Personal development and productivity are on a lot of people’s minds around this time of year. Self-improvement gifts help people get their new year off on the right foot and show that you want them to lead the life they’re striving for.
It doesn’t really get much better than that.
Whether it’s because they’re reviewing the year behind or looking forward to the one ahead, your friends and loved ones very well may be thinking of how they could do a little better in 2018.
And if you want to help them out, these nine gifts are great ways to be supportive!
Everyone should journal. But not everyone has the patience to write out reflections long-hand (or even in short form). Listography is like a journal, but it’s made completely of lists, and aimed at helping you write down important things and moments from your life. It’s pitched as a sort of highly compact autobiography.
Another great option is Start Where You Are, a journal with prompts that encourage creativity, mindfulness, and self-exploration. This is a visually gorgeous book, and it has a lot of interesting ways to reflect beyond just writing about an idea.
2. Gratitude and Bucket List Journals
These handmade, twine-bound journals help friends and loved ones stay focused on what’s important. That could be what they’re hoping to accomplish in their lives or what they’re grateful for already having.
Both can be personalized with the recipient’s name, making it an even more personal gift.
The Twine Bindery shop on Etsy also has a lot of other cool paper products that make awesome self-improvement gifts, too.
A desktop zen garden is a perfect gift for the self-improvement, productivity, or meditation enthusiast in your life. It encourages people to slow down, empty their mind, and let inspiration and peace enter.
The simple act of creating patterns in the sand calms the mind and encourages mindfulness. Whether your gift recipient is already a fan of meditation or is simply seeking to live a better life, this will help.
A desktop water fountain will help turn any desk, zen garden or no, into a peaceful space. The HoMedics EnviraScape Silver Springs fountain is an inexpensive and beautiful way to bring a flowing sense of peaceful momentum into any room.
It seems almost cliché to put this on the list, but it’s a perennial bestseller for a good reason. With useful real-life advice on how to change your perceptions, manage your time, act with initiative, and think positively, this book will help anyone on their quest to become a better person.
It’s great whether they’re just starting their personal development quest or they’ve been working on it for a long time.
Here’s a preview of the habits:
1: Be Proactive
2: Begin with the End in Mind
3: Put First Things First
4: Think Win/Win
5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
7: Sharpen the Saw
Want to know more? You’ll have to read the book!
A custom planner is a perfect productivity gift for anyone trying to get and stay organized.
Agendio’s planners come in three sizes and multiple formats, and each page can be customized with different types of labels, checkboxes, lines, lists, schedules, and other sections you need to make a planner that contains absolutely everything you need.
You probably won’t know what your friend or loved one will want in their planner, so you may want to give them an Agendio gift card to spend on their own.
This book of brain puzzles from Marbles (one of the greatest stores of all time) will keep your friend or loved one’s brain in great shape. Part of personal development is learning to think in new ways and to flex mental muscles that haven’t been used in a while, and Bend Your Brain will do just that.
The puzzles in this book focus on the five key brain categories: visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination, and memory. Give the gift of better brain function this year!
7. Simplify Art
We are a consumption- and complexity-driven culture. Everything seems to be more complex than it needs to be. So the first step of self-improvement is often to simplify. And you can remind your friend or loved one to seek to simplify their life with gorgeous (simple) art.
The print above can be sent to a print shop or printed at home and then framed however you like.
If your self-improvement enthusiast is more into the organic look, this reclaimed wood sign might be a better fit:
Want something more colorful? How about a bright blue simplify sign?
A quick search on Etsy will help you find many more options. If you’re looking for a gift that promotes minimalism, you’re going to be hard-pressed to top this one.
8. Udemy Courses
You can learn absolutely anything online — and learning is what self-improvement is all about. Udemy allows users to send gifts, and their courses make perfect self-improvement gifts.
Udemy’s gifting system lets you gift specific courses, so if you know of something your friend or loved one would like to learn more about, this is a great option. It also lets you choose your price range. How about a course on black-and-white photography? Or Marie Kondo’s KonMari method for tidying and organizing?
You can gift courses on coding, design, personal finance, career development, even spirituality. Check out the Personal Development category of Udemy’s courses to get started! (Though if you’re looking for a specific subject, you can skip over to that category.)
When you’ve found the right course, click Gift This Course in the upper-right-hand corner.
Help Friends or Loved Ones with Your Gift
Sometimes the best gifts help their recipients help themselves. In this case, they’ll help your friend or loved one on their quest to be a better person. Whether that means being more educated, more disciplined, more organized, or just more productive, these gifts will help.
What are your favorite personal development gifts this year? Will you be giving any gifts like these? And what’s on your own Christmas list? Share your ideas in the comments below!