Every January offers the chance for new beginnings, but this year we seem to crave that change more than ever. Most of us are anticipating a bright 2021, filled with the hope that the normal rhythms of our lives are on the near horizon. It does indeed appear that we’re just months away from returning to our offices and visiting, face to face, with our friends and family.
Still, the flip side of that reality is one more push to stay at home and stay safe and healthy. January 2021 is the perfect time to reinvigorate, learn new skills, revamp our home office, or plan for the future. As you might guess, listening to an audiobook is a great way to help us reach those goals and ease our minds over the next few months.
The following audiobooks focus on different aspects of our lives, from boosting our creativity to securing our retirement. Whichever title calls to you, it’s sure to help you have the best year ever. So let’s get listening!
Are your days starting to run together, each one looking like the last? If so, you might want to queue up AWESTRUCK. In this audiobook, clinical psychologist Jonah Paquette teaches us how to recognize and appreciate the small moments of wonder and awe in our daily lives. Starting with the science, Paquette explains how taking time to find awesomeness elevates our mood, lowers our stress, and even makes us more productive. He then provides 60 guided “practices,” or ways to connect with wonder, most of which require minimal resources (such as journaling and listening to music). Paquette’s techniques are made all the more accessible by narrator Nan McNamara’s lively performance.
Even after months of pandemic living, are you still struggling with how to efficiently and comfortably work from home? Time management expert Laura Vanderkam, in THE NEW CORNER OFFICE, provides lots of tips for both temporary and permanent home offices. Vanderkam’s practical advice will help you set up a more comfortable working space, change the way you block out your work time, and maintain connections with colleagues. She even addresses how to leave your office at the end of the day, even when that office is really the dining room table. Vankerkam, though not a professional voice actor, narrates her audiobook with clarity and expression.
Most of us set New Year’s goals and resolutions that focus on health and fitness. If you’re a woman of a certain age, let Paula Mee and Kate O’Brien’s YOUR MIDDLE YEARS be your guide to healthier future. Written by a nutritionist and a lifestyle journalist, this audiobook focuses on how to prepare for and live through menopause, detailing ways to protect our bones, boost our metabolism, keep our muscle strength, and stabilize our moods. Their attitude is that aging should not be feared; with the right tools, women can enter their postmenopausal years strong and fit. Narrator Helen Lloyd takes a conversational approach, which fits the authors’ style.
Before emerging back into society and the workplace later this year, you might want to think about brushing up on your listening skills. THE LISTENING PATH by Julia Cameron, the well-known creativity guru, presents a six-week program for enhancing our ability to be more mindful. Cameron’s down-to-earth techniques, combining daily rituals with seeking new experiences, encourage us to listen not just to others but also to the world around us and to ourselves. The pay-off? Enhanced creativity, new knowledge, and stronger connections. Narrator Eliza Foss’s conversational tone keeps us engaged.
For many of us, one of the tough lessons from last year was need to pay closer attention to financial planning. If you’re closer to the end of your career than you are to its beginning, this is the perfect time to listen to THE ULTIMATE RETIREMENT GUIDE FOR 50+, written and performed by Suze Orman. No matter where you are on the savings spectrum, Orman helps you get on the path to a secure future, with advice on how to save, how to navigate IRAs, what to expect in terms of Medicare and Social Security, and how to help your children and parents without going broke yourself. Last year was financially difficult for many of us, but Orman’s solid, reliable advice will help us manage a reset. Orman, no stranger to the mic, reads her book with passion.