The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Personal Growth Booklist

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The Blueprint team explores the benefits of creating a personal growth list on paper so you can nurture your mind and the planet.


Why read for personal growth?

Reading for self-improvement is a key tenet of the online phenomenon 75 Hard. This program is more than a diet or exercise program – it focuses on developing the whole person, mind and body included. One of its daily requirements is to read ten pages of inspirational non-fiction each day so that we become the strongest version of ourselves.

Moreover, the very act of reading helps us grow; reading a physical book is a great workout for our minds. Our mind reacts differently when reading a paper book compared to when we read an electronic book. Researchers have found that reading a paper book helps to build our ability to focus and to grasp complex ideas. One reason for this is the way our brains map the story in our minds when we read from paper.


Choosing your personal growth booklist

There are no right and wrong answers when it comes to selecting the books that make your personal growth reading list.

You might, for example, choose current self-help books, such as those on The Handbook’s list of eighteen 2023 titles for self-development. They include Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before by Dr Julie Smith and Jen Sincero’s You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.

Or perhaps you’re interested in more classic meditations on what it means to be human? Anna Katharina Schaffner writing in the Guardian included the fourth-century BC Daoist text the Tao Te Ching, Marcus Aurelius’ Mediations and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden in her list of the top ten books about self-improvement.

Or perhaps your texts are more related to your field or personal interests? If you’re a writer, then you can always learn something by reading Jane Austen! Or if you would like to become more outdoorsy, picking up a Ray Mears book is a great place to start.


Make time to read your list and keep it updated

Keep your list to no more than ten books – it needs to be inspirational, not intimidating!

Write in big letters on A4 or A3 paper and pin your list up somewhere you will see it every day. You could add some inspirational quotes about the joy of reading or self-improvement to help spur you on.

Make time in every day to read from your list. This might be on your commute to work. It might mean watching an hour less TV for the night. Or perhaps it is simply making 15 minutes before bed, instead of staring at your phone. Reading a physical book instead of looking at your phone will be better for your mental health and your ability to sleep – as well as helping you make progress on your list.

Keep adding to your list as you check books off and keep searching for inspiration with friends, family and online to source new ideas for inspirational books to add to your Personal Growth Booklist.


What next?

Find more ideas about books and reading elsewhere on our blog: