The 10 Best Self-Improvement Books of 2017 | My Instruction Manual

The 10 Best Self-Improvement Books of 2017

Do you want to be a better you in 2018? Get inspired with the 10 best self-improvement books of 2017.

I’ve included five books that I’ve read and five more that I’ve heard great things about and can’t wait to read. In some cases, I’ve even had the privilege of interviewing some of these amazing authors on the My Instruction Manual podcast.

Agree / disagree with the list? Scroll down and let me know in the comments.

Best Self-Improvement Books of 2017: Five books I’ve read

Unplug by Suze Yalof Schwartz

Schwartz used to be an always-on, often-angry fashion consultant. Then she discovered mindfulness meditation. She’s opened a drop-in meditation center in Los Angeles to make the practice more accessible. Written with a similar goal, the book is a fantastic primer for anyone wanting to learn the basics of meditation without all the spiritual mumbo jumbo. (Amazon: Unplug: A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers)

We Need to Talk by Celeste Headlee

Most self-help books about talking include tips for people who are introverted or socially awkward. This book is geared more to those who don’t know they have a problem. Put it under the tree from ‘Santa’ for that person who talks much but listens poorly. (Amazon: We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter)

Celeste was my guest on a recent episode of the My Instruction Manual podcast. Listen here:

The One Minute Workout by Martin Gibala

Martin is perhaps the world’s leading expert in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The one-minute work out is a bit of an exaggeration. It’s actually three 20-second all-out sprints inserted into a low-intensity workout. It sounds easy, but I tried it and it nearly killed me. (Amazon: The One-Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit That’s Smarter, Faster, Shorter)

Martin was my guest on a recent episode of the My Instruction Manual podcast. Listen here:

Hiding in the Bathroom by Morra Aarons-Mele

It’s possible to thrive in business without being an always-on extrovert. Morra outlines how in this book. (Amazon: Hiding in the Bathroom: An Introvert’s Roadmap to Getting Out There (When You’d Rather Stay Home))

Morra was a guest on a recent episode of the My Instruction Manual podcast. Listen here:


The Ripple Effect by Greg Wells

This book is crammed with useful tips on how to improve your fitness, diet, sleep and mind. (Amazon: The Ripple Effect: Sleep Better, Eat Better, Move Better, Think Better}

Greg was my guest in a recent episode of the My Instruction Manual podcast. Check it out here:

Best Self-Improvement Books of 2017: Five Books I can’t wait to read

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

Brené is amazing. Enough said. (Amazon: Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

I’m a huge fan of Gretchen Rubin. Her book The Happiness Project inspired a lot of what I do on My Instruction Manual. This book provides a fascinating new paradigm for understanding an individual’s relationship to goals, and why they motivate people differently. (Amazon: The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too))

How to be a Bawse by Lilly Singh

I haven’t read this one yet, but YouTuber Lilly Singh is a powerful force for positivity and my son Connor loves the book. (Amazon: How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life)

Altered Traits by Daniel Goleman & Richard J. Davidson

We keep hearing that meditation is good for us. This book presents the science to back that up. (Amazon: Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body)

Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferris

Ferriss has re-defined the self-improvement industry with his “Four-Hour” series. He says this book might be his best yet. (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)

What else?

Have you read any of these? What did you think? What am I missing? What else should be on the list of the 10 best self-improvement books of 2017? What should I be adding to my own Christmas list? Please scroll down and let me know in the comments.


    • You’re very welcome. I’m happy you found it useful. Let me know if you do check out any of the books!

    • Yes, I can’t wait to read that one. By the way, you’re blog looks very interesting. Following now!

  1. Hello Keith, remember me? I had not read any of your posts for a long time and wondered sometimes where you had gone. Today, I finally searched for you blog on WordPress and it led me here. I am so shocked I missed out on so much! none of this appeared in my readers feed too. Anyway, thats in the past and for now, I wish a very happy new year.
    P.S.- I love Lilly Singh. You should watch a video or two of hers. she is so energetic, positive and bubbly.

  2. The two best self-improvement books I read last year were:

    10% Happier by Dan Harris – while I was already thinking of getting into meditation, this book put me over the top. It got me into the idea of meditation, but didn’t help too much with turning it into a habit though. Fortunately, he just released a follow up called “Meditation for Fidgity Skeptics” which is more prescriptive on how to actually get into meditating regularly and I’ve moved it up so it will be the next book I read.

    How To Be Everything by Emilie Wapnick – this one is all about people like me, people who aren’t satisfied just doing one thing (mostly professionally, but in other areas of life too). Until I read this I thought that I was just super scatterbrained and was mad at myself for not being able to just pick something and sick with it. It turns out that I probably fit more into a category of people called “multipotentialites” and this book walks through the concept and some ways that people like me can embrace this in life and work with it rather than have it hinder me.

    You may actually like these books too, Keith.

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