Where to start self-development | Plan, exercises, books and more

Greetings, friends!

If you have set a goal to begin your path of self-development, then I can congratulate you! This means that ahead of you lies the improvement of personal and professional qualities, the achievement of harmony and prosperity. All that remains is to decide where to start self-development. In this article, we will look at the 12 most effective steps to start this journey. And in order for us to achieve the highest possible results, let's first look at 2 important questions: what is self-development, and why do you need to do it? Begin!

How self-development has impacted my life

The table shows how much my level has changed in one or another area of ​​life thanks to self-development.

Sphere5 years agoToday
Self-realizationReluctantly studied at school;
Had most of the threes.
Created my own website, as well as two channels on Yandex Zen;
I receive a scholarship for good studies.
Personal growthI didn’t even think about picking up the book;
I often put things off until later.
Read more than 50 books;
I speak English fluently;

I understand SEO optimization of websites.

DisciplineCould not concentrate on one thing for more than 15 minutes;
Didn't follow the regime.
I show strong discipline during training, routine work, and difficult tasks.
This allows me to get the most out of myself; I follow the regime.
FinanceThere was not even a hint of any income.I have good passive income from the site, as well as additional income from other sources.
Health (nutrition, sports)Of the heavy ones, I only lifted my *** (you know what);
He was categorically weak and intolerant;

He ate anything;

I often overeat.

I train 5 times a week;
I have no problems with being overweight;

I am building a pumped up body;

I try to watch my diet: I exclude fast food, flour and sweets from my diet.

RelationshipsWas shy;
It was difficult to find a common language with peers.
Complexity has disappeared;
I have many friends and am looking for like-minded people.
Hobbies (free time)Spent his free time at the computer.
Played games or watched videos; I could do nothing all day.
In my free time I read or study English;
I don't waste time.

Recommendations for women

For the fair half of humanity, we also have some advice.

Look after your beauty and take care of yourself

A man can be a little more beautiful than a monkey and still be successful with the opposite sex. This trick will not work for women. Dedicate at least 5 hours a week to self-care.

Develop physically

Dancing, aerobics, swimming, yoga, and Pilates are perfect for ladies as physical activity. Strength training should also not be neglected, especially if your figure is far from ideal.

Read books for women

I don’t mean the women’s pulp novels and memoirs of Olga Buzova. We have a selection of high-quality literature for women for you - take a look.

Develop feminine energy

In the process of self-development, be sure to pay attention to accumulating the energy of femininity. The books we talked about above, as well as special women's courses and practices, will help you with this.

Also try to cultivate in yourself qualities that are traditionally considered feminine: gentleness, tolerance, mercy, altruism.

Update your wardrobe

Learn to dress modernly and appropriately, highlight your strengths and hide your flaws. I advise you to use the services of a stylist. It will set the vector for further independent work in this area.

A consistent self-development plan

Reading self-development books

The first thing I would recommend starting self-development with is reading.

Read also:

TOP 28: List of books for self-development | The best in recent years

At one time I started reading and then gave up. I read classics like Stephen King and didn’t even think that there were more useful books. Books that develop you.

And then I learned about the work of Napoleon Hill - “The Law of Success.” It was with him that my self-development began. In “The Law of Success” I read that to succeed, you first need to set a goal. This is actually what the next point will be about.

Set a goal for yourself to read one book a month.

Setting goals

Setting a goal means identifying the reason why you live.

The main requirement is to clearly formulate what you want to achieve. Imagine that you have met yourself from the future. Ask this person (yourself) the following questions:

  • What does he do?
  • Where does he live?
  • Notice what he's wearing.
  • What is his posture and gait like?

The answers to these questions will form your goal.

Sequence of correct setting:

Let's take a financial goal as an example:

  1. Write down on a piece of paper the amount you intend to earn.
  2. Write down the time you give yourself to earn this money.
  3. And at the end, build a route to this financial goal. For example: “In 5 years from today, I will earn my first million.”

