10 of My Favorite Books on Personal Development

There’s always room for improvement when it comes to ourselves. Check out this list of my favorite books on personal development.

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What is personal development

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: A WORK IN PROGRESS

I wish I was born a punctual person. People who are late all the time don’t bug me because I understand them. I am a recovering late-arriver.

My entire childhood was spent looking for a shoe.

My teenage years were spent waking up to my dad bouncing his foot on the end of my bed to shake-wake me up. When my grandma visited, she would wake me up vacuuming. There wasn’t too much at stake when I was young, but come college, I was late constantly. More than once, I went down an entire letter grade simply based on tardies.

On tardies!

What is personal development

A BAD HABIT

Even as a working adult, I remember showing up 30 minutes late one time because my alarm went off when I should have been pulling into work.

I’m pretty sure I did a cart wheel out of bed. I threw on the only clean pair of pants I had, and a “Second Grade Rocks” T-shirt that had shrunk in the dryer. It was so tight on my neck I was choking.

I don’t even know if I let myself go to the bathroom.

I called a co-worker and she said she would pick up my kids and keep them in her room until I got there.

The whole drive over, I’m trying to figure out a plan to not get caught. It would be obvious if I walked in with my purse, so I stuffed my pockets full of whatever I could fit and grabbed a newspaper I had on the car floor. By the time I arrived, the bell had rung, and my boss was standing in the middle of the hallway kicking parents out.

After taking a breath, I chatted with a few people, had a few forced laughs and then stared deep into the newspaper—pointing, analyzing, flipping the pages over, even talking out loud.

I headed to the copy machine, made a few copies to look busy and ducked out to my friend’s classroom, no one the wiser. It was a successful day…not in the sense that I accomplished anything…no, I spent the rest of the day figuring out how to cover up my bad breath, make my outfit look a little less homely and borrowing mascara from a friend. I was like a ninja.

What is personal development

GROWING UP

Once I had kids, it was like my life made sense again. There was no rush to get anywhere on time! I wasn’t working anymore and could blame everything on the baby. Having a newborn was like a get out of jail free card.

Oh I can’t believe you made it out of the house! Look at you! Are you getting any sleep? You must be exhausted!

My first kid slept through the night at three months. Me being late everywhere had nothing to do with that kid. He was an awesome sleeper. (Insane projectile-vomit barfer, but great sleeper.) So I was late and smelled like barf and people congratulated me for showing up. It was awesome.

And then…Kindergarten started. Tardy bells. The worst. I tried to blame it on my son, I tried to hide it, but it was me. When you become a parent, it’s like every bad habit you have is highlighted, because you see it reflected in your children.

I knew I needed to change, I simply hadn’t had the desire to until I saw the impact I was having on my kids.

Did I really want to teach them to be late everywhere, manipulate situations and flake out on others?

I had some work to do.

What is personal development

STILL GROWING THROUGH PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

So here I am, 5 years later and I’m not the late mom anymore! It took discipline, planning and a little maturity on my part, but I did it!

But in all reality, you won’t make any changes in your life unless you truly want to. I suggest you don’t follow my lead in waiting until it’s negatively impacting your children or your health.

You can improve at any stage in your life, you just have to be internally motivated to do so.

I know punctuality sounds silly, but it was a big milestone in my life to be the first one in the car, ready to go. Over the years, I’ve read several books that have challenged me in multiple ares of my life. I learned to be more confident, pursue a small business, grow as a leader in my community and challenge myself to deeper spiritual development.

So what needs to be addressed in your own personal development?

Here are 10 books on personal development I’ve read and applied to my life that I’d love to recommend to you:

10 BOOKS ON PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT


1. “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey

This book has sold over 25 million copies so I had to check it out. Whether you want to be a leader or a better parent, this book applies to you. Covey covers 7 areas for personal development that anyone can use to put their priorities in place, and minds in perspective. Great action-taking book!


2. “The Road Back to You” by Ian Morgan Cron

This book is a walk-through of the popular Enneagram from the viewpoint as a Christian. The Enneagram is more than a personality test. It identifies your strengths and weaknesses, while analyzing the best way for you to adapt to situations throughout your life. I enjoyed this book because it finally helped me understand how I am wired and also was a great insight into my husband’s mind as well!


Personal development

3. “Ready to Rise” by Jo Saxton

This book helps guide the person seeking more out of their life and directs them into what possible leadership roles that may be available to them in their life. I have seen Jo speak three times and have left feeling encouraged and empowered to pursue big things!


