Planting the Seed: Top 10 Reads For Self-Improvement & Life Coaching

With the holidays approaching at a rapid pace, I wanted to share some of my personal favorite books for everything in the life coaching and self-improvement realm. Whether you are looking for ideas to gift or maybe you’re looking for some inspiration to kick off the new year. Either way, these recommendations have something for everyone!


1. Alright the first book on my list is You Are a Bad***: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – Jen Sincero

“You Are a Bad***” is aimed at individuals who are ready to take control of their life, understand who they are and why they behave in the ways they do, and who are prepared to make big changes to start living the life they truly want. This book in particular is what got me into growing as an individual and also helped me discover my passion for helping others.

2. This one is for my athletes: Mamba Mentality- Kobe Bryant

The Mamba Mentality is about obsession. It is about prioritizing your professional goals over having a normal, balanced life. It is about playing without fear, mastering your craft, and wanting not only to win but to dominate. Great for on or off the court.

3. Next, I wanted to recommend the book Burn After Writing- Sharon Jones

While it’s not necessarily “life coaching” or “self-improvement” I still wanted to throw this one in here.  Burn After Writing is a self-discovery book that encourages the reader to ask themselves where they’ve come from, where they are now, and ultimately just where they are going. It really does make a difference. By acknowledging certain things and being vulnerable, this book helps things to stay in the past and allows you to move forward.

4. The book Atomic Habits – James Clear is another great pick.

In Atomic Habits, Clear sets out to clarify why the big changes and habits we try to make often fail, and how the power of small daily habits – which he calls atomic habits – can make the most significant impact and positive difference when working toward successful goals. Using psychological research and case studies from inspiring individuals, Clear outlines several simple and practical life hacks for harnessing the power of your atomic habits.

5. This semester I really dived into one book that was a game changer & that was: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are – Brene Brown Ph.D. L.M.S.W.

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brown presents her ten-chapter guide for wholehearted living: what it means, what it looks like for different people, what she discovered through her research, and how she has implemented this way of living for herself and her family. Each chapter is headed as a ‘guidepost’ for helping you live a more authentic and accepting life. Each guidepost has two components, one guiding you through what you should do, and the other instructing you what you need to let go of, to pursue authenticity.

6. Simple but impactful is: Make Your Bed – Admiral William H. McRaven

He emphasizes how the little things in our everyday life build up to success. The book’s approach is compassionate and realistic. He encourages you to conquer the little things, like making your bed, to step out in confidence on the path to success. The approach presents success as an unattainable ideal in the distant future making it accessible to everyone who dares to try.

7. This is a phenomenal read if you’re trying to break old habits or build positive new ones and it is:  Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones – James Clear

In Atomic Habits, he draws a clear roadmap to breaking free from old habits and establishing a successful routine. Embracing a new mindset toward the habit you intend to obliterate from your life is crucial. Whether it’s the need to adopt a new diet, or fitness routine, or to quit drinking or smoking, he proposes a better way at attaining a breakthrough.

8. A great read for anyone regardless of where they are at is:  Get out of Your Own Way – Dr. Mark Goulston and co-author Philip Goldberg

This book breaks down a number of self-sabotaging behaviors and helps individuals to overcome them. Some of the struggles that the book helps you confront include fear, procrastination, lethargy, self-pity, anger, guilt, obsession, rebellion, jealousy, and many more.

9. If you find yourself feeling really bad about yourself check out:  Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds – David Goggins

This one is intense and far from light-hearted, but a very inspiring read. “The transformation Goggins went through from his lowest of low points to his highs is extremely admirable. He had a rough start and numerous setbacks that would’ve been a decent reason to keep his way of life as it was, but he felt stagnant. So he decided to change it but going after one of the hardest things you can do by prepping for Seal training.”

10. Last but certainly not least is:  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey

The book centers on an inward quality that produces a positive habit. The focus is on increasing an individual’s effectiveness thus making them more successful in life. Covey lays down seven habits that if well employed can propel any individual to success. The principles are: be proactive; begin with the end in mind; prioritize first things first; embrace a win-win mindset; endeavor to understand others first than to be understood; synergizing; sharpening the saw.


These, in addition to a number of others, are some of the best life coaching and self-improvement-related books. With the number of books that are out there, you are sure to find a perfect fit for you. For more life coaching and self-improvement, check out this week’s podcast and last week’s blog!


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