Let me remind you that goal setting isn’t just for New Year’s resolutions. There’s no reason you can’t start bettering yourself this very minute. Sometimes the best way to start achieving your goals is by taking advice from someone who has already done exactly that.
As someone who’s going through big life changes like moving across the country and working on switching career paths, I can confidently say that there is something very powerful about reading inspiring stories and words of encouragement at a time when it’s so easy to feel discouraged. Maybe you’re not going through a transitional period in life; maybe you’re just looking to transform yourself into the best person you can be. Either way, it’s the perfect time to pick up a life-changing self-development book.
Whether you have big dreams or are taking the first step toward bettering your future, you’re in the right place. See what personal development books you should pick up based on your current goals.
If you’re changing career paths
Bachelor alum, investment banker, and motivational speaker Jason Tartick published his debut book, The Restart Roadmap: Rewire and Reset Your Career, in 2022 as a guide for anyone looking to change their career and life. The goal is to prove to readers that it’s never too late to redefine your beliefs of success. After listening to other people’s advice our entire lives and often finding ourselves feeling unfulfilled, Tartick helps us change our mindsets, careers, and life paths with this step-by-step guide.
If you want to add more organization to your life
We’ve all heard Marie Kondo's iconic cleaning advice: get rid of it if it doesn’t spark joy. That’s just a small portion of the advice Kondo gives in her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Find why it’s so important to have a space that is comfortable, clean, and organized. Her detailed guide explains the best ways for organizing your spaces once and for all—literally, find out how to organize once and keep it that. See for yourself how having an organized living space can improve other parts of your life.
If you want to create a life you love
Have you ever wondered what’s holding you back from creating the life you want for yourself? Perhaps it’s fear of taking risks, self-sabotaging behaviors, or simply not believing you deserve what you want. Enter: best selling author, Jen Sincero. In You Are a Badass, Sincero offers stories, advice, and applicable tips to creating a fulfilling life. She will inspire you and show you how to chase your goals despite your fears, explain how to show yourself and others real love, and teach you how to make money from doing what you love. If you’re ready to take control of your life, you’re ready to become a badass.
If you want to enhance your romantic relationship
Perhaps one of the most prominent and sometimes hardest goals in life is cultivating an intimate, deep, and lasting love with a partner. This is where The 5 Love Languages comes in. Author Gary Chapman believes there are five tier ways of showing and feeling love in relationships, and each individual gives and receives love in different ways. If you and your partner can commit to understanding and utilizing each other’s love languages, you will set your relationship up for success. If you want a practical way to understand your partner (or yourself!) better and create a love that lasts, grab a copy of this book ASAP.
If you struggle to deal with change and want to change that
Maybe one of the most used metaphors for daily life is a mouse in a maze. Author Spencer Johnson uses this metaphor and takes it to the next level in Who Moved My Cheese? Essentially, the four mice in the maze are looking for their most coveted desire: cheese. As humans, our “cheese” can be anything from a great job to finding our soulmate. As we know, achieving our greatest desires is often much more challenging than we initially thought; things change, and we must alter our paths toward achieving our goals. Johnson shows us how to conquer change and not let it make us give up on what we are trying to achieve.
If you need to stop holding yourself back from success
When was the last time a bad habit held you back from the life you want? Probably more recently than you realize. In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear provides practical tools for recognizing and swapping bad habits for good ones that will elevate your success and help you achieve your goals, big and small. Clear explains how to motivate yourself for change, how to make the time to create better habits, and how to alter your environment to make success achievable. He aims to show you that you can alter yourself to automatically incorporate good habits into your life and let go of the bad ones on a cellular level (but trust us, it’s not as complicated as it sounds).
If you need to feel a greater sense of happiness
There’s nothing humans want more than a sense of happiness in their lives. It’s what every romcom, sitcom, any other “com,” and all good self-development books aim to help people achieve. This is what Gretchen Rubin brings us in The Happiness Project after spending a year seeking the feeling herself. After realizing life is too short to watch the days pass by and not truly enjoy them, Rubin devotes a year of her life to testing all the sage advice and research out there on how to achieve happiness (so you don't have to) and shares what she learns along the way in this book.
If you’re prone to self-sabotage and want to change that
The "mountain” has often been used as a metaphor for an obstacle we must overcome in order to achieve our goals. Miley didn’t call it The Climb for nothing! Brianna Weist takes this idea a step further by telling us that we are our own mountains that we need to overcome. All the baggage that weighs us down, such as past trauma, bad habits, and so on, are the things that hold us back. Weist believes that we are able to end self-sabotaging behaviors, release our traumas, and enhance our resilience to tackle our obstacles. When you realize that you are your own mountain and take the time to conquer your own self, you will open up a world of potential.
If you need to feel more empowered
You may be familiar with Cara Alwill Leyba’s previous work, Girl Code. As a followup to its predecessor, Girl on Fire is your wake up call to stop waiting for the world to take care of you. Leyba explains that if no one’s going to do the work for you (which they won’t), you need to do it yourself. As a self-published author herself, she proclaims, “Gone are the days of waiting to be chosen by an agent, a record label, a company, or a publisher.” Instead, as women, we must choose ourselves. She believes that we can build the careers we want without permission from anyone, and after reading Girl on Fire, you may just believe it too.
If you want to increase productivity & more
It’s no secret that your productivity can increase if you wake up earlier in the morning—you quite literally will have more hours in the day. Beyond productivity, Robin Sharma’s book, The 5 AM Club, explains how you can also increase your happiness and elevate your health by waking a few hours earlier each day. Learn how some of the world’s most successful people begin their days, exactly how to use your extra hours for exercise, growth, and reflection, and learn how to wake up feeling inspired and ready for your day (yes, please!). Once you join the club, there will be no turning back.
If you feel stuck and want to figure out what to do with your life
I can’t be the only one who hit 25, realized I wasn’t living the life I wanted, and started to wonder if there was something different I should do for my career. That’s why the The Quarter-Life Breakthrough spoke to me. Adam Smiley Poswolsky gives practical advice and exercises to help 20- and 30-somethings find a career that is both fulfilling emotionally and financially.
If you want to become the best version of yourself
Author Vex King believes that by changing oneself, we can quite literally change the world. As a lifestyle guru, he has made it his mission to share the powers of manifestation, positivity, and mindfulness with the world. Fully believing that accessing the highest versions of ourselves will alter not only ourselves but the world around us, Good Vibes, Good Life offers tips for overcoming toxicity in the world, practicing self-care, openly inviting opportunities into our lives, and beginning a manifestation journey.
If you want to set yourself up for financial success
Long gone are the days when women needed to rely on husbands, fathers, or male second-cousins twice-removed for financial security. That’s why I’m thrilled about David Bach’s nine step program to securing your future financially, whether you’re beginning with $10 or thousands. Learn the basics of smart spending habits and how to build security for your future, as well as practical advice on topics such as investing, passing your knowledge of money onto your children, and more.