As we step into a new year most of us want to make at least one change to our lives in an effort to be a better person or live a better life. Yet very few of us even know where to begin. Although having an idea that you need to make a change is the first step, it takes more direction and guidance to actually jump start real change. With that in mind I have found some books that give some guidance on changing everything from your appearance to how your boyfriend dresses.

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual for Everyone from Beginner to Pro ($32, bobbibrown.com) If you have been stuck in a makeup rut and need some serious changes in your makeup routine then this book is for you; a complete reference guide for all things makeup. It’s overflowing with helpful information on picking colors, tools and application. There are over 200 full-color photos and step-by-step instructions including a “Ten Step guide to Perfect Makeup” that teach how to apply your makeup in ten minutes or less. This book shows you how to put on makeup like a pro. After reading this book you will have no excuse not to make your makeup look perfect every time.

The Complete Beck Diet for Life ($24.95, amazon.com) Bestselling author and weight-loss expert Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., has inspired thousands of dieters to lose weight and keep it off using the power of Cognitive Therapy. Her techniques emphasize preparing the mind and changing eating habits before making changes to the food you eat. Now, for the first time, Dr. Beck outlines the next step on the road to success: a specific, balanced diet plan that teaches how to eat thin to ensure that weight loss lasts a lifetime.

Based on the eating choices of her most successful dieters and maintainers, The Complete Beck Diet for Life provides a step-by-step approach to weight loss by helping readers successfully navigate the five stages of learning to eat thin. Each stage teaches a different skill necessary for losing weight and keeping it off. It starts by first helping dieters change their thinking so they can make permanent changes in their eating. When dieters are ready to change what they eat, they determine the right food plan, including comprehensive suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and bonus foods, as well as a Think Thin menu formula with 37 recipes for Phase 2 of the plan and 15 bonus recipes for Phase 4. In addition, a sample strength-training plan is provided to help shape up while slimming down; interactive elements include filling out Response Cards, completing daily eating logs, and charting progress on weight-loss graphs. This book is really easy to read and follow. A must have for those who are trying to change not only the way they eat but the way they look at food.

Dumped! Fun and Games Activity Book ($12.95, barnesandnoble.com) Who hasn’t been on the receiving end of one of these gems: “I think maybe we should see other people.” Or, “It’s not you; it’s me.” What about the mother of all breakup lines, “I think we should just be friends”? Finally, the recently dumped have somewhere to turn thanks to the offbeat, write-in therapy of this book. Dynamic – and satiric – author, actor, and director Josh Lewis introduces Sam and Samantha, two desperate dumpees looking to find their way away from their exes – and back into the land of the living and dating! Then, it’s up to you to help the two scorned lovers weed through a jungle of post-breakup mazes, word searches, crosswords, and more. Featuring a stiff dose of sarcasm and humor, chased by a shot of bitterness, this book promises to get any sorry Sam or sad-faced Samantha out of the dumps and back into the game (. . . so they can do it all over again.)

So if a goal for you in 2009 is to heal a broken heart then you should pick this book up. Now it doesn’t have any easy answers hidden in the crosswords and word searches it does have plenty of humor. And what’s better then laughter for a broken heart.

Stop Self-Sabotage! Get Out of Your Own Way To Earn More Money, Improve Your Relationships and Find the Success You Deserve ($16.95,powells.com) For those of us who continue to run in place every day instead of moving forward this is the book for you to make changes in 2009. The book contains five pr oven strategies for getting “unstuck” at work, in relationships, and in life. Something a lot of us need help with.

A self-published success, with more than 55,000 copies sold, this practical guide from a licensed psychotherapist shows you how to conquer any negative beliefs that might be sabotaging your life. Whether you’re feeling stuck in your jobs, dating the wrong person, or unable to lose weight, this simple five-step plan can help transform self-defeating thinking into a higher “Deserve Level,” giving you the tools to stop self-sabotage and embrace the happiness and success you deserve. This is a must read. Most of us who feel held back are being held back ourselves. Time to learn how to conquer that so you can move towards a life you want.

Your Other Half:
The Handbook of Style: A Man’s Guide to Looking Good ($14.95, amazon.com) It can’t be all about you changing. After all if you are making all these changes in 2009 then you are going to need a new and improved version of your other half. So while you working on your self-sabotage, your weight and finding the right shade of blush let your guy work on his style with help from Esquire magazines editors.

Each year, the editors of Esquire produce a special issue of the magazine devoted to men’s style called The Big Black Book, which has been wildly successful. Using the same pragmatic, highly illustrated approach, and laced with Esquire’s trademark humor, Esquire The Handbook of Style brings readers vital information on every aspect of a man’s wardrobe, from suits and shirts, to shoes and neckties, to watches and other accessories. The style-minded reader will find useful advice on suit fabrics and cuts, the right kind of trousers for his build, the essential outerwear to own, how to dress properly for an occasion, how to tie a tie, how to pack for a trip, grooming strategies, and much, much more. A compact and sophisticated accessory in its own right, Esquire The Handbook of Style will be the style bible for the well-dressed man for years to come.

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