you have kids, have had a boyfriend cheat on you, been through a divorce, had money problems, gone through dieting or weight gain and have a myriad of insecurities.

I can see how incredibly powerful this book is (and no doubts it’s sold millions) for women who want to live a better life and first need to get out of their own way to do this.

She speaks a bold and powerful truth which is raw and refreshing, but she also does it as if she’s your BFF.

What I do suggest you do is watch her latest pep talk video on how to have a great 2020 (you have this 3.5 minutes to spare – trust me).

Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson

I do love my friend Mark and his first book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck was brilliant. In fact most things he writes and says are.

This book was a great follow up, not brilliant, but funny and poignant and enlightening.

Again it’s a short read and is the perfect option when you need a good kick up the ass about your own situation, how to handle it, and how to live your best life rather than moan and crap on about what you don’t have.

How to Fight a Hydra by Josh Kaufman

I’m a big fan of heroic and ancient stories like Odysseus and so when Josh Kaufman, author of the Personal MBA, put out this short book, with the mythical Hydra, to prove a point, I wanted to read it.

In short it’s all about getting out of your own way and fighting back against your own inner demons, fears and naysaying to be the hero of your own story.

So tell me in the comments, what has been your fave book of 2019?

Book Review: Finish What You Start by Peter Hollins

Are you the type of person who has a ton of ideas and rarely follows through on them?

Do you have a whole heap of unfinished projects lying around – in your house and garage that you simply never get to?

Are you the type of person who has a dozen half finished manuscripts on your laptop and even more online courses you bought but have never finished, or worse, even started?

Following through and finishing what you start are some of the most valuable skills you can have. They are a combination of traits that enable you to create the life you want – without having to compromise or wait.

Well it’s time for that to stop and for you to …

Finish What You Start: The Art of Following Through, Taking Action, Executing, & Self-Discipline.

In his excellent, practical and easily digestible book, Finish What You Start, Peter Hollins take us on a unique deep dive into the psychology and science of accomplishment, productivity, and getting things done.

In an amusing and glaringly obvious set of scenarios and examples, he takes a thorough look at why we are sometimes stuck, and gives detailed, step by step solutions you can start using today.

Every phase of finishing and following through is covered, and even productivity pros will be able to learn something new. I listened to the entire thing, while out for one long run. The only bummer was I couldn’t take notes as I went!

In my book review I focus in on:

  • Four surprising motivations that push us past obstacles.
  • How daily rules and a manifesto can help you achieve more.
  • Tactics to beating procrastination easily
  • How to dial up your internal motivation
  • How to beat distraction and stay focused on the task at hand!

Watch my full review here.

Book Review: “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport

If your mind bounces around all day like an energizer bunny, and you rarely feel you’re accomplishing anything on your to-do list, let alone moving forward on a significant piece of work, it’s time you learned how to go deep.

So what is deep work? Deep work is the ability to focus without distractions on a cognitively demanding task.

In other words, it’s the lost art of losing yourself in work that matters, and not getting distracted by your phone notifications, social media or multiple browser tabs. It’s about training the brain to embrace ONE thing at a time.

It’s brilliantly laid out in Cal Newport’s excellent book: Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World a book about the science of productivity.

The book is split into two parts. The first explains what deep work is and different ways to do it. The second part shows us how to actually do it and make deep work a regular practice in our lives, so you can put it right into action.

Cal Newport is a computer science professor at Georgetown University who studies the theory of distributed systems, the author of six books, including, most recently, the New York Times bestseller, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, and owner of his well-known Study Hacks blog.

This is definitely one of my favorite books this year and I’d recommend it for anyone who wants to work smarter and avoid distractions.

In his book he shares four ways to help us maximize productivity and rules to deploy more deep work in our lives. Watch my video for my full review and to learn these four methods.