When setting a goal, follow these rules:

  1. The goal should not be general and superficial.
  2. Set realistic and achievable goals.
  3. Write your goals down on paper.
  4. Set goals for 5 years, a year, a month, a week and a day.


Now it's time to plan.

Read also:

To live according to a plan or without: why is it better to plan?

The goal you have set is the final point. But only a plan will help you get there. Our task is to split the main goal into several small ones. And then achieve each one in turn.

A visual diagram of planning a move to another city:

Scheme on which the move is planned

Day planning:

Equally important is how you plan your day. After all, if you have a plan for the year, but no plan for the day, then you are unlikely to advance your goal, because you simply don’t know what to do at the moment.

Spend 15 minutes planning your day in the morning or evening. Make a to-do list for today and get started.

Example of plans and goals for the day

Developing self-discipline

Self-development cannot do without self-discipline. And in general, everything that I described above will not last long without discipline and control.

Self-development means working hard on yourself every day. If you give up, you can lose a lot. Therefore, I advise you to read my article on the topic of developing self-discipline: How to develop discipline and willpower in yourself: 11 ways + 5 books for developing discipline.

Set yourself a goal to give up bad habits.

5. Finding a hobby

Hobbies are a great way to take your mind off constant self-improvement. You can find a hobby that combines business with pleasure. Here is a list of things to do that serve as relaxation and development at the same time:

  • Reading
  • Learning foreign languages
  • Biking
  • Collecting
  • Writing, etc.

In general, do whatever you like.

Set a goal for yourself to learn something new every day.

Financial literacy

Don't forget about financial education. Dedicate the same amount of time to it as to your basic education.

The most accessible way to gain knowledge about money is to read books about finance. Here is a list of those works that you need to read first:

  • "The Richest Man in Babylon" - George Samuel Clason
  • "Think and Grow Rich" - Napoleon Hill
  • "Rich Dad Poor Dad" - Robert Kiyosaki
  • “Cash Flow Quadrant” – Robert Kiyosaki

Basic things to maintain your financial situation:

  1. Keep records of income and expenses. Let's talk about this in more detail later.
  2. Save some money.

Even with these things, you will know exactly your financial situation and at the same time increase your profits.

Set yourself a goal to earn 100 thousand rubles by the end of the year.

Health, sports, nutrition

Spend at least 30 minutes a day on sports and within a couple of weeks you will feel better. To this it is also worth adding proper nutrition. Just give up flour and sweets, which is quite enough.

Set yourself a goal to lose 5 kg.

Mastering communication skills

The ability to communicate with people, build relationships and maintain a conversation are very important components in modern society. Despite this, schools and universities do not teach such skills. Therefore, all we can do is read the most popular book on relationships with people - “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

The author's main tips:

  • Show genuine interest in people.
  • Don't argue.
  • Praise more.
  • Address people by name.
  • Talk about topics that are interesting to your interlocutor.

Set yourself a goal to smile at one passerby a day.

If you want to create your own self-development plan, write to me at [email protected] I will be happy to give some recommendations and help you create a plan absolutely free.

Stop wasting your time

There are things that mercilessly waste our most precious resource - time. This is procrastination, chronophages, distraction or other similar phenomena. They are present in the lives of each of us, and many people simply do not pay attention to them - they have become so firmly ingrained into everyday life. Meanwhile, all of these are serious enemies on the path of self-improvement. By themselves, however, they mean nothing, but the desire to devote time to them can cross out all good undertakings.

