Every year, when January rolls around, we make and try our best to keep resolutions, vowing to set better work-life boundaries or get more exercise. When November and December roll around that same year, we inevitably begin to take stock of our achievements and misadventures — have we kept our resolutions or failed out of the school of self-help?
A great way to work on ourselves throughout the year, rather than setting resolutions that are made to break, is to find a self-improvement book or two and work through them slowly. If you’re at a loss as to which books to start with, we have a few excellent options that come highly recommended and very well reviewed.
The Best Self-Improvement Titles of 2023
1. The Creative ACT: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin
This one is for the creatives who are looking for ways to deepen their connection to their creative practice and open up their mind to new avenues of expression. The Creative Act is essentially a self-time study course that lights the way for artists who need a little guidance and points the creative down a road that anyone with any kind of creative inclination will be able to follow. Rick Rubin distills the wisdom gained over a long career of helping people transcend their own expectations into one tome that helps creatives channel their expression into exciting and fulfilling projects. As self-improvement books go, this is a top choice to aid in directing your creative expression into finished projects that will take your breath away.
2. Real Self-Care: A Transformative Program for Redefining Wellness (Crystals, Cleanses, and Bubble Baths Not Included) by Pooja Lakshmin MD
This one is for those who need to nurture a real and radical connection to themselves. New York Times contributor and women’s mental health specialist Pooja Lakshmin MD calls for a long overdue overhaul of how women relate to themselves regarding health and wellness. In this illuminating book, Lakshmin takes the reader on a journey toward the goal of a sustainable and meaningful self-care practice. Using case studies, the author shows what a practice like this can do in the reader’s life and provides a step-by-step approach, including actionable strategies that help the reader constructively deal with everyday issues. This book is a personal revolution in a few pages — one that every woman (and the people in her life) should read.
3. The Greatness Mindset: Unlock the Power of Your Mind and Live Your Best Life Today by Lewis Howes
This one is for those who feel the need to adjust their trajectory to reach the goal of living as their truly authentic selves. If you need a little bit of help stepping into the abundant future you know you deserve, crack the covers of this book by best-selling author Lewis Howes and take your first steps in the right direction. The book contains some raw and revealing true-life stories as well as scientifically based strategies for leaders in their respective fields that offer step-by-step guidance on how to define your mission, find out where any self-doubt comes from, and remedy the cause, deal with self-sabotaging thoughts and manifest your inner greatness.
4. 8 Rules of Love by Jay Shetty
This one is for those of you looking to find and keep love — or for a way to let go of a lost love for real. This #1 New York Times best-selling author brings you a set of guidelines that will help you muddle through all of the above by drawing on modern science and universally accepted ancient wisdom. Instead of looking at love through the lens of so many books and movies, as many of us have been taught to do, Jay Shetty lays out practical, real-world advice on the skills of nurturing and accepting real love. The advice in this book tracks every possible step in the relationship cycle, from first looks to last goodbyes. These eight rules will guide you in avoiding unfulfilling situations and teach you how to define love in the modern age.
5. Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Atti, MD
This one is for those who want to live a longer, healthier, optimized life and need the tools to do it. This book is essentially an operating manual for longevity. It draws on real science to deliver techniques for optimizing your sleeping and waking hours, ways to get more from your food and drink, and all the tools you could ever need to make the most of your mental and physical state. Dr Attia believes that replacing our existing outdated frameworks with more detailed, current techniques will lead us to longer, better, and more fulfilled lives, both mentally and physically. Our fates are not set in stone — there’s still time to change them!
These highly detailed self-improvement books are filled to the brim with exciting concepts and actionable strategies that can help you implement real change on your own schedule. This year, choose better for yourself. Instead of making resolutions, take up the challenge of implementing change that will last with any of these self-improvement books.