Personal development

4. “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis

This book is for women who struggle with insecurity and need help getting past the fears that hold them back from moving forward. Rachel’s words inspired me to start my blog and dream bigger about what it could be. Inspirational story of a girl with a traumatic childhood, no college education, who creates a multi-million dollar business.


Personal development

5. “The Power of a Praying Woman” by Stormie Omartian

For anyone wanting to grow spiritually as well as personally, you’ve got to start with prayer. Stormie takes the formality out of our “church” prayers and helps us discover our own voice and cultivate a deeper relationship with God.


6. “The Longing in Me” by Sheila Walsh

Sheila walks us through her own muddy past an helps us understand that a lifetime of wishing things would slow down, hurry up, or just be different is keeping us captive in a life of discontent. This longing that we have for change or peace comes from a place of holiness and hope and we need to recognize it in order to stop being controlled by the things that are out of our control.


7. “Meditation and Mindfulness” by Andy Puddicombe

For anyone feeling anxiety or unrest lately, this book tops my list. Andy helps us understand the way our minds work and how we create unhealthy habits of thinking and trains us to think about thinking in more helpful ways. Through personal stories and sample practices, Andy takes the weirdness out of meditation and teaches us how to implement it in our daily lives.


8. “The Power Project” by Brandi Voth

This book is a quick read that encourages you to want to grow as a person in order to become who God created you to be. Written by a friend, I love her honesty and vulnerability she models and how we can use those to find our own stories and purpose in our lives.


9. “The One Thing” by Gary Keller

This book focuses on priorities and helps you understand what you need to get rid of in your life and how to become more productive on what matters. Great for work, personal, family and spiritual growth.


10. “Cultivate” by Lara Casey

A memoir and self-help book written by the creator of CultivateWhatMatters.com, Lara helps us understand what it means to live with intention. She emphasizes the importance of progress over perfection and giving yourself grace. Pointing our growth to the analogy of flowers growing in a garden, I was inspired to create my own actual garden and find myself reflecting on my own personal growth in the process.


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

What books on personal development have you read? Come share your favorites in my Facebook Group!

For more posts about books on personal development I love, check out:

Happy Reading!

What is personal development
What is personal development

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How to Create a Daily Schedule That Helps You Reach Your Goals

You have big goals, but how do you make time for them? Learn how to create a schedule that integrates them into your daily routine for success!

Creating routines

CREATE A SCHEDULE THAT MATTERS

So you’ve set big goals, you’ve broken them down into manageable steps, but you can’t seem to make time for implementing them.

There’s work and school and dinner to be made. You have bills to pay, errands to run and events to attend. How do people have time for themselves?

By creating a routine, you can identify your nonnegotiables and be flexible with the rest. You can pinpoint what habits bring you energy and which ones are time-wasters.

Creating routines

HOW TO CREATE YOUR ROUTINE

The key is not to add to your schedule, but to simplify it. Use these tips to create a routine that helps you reach your goals.

1. Write down your set-time essentials.

For example: wake and bed times, work/school start and end times, meal times.

Creating routines

2. Write down your flexible essentials.

For example: chores, errands, reply to emails.

Creating routines

3. Choose one goal to add to your schedule.

Referring to your goal list you made, choose ONE goal and find a free time for it in your schedule each day. For example: go to the gym, quiet Bible study time, play a game with the kids

Creating routines

4. Update your goals as you reach them.

Reaching your goals will be measured by your own standards. Do you want to do the same thing 21 days in a row? Three times a week for a month? Set your specifics and reward your milestones. Then build on what you’ve accomplished.

As you reach your goals, you may need to take them off the chart and replace them with a new goal. Other times, you may want to build on that goal by keeping your first goal in place and finding another chunk of time to work on your second goal.

Creating routines

Your routine should basically stay the same from day to day, with minor adjustments as you go throughout the year. The key to reaching goals is consistency, so try not to rock the routine too much, otherwise it won’t set in and become automatic.

Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter to get access to my entire printable library full of this Daily Routine Printable plus over 75 other freebies!


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

Want a little more guidance on where to start in your goal setting? Then check out this Goal Setting Workbook I created just for you! You can find it in my shop here:

For more posts on goal setting, read:

Here’s to a more organized YOU!

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6 Steps to Reaching Your Goals

Have big goals but not making any progress on reaching them? Follow these six steps to set yourself up for success and learn why you’re getting stuck.

How to reach goals

WHY YOU’RE NOT REACHING YOUR GOALS

So you’ve set a goal. You want to get up early, you want to eat healthier, you want to be more present with your family, but…it’s not happening. Why?