There may be several reasons for this desire:

  • Lack of motivation to do important things
  • Indulging your weaknesses, habits, instincts
  • Victim syndrome and self-pity
  • Laziness
  • Showing off

To overcome them, you don't need to be a genius. It’s enough just to show maturity and apply your intelligence. Think for yourself:

  • What’s more important: doing a few exercises to train your brain or watching the next episode of “House-2”? Of course, exercise. So, take it and do it!
  • What’s better: getting up early and doing more, or sleeping until 12 and then trying hard to make up time and get everything done? Of course, get up early. So, get up and get things done!
  • What is more correct: to complain and remain in the image of a victim or to take responsibility for your life, even if through “I can’t”, but get up from your knees and start acting? Of course, take action. So, pull yourself together and go ahead!
  • Which is more literate: “I don’t want to!” I won’t!” or “I decided, I did it, I got the result”? Of course, the second one. Well, what are you? Work and get results!
  • What makes more sense: endlessly re-read motivational phrases and throw all sorts of demotivators on the wall, or take a self-education course, go to training, go to India to live in an ashram for a couple of weeks? Of course, something that has real benefits! Here's the course, you can find training, and you can save up for tickets!

You just need to cut off everything unnecessary. If you want to develop, develop if you really need it. Stop being led by losers, excuses and bad habits.

A winner is one who does not feel sorry for himself and does not blame everyone for his difficulties and problems. If you are more comfortable sitting in a chair waiting for a miracle, then you don’t need to go further - continue in the same spirit.

If not, forget about laziness and stop wasting your time. Start developing and stop doing nonsense. But work honestly towards yourself, and not for the sake of likes and the opinions of others.

By the way, here's some great motivation for action from a really cool guy:

List of useful exercises

Let’s start learning exercises that are perfect for those who are just starting self-development.

The Miracle Morning Method

The “Miracle Morning” method includes a set of 6 exercises that must be done every morning.

  1. Tune in this evening. Say to yourself several times “Tomorrow I will get up at 6:00 (choose any time). I will feel refreshed and well-rested.”
  2. Cheer up in the morning. Drink a glass of water, wash your face and do some exercise.
  3. Do a meditation. Let's talk about this in more detail later.
  4. Write down your goals and plans for the day.
  5. 15 minutes of reading.
  6. Any other matter. For example, for me this is studying English.

2. Charging

From the very morning, the body needs to wake up. And the most effective way to do this is to exercise.

Charging will take a maximum of 7-8 minutes. For this, a couple of rotations of the head, arms, torso, stretching and ten push-ups are enough.

3. Meditation

You only need to sit in silence for 5 minutes before going to school or work. But thanks to this exercise, your thoughts will be more focused throughout the day.

Some tips for meditation:

  • Find a comfortable and quiet place. Nobody should bother you.
  • Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
  • To avoid being distracted by thoughts, focus on your breathing. Listen and feel every inhalation and exhalation.
  • It is not necessary to sit in the lotus position. Make yourself comfortable.

4. Affirmations

An affirmation is a statement phrase that contains a positive attitude. When repeated many times, this phrase becomes fixed in a person’s subconscious, which ultimately affects reality.

Simply put, if you repeat the phrase “I am a successful person” , you will definitely become one. At least internally you will feel 100% successful.

I recommend repeating the following affirmations every morning:

  • "I'm a confident person."
  • “Money from various sources flows into my hands.”
  • “I feel healthy, alert and full of energy throughout the day.”
  • "I don't waste time on things I don't need."
  • “Girls like me and make them interested.” Likewise for girls.

5. Transitions

Take small breaks of 5 minutes throughout the day.

Every time you come home from school or work, sit down in a comfortable place, relax, calm down, and breathe out. And only after that proceed to other things. This is the transition.

Read also:

How to get rid of stress in 5 minutes?

Writing thoughts in a diary

Keep a diary and write down your thoughts in it every evening. It could be anything:

  • New acquaintance
  • Cool idea
  • Useful experience, etc.

If you suddenly have nothing to write, take stock of the day. List your accomplishments and failures for the day.

Watching educational films

We have already talked about books. Now it's time to talk about films. Although there’s nothing to even talk about here, because the benefits are the same as from books. You watch, learn something new, or most often get inspired, and then try to implement it in life and move towards your own goal.

Learning English

For those who don’t know what hobby they want to take up, I suggest learning languages.

