3 Books Recommended for Self-Improvement

It’s a new year so you know what that means, new goals and challenges. At the end of the last year/ decade, I decided that I was going to start spending more time taking care of myself. The routines and habits that I have grown accustomed to– I’m over. BORING! OVERWHELMING! It’s as simple as this: I need to get back to enjoying life. After some major life changing events (marriage + parenting), I quit doing a lot of the things that I would typically enjoy. So for 2020, I’ve decided to go back to reading as one of the many steps towards my self-care journey. I’ve found three books that are going to help retrain my mind and thought processes on how to live a meaningful and happy life again.

Since I am a very busy lady, I really don’t have much time to just sit in a quiet room or corner, curled up with a book. I’ve heard some really great things about Audible (powered by Amazon), a digital audiobook reader. You can listen to your favorite books through your app that you have on your smart device & Audible is giving you the a free 30-day trial, plus your first audiobook for free! This was the easiest route for me and obviously a no-brainer. Parents, we read bedtime stories every night. Let’s allow someone else to do the reading for us. HA!

Manual for Living, by Epictetus, is the first book on the list. This book helps readers to see that some things are in your power and some are not, and to stop confusing the two. Our opinions of things determine how we feel about a particular event, not the event itself. The manual also wants us to challenge ourselves to think carefully about how we decide to spend our lives. People often spend their lives chasing things that are neither desirable or as important as they seem. People also spend time desiring things that are not in their power. If this book describes you in any way, this will be a great read for you.

Second on the list, The Practicing Mind, takes readers on a path of developing focus and discipline in their lives. For those of us who like (or dislike) acquiring new skills or facing dreadful challenges that we hope to overcome, patience/focus/discipline are the traits that seem very difficult to maintain. The author, Thomas Sterner, will demonstrate how to learn skills for any aspect in life (from business to love) by learning to love the process. This is key for people who are in the business of practicing instant gratification. Remember: if at first you don’t succeed, try again!

The third, and final book on the list, is 10% Happier (written by Dan Harris). 10% Happier is about the discovery of meditation. The author depicts his personal journey and how he began to self-help through meditation. The book tells readers about practicing mindfulness and meditation, and allows readers to relate even more by discussing the skepticism behind it. I’m certain there’s even a few readers today that are skeptical about meditation, but I implore you to give it a try. I meditate regularly and the book and myself are here to tell you that… it works! If you believe.


If you’re wondering, I haven’t completed all of the books yet, but I have started reading. Hopefully, with the help of Audible, I can complete these a bit faster than the time that it would normally take a busy person to read a book. If you are on a self-care journey, incorporate these books into your plan. Self-care has to start with you. Please share any other books that you’ve read or plan on reading for self-improvement by leaving a comment below. Let’s improve the qualities of our lives together!

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Kristen Buchanan

Wife and mother of one. Known for creative writing and designing different arts and crafts (like bath bombs). I like pop culture and positive energy!

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