Best Personal Growth Books for Moms – My Top 6
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I’m a sucker for books. I love them all – parenting, self-help, biographies, novels… I’ll read pretty much anything! I use my public library alllll the time, because there’s no way I could financially support my book addiction otherwise.
Self-improvement is a genre that holds a special place in my heart. I LOVE personal growth books. I believe that learning shouldn’t end when you leave school. Personal development, in a nutshell, means continuous learning and improving. There’s no shame in wanting to be a better person, parent, spouse, employee, or entrepreneur.
Striving to better yourself does not necessarily mean that you’re not satisfied with your life. It means that you want to become even better!
I believe that reading keeps your brain sharp and helps you think more positively, no matter what you read. In particular, personal growth / self-improvement books can help us grow into the people we’re truly meant to be. There’s just something really motivating to me about fresh ideas and new possibilities.
I also want my homeschooled kids to be lifelong learners, so it’s important to me that I model reading because I think that reading is one of the best and easiest ways to get good information into your brain.
My #1 tip for any mom who wants to change her life in a positive way is to start reading personal growth books every chance she gets! So, if you’re reading this right now and hoping to change yourself and your life for the better, start reading. And then read some more!
Note: If you can’t seem to find the time to actually sit down and read a physical book, you can always go the audiobook route. Personally, I’m not a fan of audiobooks because I tend to zone out (or get interrupted) and miss big chunks of the book. I prefer to be able to easily go back and re-read so that I can fully process the info. But I’m not you, and if audiobooks are easier for you, have at it!
Check out this list of my favorite personal growth books for moms. Personal growth is personal, so you may not love everything on the list, but choose a few that speak to you! Below the list of favorites, I’ll also share my to-read list of self-improvement books.
My Top 6 Personal Growth Books for Moms
1. You Are A Badass, Jen Sincero
Sometimes self-improvement books can be so dry and boring that they’re hard to get through – that is NOT the case with this one. Jen Sincero encourages her readers to “stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life,” and she does this with a witty, sarcastic sense of humor that I can identify with.
The author reminds us that we all have the ability to figure out what’s not working in our lives, change it, and reclaim our badass selves in the process – a fantastic, much-needed reminder for moms in particular. All of the actionable steps are about changing the habits that aren’t serving you and manifesting positivity in your life (i.e., if you’re angry, stressed out all the time, and constantly complaining, you’re not going to reach your goals).
Overall, it’s a pretty fun, easy read that inspired me to stop and think about my mindset and what it was doing for me. It reminded me that I am, in fact, a badass and that I deserve to achieve my goals.
2. Untamed, Glennon Doyle
Holy schnikes, did this book speak to me. I believe that you’re drawn to the right book at the right time, and this. was. IT. for me. I mentioned that I’m a library person, but this is one that I went out and bought immediately after reading the borrowed version – I just knew that reading it once wasn’t enough. I think that this book (and the way it’s constructed in a series of essays) will serve me differently at different times in my life.
To be transparent, the author and I aren’t aligned in many of our worldviews, but I still found the stories in this book to be honest and relatable, and I couldn’t put the book down.
Glennon Doyle writes about letting go of the expectations of others and embracing who you truly are, which are lessons that she wants to pass on to her children as well. Untamed covers topics that many women face throughout their transformative years of finding themselves and their places in the world. She believes that we all inherently hold what’s right and true for ourselves and that we need to look within to this Knowing as we set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, and honor our anger and heartbreak as feelings that have made us into who we are today.
3. How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
I first read this book about 20 years ago, and it’s one that I find myself returning to again and again because of the fact that I’ve had to deal with different groups of people in different times of my life – friends, coworkers, boyfriend-turned-husband, kids, etc.
The book was originally written to make the sale – to negotiate prices with potential customers and close the deal. However, it’s a book that teaches you how to influence people, and who needs to learn this concept more than moms of stubborn, demanding children?