First of all, it's exciting.

Secondly, now is such a time that it is a sin not to know English.

Thirdly, English may be needed everywhere.

Personally, I study English using the YouTube channel “English by Playlists”. I liked the approach to studying when you first study theory for several lessons and then go through practice.

Read also:

TOP-22: Online English courses selection by rating

Accounting for income and expenses

You can create a table yourself and fill it out every month. Here is a sample table for accounting:

Example of calculating income and expenses

What does it mean to develop yourself?

Today they talk about the need to develop yourself as an individual, starting almost from kindergarten. Moreover, what I don’t particularly like, many people tell what this development should be and what it should be based on only from their experience and from their own bell tower.

I am convinced that you need to develop yourself regularly and every age has its own characteristics of this process. Speaking about what it means to develop oneself, I would immediately like to point out that this is a complex concept that is based on the following fundamental points:

  • Development of yourself as an individual;
  • Develop yourself creatively, intellectually and spiritually;
  • Improve in a certain social area;
  • Developing yourself as a representative of a business or a certain profession.

Plus, your role in the family, in the social world, and even your reputation are taken into account.

Bad and good habits

Working on turning bad habits into useful ones also relates to self-development.

Unhealthy eating => Healthy eating

According to statistics, 48% of Russians admitted that they eat incorrectly. It also turned out that one in five adults is overweight.

Simple rules will help you avoid being included in this list

  • Don't overeat. Eat in small portions, but 4-5 times.
  • Don't eat 5 hours before bedtime.
  • Drink 2 liters of water per day.
  • Avoid starchy and sweet foods.

Watching TV => Reading books

An average Russian spends on average 3 hours watching TV and 1-2 hours on social networks. That works out to 4 hours a day, which is half a working day.

Imagine if you read books instead.

30 pages per hour * 4 hours = 120 pages per day. 120 * 30 = 3600 pages in thirty days. As a result, 20 books a month !

Read also:

42 Daily Habits for a Better Life | Based on my own experience

Computer games => Training

According to estimates, 23% of teenagers in Russia spend all their free time playing computer games.

If you are approaching or already entering this percentage, quickly delete all games from your computer and phone. Start doing push-ups, going to the horizontal bars or going to the gym. Imagine what you will look like in a year if you choose sports.

From the diagram you can understand how much time a teenager spends at the computer.

Image source – security

Smoking => Running

Smoking kills 332,000 people in Russia every year. Smoking has been compared to accidents such as plane crashes and accidents.

Why kill yourself when you can get high? Run a couple of laps and you will feel that it is much better than smoking.

Eternal salary => Setting goals

If you read Forbes, you can say that only 3% of people on earth achieve their goals and reach outstanding heights. It can be fixed. You already know how to set goals and plan, so don’t think twice about it.


Day 1 ✓Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5
Day 6Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10
Day 11Day 12Day 13Day 14Day 15
Day 16Day 17Day 18Day 19Day 20
Day 21Day 22Day 23Day 24Day 25
Day 26Day 27Day 28Day 29Day 30

There is an opinion that if you challenge yourself, it will be easier to achieve a new habit. That's why I suggest you keep a #30daychallenge table. Copy or sketch it in your notebook.

Your task is to set a goal. Let's say we eat healthy food for 30 days. Then, starting today, check off each day if you completed the challenge. And if you lose your temper and eat something harmful, start again.

How much does it cost to develop yourself?

Many philosophers have been and are looking for answers to this question, but they cannot offer us a universal recipe suitable for everyone. Maybe it’s for the better, since everyone’s comfort zone is different, and its boundaries cannot be contained within a certain framework.

It is important to understand that development is a constant process, just at each stage there are new goals and tasks to be solved.

