If you’re looking to improve your quality of life, mindset, chances with success, or way of setting goals in 2020 – this one is for you. We put together a list of 12 personal development books; one for each month of the new year to help set you up for your best year, yet. Whether you want to add to your book collection (all amazon links are linked) or hit up your local library as you go – these are must-reads for 2020.

1. The Energy Bus
by Jon Gordon

The Energy Bus is the epitome of personal development. All about recognizing the way we think, and the steps to make our thoughts more positive. The author Jon Gordon, shares 10 “secrets” for “approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward-thinking that leads to true accomplishment – at work and at home”. This is a quick and easy, must-read for anyone trying to better the way they view life. Even if you don’t think you need to.

2. The Total Money Makeover
by Dave Ramsey

This book follows a plan that millions have used to get out of debt and build wealth. If you have never heard of Dave Ramsey, your quick introduction is he is a financial coach, author, and advisor who hosts a daily podcast answering calls around the world about people’s money questions. This book is the guide to follow to help get you there. Once you read it you’ll want to dive into your finances and pass the book along to someone else.

3. No Hard Feelings – The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work
by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy

If you have not yet seen their illustrations floating around the internet, Liz and Mollie share relatable situations and moments from the workplace and the common thoughts and emotions that we have towards work. Teaching you how to navigate those feelings and how to express them. A fun and relatable read.

4. The Compound Effect
by Darren Hardy

If you’ve ever heard the saying “How do you eat an elephant? You do it one bite at a time” that’s the summary of this book. Darren Hardy shares how doing small things every day – “compounds” over time – resulting in reaching your goals before you even realize you’ve gotten there.  A New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, sharing the black and white on how to make “baby steps” work.

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People
by Dale Carnegie

Originally published in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People shares “six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment” says Goodreads. If you are focused on others, this one is for you.

6. Girl Wash Your Face – Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be
by Rachel Hollis

This personal development book is meant to change your self-beliefs that are stopping you from being you. From relationships, body image, your career, and your failures – the author, Rachel Hollis shares personal experiences for each “lie” we tell ourselves, and her personal stories on how to use them to overcome these lies for yourself.

7. The Power of Now
by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now is a guide for daily life, highlighting the value of living in the present and surpassing thoughts that may arise from your past or any worry of the future. It teaches you exactly that, the power of thinking in the “now” and how you can use that to help with your own happiness.

8. The 12 Week Year
by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington

The 12-week year teaches you how to determine your personal goals, how to break them down and reach them, in just 12 weeks. With free templates included for download to help create your own step-by-step plan in order to develop clarity, focus and most importantly urgency for things we generally give ourselves an entire year to accomplish.

9. The Four Agreements
by Don Miguel Ruiz

Considered “A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom”, this book share 4 “agreements” that encourages “freedom from self-limiting beliefs that may cause suffering and limitation in a person’s life”. The author explains these agreements in an understandable way where we can easily acknowledge how we relate to these agreements, and ways to overcome them. Simple practices, that you can carry throughout your life far past this read.

10. Think and Grow Rich
by Ben Holden-Crowther and Napoleon Hill

Originally written in 1937, and has been revised, created into an audiobook, and updated is still one of the most well-known “money-based” personal development books there is. Think and Grow Rich shares how modern-day millionaires and billionaires, like Bill Gates, Dave Thomas, Mary Kay Ash, and Sir John Templeton, have achieved their wealth.

11. The Power of Positive Thinking
by Norman Vincent Peale

Another read focused on positive thinking and the effect it has on your life – this book takes positive case stories and guidelines that are simple to follow. You can never read too many positive thought-based books, and this one is well worth the read.

12. Outliers – the Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell

The purpose of this personal development book is to educate readers on how successful people reach success with the help of “others, practice, and opportunity” as well as removing our negative perspective on how outliers become successful. Another classic.

Bonus Reads:

13. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – . . . and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life
by Richard Carlson, Ph.d

This title perfectly sums up the book. It’s meant to demonstrate how to keep yourself from letting the little things in life derail you. Barnes and Noble, explain that it shares how to put “challenges in perspective, reduce stress and anxiety through small daily changes, and find the path to achieving your goals”.  If you have any sort of daily stress in your life – this one is for you.

14. The Five Love Languages
by Gary Chapman

Before you wonder why this book made this list – hear us out. Have you ever had miscommunications with coworkers, friends, clients – on how you show your appreciation or look for appreciation? This book shares the five different ways that people receive “love/attention/appreciation”. Knowing these different ways people personally receive affection, allows you to better understand and develop your relationships.


After you’ve read one of the books from this list, let us know your thoughts! Tag us on social with your personal development reviews on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and use the hashtag #2020booksuccesslist