You did all this work setting these big goals and dreams, but life is too busy, fast food is too convenient, plus there’s your job, and the house and all the other stuff you can’t think of right now because you’re too tired to remember.

Well friend, it’s not hopeless for you. I promise! You just need a few things in place to help set yourself up for success. For example, you wouldn’t expect your kids to learn to read without giving them a few tools and practices to start, right? You can’t just throw a few books at a kid and say READ! You use strategies:

GOAL: Get MY child to read

  1. Enroll in school
  2. Buy easy reader books to have at home
  3. Read to my child daily
  4. Teach her the ABCs
  5. Practice letter sounds

So why do we set ourselves up for failure when it comes to reaching our own goals? I’m speaking to the choir here. Why do I tell myself to eat healthier and then add chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches to the grocery list?

The problem isn’t with our goals, the problem is the strategies we use to achieve them.

How to reach goals

6 STEPS TO REACHING YOUR GOALS

First, if you haven’t set goals for yourself, go back and read this post.

Then choose ONE goal you want to work on. I know you’re going to want to tackle them all, but too much at once is setting yourself up for failure. Focus on ONE goal at a time.

The impatient part of me is struggling with this too. I want to go faster, I want to do more! But seriously, go slow. Get good at ONE goal, and then build on it. Don’t go halfway on a goal and then pick up another one along the way. Chances are, you’ll reach neither. Get good at one thing before you move to the next.

1. NARROW IT DOWN

Want to exercise more? Great! But if you expect to be motivated every day for the next 30 days, you’re kidding yourself. Try to pinpoint specifics you want to accomplish, rather than general ideas.

  • “Exercise more” vs “I want to exercise for 30 minutes 3 times a week.”
  • “Sell my crafts online” vs “I want to open an Etsy shop, create 5 new products and buy business cards by the end of the year.”
  • “Be more present with my kids” vs “I want to set a bedtime for my kids where I’ll read a story to them each night and play a board game after school.”

2. GET MOTIVATED

Why is it that you are even working toward this goal? Write down all the reasons you want to achieve it and refer to it when you feel like making excuses or giving up.

GOAL: EAT HEALTHIER

  • Increase my energy
  • Lower my cholesterol levels
  • Reduce the amount of medications I take
  • Improve my moods
  • Model healthy eating habits for my children

3. MAKE IT REALISTIC

You may be super excited about reaching big goals, but you have to be realistic in what you’re asking of yourself. If you’re wanting your child to potty train, you can’t expect it to happen overnight. Any area where you want to grow will take time and patience.

GOAL: LEARN HOW TO PLAY THE PIANO

  • Buy a beginner’s book. (1 week)
  • Learn how to read music. (1 month)
  • Memorize scales. (1 month)
  • Play a song using two hands. (1 week)
  • Learn Moonlit Sonata. (2 weeks)

4. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

Find a way to track your progress that you enjoy. Is it checking off a list? Marking off dates on the calendar? Tally marks on the bathroom mirror? Make it fun! Get creative! Buy a cute notebook and write down what you did each day to get yourself closer to the end goal.

5. REWARD YOURSELF

There will be bumps along the way. There will be days where you want to skip, cheat or quit. Give yourself tangible checkpoints to set up little rewards along the way.

GOAL: WRITE A BOOK

  • Read 3 books by authors I admire in that genre (get to shop for a writer’s notebook)
  • Brainstorm ideas and set up an outline (can watch that movie you’ve been wanting to see)
  • Write chapter 1 (buy favorite candy bar)

Need more ideas? Here’s a big list of creative ways to reward yourself for reaching your milestones.

6. REASSESS IF NEEDED

Have a goal of reading 52 books in a year? Well it’s June and you’re at 12, so maybe you need to change up your goal instead of neglecting everything else to try and keep up! Remember, these goals are to help you become a better version of yourself, not to turn yourself into a stressed out, to-do-list-making monster.

If you feel like maybe you need to break your goal down further, or set the deadline to a later date, that’s your call! You are the one in charge, set yourself up for success, not failure!


PRINT YOUR GOAL WORKSHEET

I’ve created a fun and simple worksheet that you can print to help you break down your BIG GOAL into SMALL STEPS. You can get it when you subscribe to my newsletter and access my entire printable library full of over 75 freebies!

Here’s a sample goal:

How to reach goals

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

Want a little more guidance on where to start? Then check out this Goal Setting Workbook I created just for you! You can find it in my shop here:

For more posts on goal setting, read:

You’ve got this!

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