I would like to emphasize that development at 3 years is no less important than development at 25 years. Many of our habits, inclinations and even creative moments are instilled from early childhood, so why not constantly develop and improve them. And here we are talking about hunger (in the good sense of the word), creative, spiritual, intellectual hunger, when, feeling thirsty, you strive to fill yourself with fresh water. At first you get saturated with a few drops, and then even one glass is not enough for you.

Ways to practice self-development every day

  1. Wake up no later than 7:00.
  2. Do exercises after waking up.
  3. Read for 20 minutes.
  4. Write down your plans and goals for the day.
  5. Take 1 English lesson on the “English by Playlists” channel.
  6. Create a weekly training program and stick to it.
  7. Alternate strength training with running.
  8. Instead of music, listen to podcasts or audiobooks on the go.
  9. Smile at people.
  10. Help at least one person a day.
  11. Drink 2 liters of water a day.
  12. Don't overeat.
  13. Eat more vegetables and fruits.
  14. Walk 10,000 steps a day.
  15. Learn to listen to people carefully.
  16. Do the cleaning.
  17. Learn something new and useful every day.
  18. Limit your time on social networks.
  19. Write down every new idea in a notebook.
  20. Summarize by week, month and year.
  21. Save every coin.
  22. Keep records of income and expenses.
  23. Write down your thoughts in a journal.
  24. Go to bed and wake up at the same time.
  25. Sleep 7-8 hours.
  26. Follow successful people on YouTube or Instagram.
  27. Meditate.
  28. Take online courses or attend seminars.
  29. Learn new skills.
  30. Hang out with people who are better than you.
  31. Praise people.

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Recommendations for men

For dessert, I have prepared for you gender-specific recommendations for self-improvement. They will help highlight your strengths and achieve harmony. Let's start with men's.

Develop physically

Strength training and cardio are a must. They can be diluted with gaming and extreme sports, sports tourism, yoga. If you haven't done any of this before, start gradually.

Learn martial arts

I highlighted martial arts as a separate item, since this is training not so much for the body as for the spirit. They develop courage, patience, endurance - qualities so necessary for men.

Train your masculine character

In addition to the three listed, there are at least a dozen more truly masculine character traits. Diplomacy, endurance, ability to take responsibility, dedication and others. Think about which of these are lame in you, and focus on them.

Learn to make decisions

Every day a man has to make many important decisions. The fate of other people, for example, a wife and children, depends on some of them. If situations of serious choice put you at a dead end, you need to learn to make decisions. Otherwise, one day you will hear an offensive “not a man” addressed to you.

Tips to avoid mistakes

  1. Don't distance yourself from others. In self-development, the main thing is not to distance yourself too much from society, otherwise it will not be fun.
  2. Don't be afraid of judgement. Don't give a damn about what others will say in your direction when you do something unusual for them.
  3. Take your own development seriously from the very beginning. Then everything will work out.
  4. Don't attack everything at once. To avoid burnout, increase the load gradually.
  5. Make changes. If you only read books, you will quickly get bored.
  6. Get rid of perfectionism. We are all not perfect.
  7. The main thing in life is to be useful for the development of society, and not to live for one’s own benefit. Change your environment, and then the whole world, for the better.


  1. Self-knowledge. A person must have a clear idea of ​​his own life priorities and ideals that force him to move forward.
  2. Setting goals. They can be long-term or short-term, but must be flexible and not contradictory.
  3. Achievement options. Self-improvement is a rather personal process. Articles for self-development will not give precise advice on how to obtain the desired result. You can look for the answer in smart books, rely on fate, or sit down and think carefully about how to get what you want.
  4. Actions. Dreams will remain so if you don’t put effort into them. By taking just one step, you are already closer to what you want.

Bottom line. How quickly can a person develop?

If you want to see an exact figure showing how long it takes for your personality to transform, then this figure is not here.

It all depends on how you develop yourself. If you read 1 book a week or even a day, it will not give you anything. Useful information without further application is useless junk in your head.

Conclusion: To get at least some results, you need to apply the acquired knowledge in life.

Why does a girl need to develop herself?

