You’re all about self-improvement and the pursuit of happiness. But who has time to really study up on all that stuff? We’ve cut to the chase, reading six new titles and distilling them down to an actionable tip so you can get to it right away. (Reading the books is optional.)

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OperationHappiness

Feeling Blah?

Read: Operation Happiness by Kristi Ling

Life Hack: “Make Over Your Mornings” to be less rushed, more productive and the jumping-off point for a happier day. Do this by creating a morning schedule of tasks to be completed in ten-minute chunks (coffee while reading PureWow, 10 minutes; makeup, 10 minutes; etc.)

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SmarterDuhigg

Frustrated by Being Non-Productive?

Read: Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Life Hack: Let’s say you want to get a new job. Try using the SMART system: Set a Specific plan (network with current professional contacts). Make it Measurable (call one person a day), Achievable (block off 30 minutes at 10:30 a.m. to make/return calls) and Realistic. Finally, give yourself a hard Timeline.

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JoyBook

Are You Moody?

Read: Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within by Chade-Meng Tan

Life Hack: Each day, think of three people and, one at a time, and wish them happiness. Your focus on others helps relieve self-obsession, which in turn dissipates worry.

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4Questions

Hooked on Negative Thoughts?

Read: The Four Questions: For Henny Penny and Anybody with Stressful Thoughts by Byron Katie

Life Hack: When you’re upset, ask yourself the following questions: Is it true? Can you be absolutely sure it’s true? How do you react when you believe that thought? Who would you be without the thought? Training yourself--and your kids, since this is an all-ages book--to really question negative beliefs allows you to distinguish fearful delusions from actual reality.

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21Days

Getting Discouraged with Rejection?

Read: 21 Days to Resilience: How to Transcend the Daily Grind, Deal with the Tough Stuff, and Discover Your Strongest Self by Dr. Zelana Montminy

Life Hack: Set a timer for three minutes. Stare into a mirror at your eyes and think of things you like about yourself. When the timer elapses, set it for another three minutes, squeeze your shoulders together, then relax into good posture. You’ll find you can name more traits you like--since good posture decreases stress hormones and increases testosterone.

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UrbanMonk

Always Overwhelmed?

Read: The Urban Monk: Eastern Wisdom and Modern Hacks to Stop Time and Find Success, Happiness, and Peace by Pedram Shojai, OMD

Life Hack: One day a month, take a vow of silence. Alert your friends ahead of time. You’ll find it gives you a greater sense of peace and control.

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