A Beginners Guide to Personal Development Books

Brandi Adair


Photo by Samson Katt via Pexels

We are bombarded every day with fictional storylines on streaming platforms. There is always another new movie or series to watch between the network competitors. It’s a lot easier to binge a series than it is to sit down and read novels, at least for me. I found I stopped reading fictional books because it was easier to sit down and watch Netflix and engage in the pop culture conversations of the latest binge-worthy production. I always loved reading as a child, and I knew how good it was for your brain, speech, writing, reading speed, and comprehension. I stumbled upon some motivational, self-help books and found that the lessons really stuck with me, unlike those fictional storylines. I pretty much only buy “self-help” books now. While it can seem a little “woo woo” or out there for some, I’ve included a list of books that ease into the self-transformation book world. These books are a great place to begin if you want to better yourself but don’t know where to start.

1. The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

This book gained extreme popularity with people “Marie-Kondo-ing” their life, which basically means simplifying, getting rid of junk, and organizing - which is easier said than done. Kondo really breaks down what we should keep in our lives, and those are things that “spark joy.” Basically, if it doesn’t bring you extreme happiness by looking at it, you should get rid of it. I am a self-proclaimed packrat because I can find some sentimental value in everything I own. But not all of those things I owned, no matter how much sentimental value they had, sparked joy anymore. Once I realized that all of this “stuff” was weighing me down mentally and prohibiting me from springing into the next, better version of myself, I was ready to go to work with the trash bags and donation bags. You start by purging easy things, like cords and cables that you don’t even know what they go to, appliance manuals, all the way down to your closet, and sentimental items. While I still have a hard time letting things go, I’ve become much better at it after reading this book. I still, to this day, use her folding and organizing techniques to maximize space.

2. Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

If you’re stuck in the never-ending diet trap, you need to read this. Tribole and Resch, registered dietitians, do a great job explaining why diets don’t work and how people get stuck in the endless restriction and binge cycle. Let’s say you start a Keto diet and restrict carbs. You’re excited at first because of the potential weight loss results. You restrict carbs, which makes you do nothing more but think about and crave carbs. You ultimately cave and end up eating the carbs, making you feel like you failed your diet. You start over the next week and repeat the cycle. They explain how we fail at diets not because we lack self-control but because of the restrictive cycle. Tribole and Resch explain how to let yourself eat what sounds good and feels good, which can be scary at first. We don’t trust ourselves to make healthy choices. When we listen to our bodies and honor our hunger instead of suppressing it, we set up our metabolisms for success.

3. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

This is probably the most quintessential self-help book there is. It’s wildly popular and has been translated to a movie on Netflix and a daily devotional app as well. The Secret teaches this main principle: ask, believe, receive. Manifestation has become a buzzword recently, and this book teaches you how to manifest what you want in life. Byrne quotes several religions, scholars, and teachers to support her findings. She teaches you to be grateful for what you have and the things you don’t have quite yet. You must be grateful for what you have, or the universe won’t give you more. You must also be grateful for what you want and don’t have yet so that the universe knows you’re ready for it. She also teaches that you will never acquire wealth if you don’t have an abundance mindset. The main gist of this book teaches you to monitor your thoughts because the universe is always listening. If you put out negativity, you will receive negativity back. Conversely, if you put out positivity, you will receive positive things in return. I reread this book every year as a mindset refresher.

4. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Let’s face it, acquiring bad habits is a lot easier than sticking to good habits. Clear explains The 4 Laws of Behavior Change to create good habits and squash bad ones. Again, we aren’t bad people or unmotivated people because of our habits; he explains that humans are wired that way to conserve energy. We also really like boosts of serotonin and dopamine, which are usually increased in things we enjoy, but might not be beneficial to us like sugar, smoking, or not exercising. He informs you how to pick reasonable habits to acquire and then build from there. For example, if you want to write a book, start by writing one paragraph a day, and once that becomes easy, work your way up from there. He also explains that to stop a bad habit, like smoking, you need to make it difficult. This could be hiding the cigarettes or not buying them at all. If you have to work a little harder or take an extra step to get there, you may find yourself not engaging in that habit at all. There are clear steps and lots of examples to get your habits back on track.

I know self-transformation seems daunting at first. I love expanding my knowledge by reading books and theories and seeing what works for me and my life. Not every book you read is going to resonate with you, so don’t get discouraged. I love highlighting portions of the text or writing down key points to refer back to and implement into my everyday life.

Comments / 0

Published by

Hi there! I’m a fashion and lifestyle influencer and content creator. I’m spilling all the deets on fashion, lifestyle, travel, and beauty. Follow along for inspiration, tips, and ways to apply the hottest trends to your life in a practical way.

Houston, TX

More from Brandi Adair

Comments / 0