Self-development is necessary for every person, regardless of whether it is a girl or a man. The main thing that self-development gives us is:

  • Formation of oneself as an individual . Formation occurs through comprehension of the basics of psychology and the application of spiritual practices.
  • The emergence of self-confidence . This quality is developed through a better understanding of one’s own actions and the knowledge gained during training.
  • Expanding your horizons . Self-development involves studying a new area of ​​knowledge, which means it helps expand your understanding of the world.
  • New opportunities in life . A person will be able to realistically assess what is happening to him, and will learn to see the chances of realization in his own activities.
  • Improving standard of living . Gradually, you will learn to create cause-and-effect relationships that will allow you to avoid making previous mistakes, which means moving faster towards your goal.
  • Development of the best qualities . By realizing what is worth working on, you can significantly develop your skills, turning them into undeniable advantages.

Self-development is the desire to learn new things. When a person develops himself, he does not need teachers. It is impossible to learn something if there is no desire, so try to look at familiar things differently and take responsibility for your actions.

Planning your development

Creating a detailed plan for self-development, indicating the time for achieving what you want and the stages of achievement, will help you work effectively to implement your plans.

Step-by-step instructions for self-development will be individual for each person and for each set of tasks. However, some steps may be common.

Select several goals of different sizes

For convenience, a table is created, one column in which will be devoted to goals, and the other to possible deadlines. The goals that are achieved first will become motivation for achieving other goals.

Create milestones that indicate progress towards achieving

For each task, a separate action plan is drawn up, which is followed during work. For example, if your goal is to learn a foreign language, your plan might be:

  1. Find an additional source of income to earn money to attend language courses.
  2. Sign up for language courses.
  3. Get a diploma.
  4. Earn money to take courses at a summer camp in the country of the language you are learning.
  5. Take training at a summer camp.
  6. Start communicating with native speakers.

Take into account unforeseen situations (an additional source of income was not found) and new opportunities (an offer was received to take language courses for free), add to the plan or remove items from it.

Personal growth goals

Although personal growth is aimed at working out internal aspects, it is necessarily reflected in the outside world. One of the most striking signs of development is the realization by a person of his own plans. Mobilization of internal resources allows you to achieve your goals in an environmentally friendly way, without harming other people.

However, you can look at it from the other side. The process of personal growth cannot be imagined without setting appropriate goals. In fact, the desire to become better is already an independent intention. That is, following a certain goal ensures human development, and vice versa. But sometimes the plans outlined do not require the development of personal qualities. Then self-development acts as a basis that helps to achieve success in this matter.

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For example, if a person needs to improve the skill of persuasion, he does not need to develop any moral qualities. But in many trainings, learning this ability will be presented as personal growth. Depending on what is meant by development, improving this skill will or will not constitute personal growth.

If the ability to persuade is one of the conditions for the formation of an integral and harmonious personality, development must occur in accordance with certain principles. If a person defends his own point of view, resorting to manipulation, intimidation and pressure, this has nothing to do with self-improvement.

As already mentioned, personal growth is inextricably linked with the principle of environmental friendliness. In this context, the ends do not justify the means at all, especially if the methods used may harm others.

For example, if a person plans to open his own business, then his goal is to launch this project. It should be remembered that business is impossible without customers. This means that you need to pay attention not only to ways to promote the product, but also to its quality. The goal of a business should be to sell a truly necessary and high-quality product, and not simply make a profit. Personal growth in this case will be conducting honest and decent business activities. To do this, it is enough not to deceive your customers: sell products with a good shelf life, do not pass off a fake as an original, speak openly about all the characteristics of the product, etc.

And the very idea of ​​a future business project should be environmentally friendly. It's no secret that today there are plenty of fly-by-night companies that disappear with the money of customers or partners. Yes, this is also a business, but it has nothing to do with moral development.

It turns out that personal growth must meet certain conditions. It is not enough to simply improve a skill; you must constantly work on your character and values.

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