I enjoyed Carnegie’s book because it’s practical and its principles are immediately applicable. The principles are intuitive and easy to understand, but after reading the book, you’ll feel more equipped to treat others the way they should be treated – including your kids! It’s like a crash course in Psychology 101 that will change the way that you approach the world.
4. The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
In this book, Gretchen Rubin chronicles her personal year-long project to bring more happiness into her life, home, and family. She’s a regular, everyday person who took the scientific approach of “do, observe, and report.” Every month, she focused on a different happiness strategy.
This is another book that spoke to me – I mean, who doesn’t want to be happier? Plus, the author’s writing style is warm and funny, so the book is easy to read and hard to put down. Even now, years after reading this, I still use one of her principles daily – if there’s a task that takes one minute or less, do it now!
The Happiness Project reads like a novel, but inspires its readers to create their own happiness. It’s a must-read for anyone looking for a boost of joy in their lives.
5. Present Over Perfect, Shauna Niequist
In this book, the author has put together a series of essays that document her journey from a busy, stressful life to a simple, connected life – a life spent being exactly who she is. She describes letting go of the pursuit of perfection as the key to finding peace and happiness.
As Shauna learned to say no to the hectic pace of her life, to slow down and be present, she found the beauty in this simpler way of living. She discovered the joys of spending time unproductively, playing with her children, and connecting with her friends.
As moms, we often end up exhausted and burnt out because we try so hard to be perfect. If this is the case for you, I’d highly recommend reading this book. There are so many nuggets of wisdom to discover!
6. The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson
This book’s main message is that simple, seemingly insignificant actions can have a massive impact on our lives over time. It’s the actions that are just as easy not to do as they are to do that make all the difference – it’s these tiny things that eventually turn into habits, and it’s our habits that lead to either long-term success or failure.
The Slight Edge has changed my mindset for the better – I’m already seeing a difference in how I’m spending my time. It’s caused me to stop and ask, “Is this moving me toward my goal or away from my goal?”
As an example, if you’re trying to drop a few pounds, skipping your workout or opting for the cheeseburger and fries over the salad *just that one time* might not seem like it will have huge consequences for your goal. However, it’s those short-term decisions that compound over time and hold you back from achieving your goal.
This principle can be applied to all areas of your life – health, happiness, personal growth, relationships, finances, and career. It’s an easy concept to implement and a great reminder that tiny actions done consistently are what move us forward – even when we can’t see the results right away.
In no particular order, here are some of the personal growth books I’d like to read this year (if it’s crossed out, it means that I finished it). It’s possible that, in the future, they’ll be bumped up to my top picks!
The Lazy Genius Way, Kendra Adachi
- Everything is Figureoutable, Marie Forleo
Own Your Everyday, Jordan Lee Dooley Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain
- The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, Jack Canfield
Mindset, Carol Dweck
- The Road Back to You, Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
- Flex Mom, Sara Blanchard
The Best Yes, Lysa Terkeurst
- Unf*ck Yourself, Gary John Bishop
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown
- Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet Joy, Jamie C. Martin
- The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions, Emily P. Freeman
- 10% Happier, Dan Harris
- The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod
- Money-Making Mom, Crystal Paine
- Living Well, Spending Less, Ruth Soukup
- Make it Happen, Lara Casey
- Daring Greatly, Brene Brown
- Growing Boldly, Emily Ley
- The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg
- The Empowered Mama, Lisa Druxman
- Resilient, Rick Hanson
- The Four Tendencies, Gretchen Rubin
- Designing Your Life, Bill Burnett & Dave Evans
- The One Thing, Gary Keller & Jay Papasan
There are so many great personal development books in the world that it would be impossible to read them all – although I wish I could! If you’re feeling overwhelmed with choices, start with my top picks above. You’ll quickly discover your favorite topics and authors, and then you’ll be able to dive deeper into your interests.
Start small and be consistent in pursuing personal growth. Make reading a priority and fit it in wherever you can. You’ll soon notice positive changes in yourself and the way you interact with those around you. Embrace those changes, recognize your hard work, and keep going!
Did I miss one of your favorite self-improvement books? Let me know in the comments!