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14 Great Setting Goals Books To Read This Year

There are all kinds of skills out there to allow us to live a successful life. The only problem is that so many people struggle with starting and even maintaining that momentum.

My suggestion for solving this issue is simple: start with setting goals that you want to achieve and doing it properly.



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Goals are the foundation for many of our achievements in life. When we first learned to walk, we likely created a goal of sorts to develop our muscles. We did that through crawling and eventually getting up on our feet.

Goals as adults are not that different from learning how to walk. We focus on the basics and various steps before getting up to achieve the desired results.

So how can you set goals properly? Reading some good setting goals books is a great place to start.

Every author has their own perspective on setting goals, and learning about the various systems can help you to set goals and follow through with them.

1. Creating Your Best Life

Written by Caroline Miller, MAPP, she takes the standard SMART formula for goal setting and goes beyond that approach. She makes a point of giving you specific exercises while also sharing related stories.

It’s a great book to consider as we connect better with stories and can find more motivation to set goals in the manner that Miller outlines in her book.

Get the book here. 

2. Your Best Year Ever

Michael Hyatt is the author of this book, and he takes a research-based approach to goal setting. The end result is to setting goals that are meaningful. To do that, you must first look at your own purpose.

The book applies to any kind of goal that you can think of. It also helps that Hyatt has field-tested his theories and results on people. This ensures that what Hyatt is talking about will help you in getting unstuck and setting up quit-proof goals.

Get the book here. 

3. The Book of Mistakes

Skip Prichard is a wonderful storyteller and weaves that skill into this book. This book takes a figurative person who discovers nine mistakes that highly successful people never make.

One example is where Prichard talks about the mistake of living someone else’s dream. He tells that story while explaining to the reader the importance of being able to think about who they want to be.

Even though the character is a young person, it’s surprising how much these mistakes can still apply to older people, too.

Get the book here.

4. 9 Things Successful People Do Differently

Written by Heidi Grant Halvorson, this book drives home that what you do is more important than what you currently have. This book is backed by plenty of research and goes into detail about what the title of the book states.

The idea of this book is to improve goal achievement. The book encourages you to have a long-term and can-do focus.

Get the book here.

5. Big Potential

Shawn Anchor is the author behind this and stresses the difference between small potential and big potential. The general concept is that small potential refers to things that you achieve alone while big potential is all about achievement with others.

Every person is influenced by the people and events around us. Therefore, when we help others improve around us, this lifts us up to big potential.

Get the book here.

6. The Desire Map

The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by [Danielle LaPorte]

Written by Danielle LaPorte, this book takes a different path than other setting goals books. LaPorte’s perspective with this book is to bring the reader through a goal-setting program that focuses on feelings and letting outer goal achievements grow from that.

The idea is to let purpose play a role in your motivation for completing goals that you are setting.

Get the book here. 

7. Hard Goals

Written from the perspective of author Mark Murphy, this book takes his experiences as an executive coach and puts it in a book. His belief of goal setting is that goals should be more than goals you put together quickly.

To him, the great potential of goals stems from inner desires. If you want to change the world around you, you have to set goals that lead you to them.

It sounds simple on paper, but so often people struggle with setting these goals and achieving them.

Get the book here.

8. How To Win Friends and Influence People

An iconic book written by Dale Carnegie, the title implies the purpose of this book. While you’d think this isn’t about goal setting, several of the chapters talk about mastery within goal setting and overall achievement.

Even though it was written in 1936, the wisdom this book shares still holds today.

Get the book here.

9. The Power of Positive Thinking

As implied above, there are many aspects to enhance goal setting and achievement. While books don’t always talk about goal setting directly, the methods and knowledge can help you find success.

This is the case with The Power of Positive Thinking, where Norman Vincent Peale explores what it means to pursue and achieve life goals while living a fulfilling life.

The book focuses on the important and development of a positive mindset. Peale pulls examples from various famous people, including many past presidents.

Get the book here.

10. The Art Of Setting Smart Goals

As the title of this book implies, this is about setting SMART goals. Written by Anisa Marku, the book explains the structure of this goal-setting system. Even if you’ve read articles or other books talking about this ground-breaking system, you could learn a few other pieces of information here.

Get the book here. 

11. Goals!

For those looking for more details on goal setting, look no further than Brian Tracy’s book. This book is on the longer end with almost 300 pages, but it’s a very handy guide.

Tracy covers steps before setting goals in the first place, placing emphasis on being clear about your values and beliefs. From there, he teaches how to determine which goals you want to work on.

Get the book here. 

12. The Magic Lamp

Written by Keith Ellis, this book takes a unique approach to goal setting by using the acronym LAMP to guide you on setting goals.

LAMP stands for: Lock on, Act, Manage your progress, and Persist.

Ellis explores these topics through various aspects. For example, for the lock on part, Ellis talks about choosing your goals, planning, and making sure you’re willing to pay the price for those goals.

It’s an interesting take on goal setting and covers other areas you might not have considered.

Get the book here. 

13. The 4 Disciplines of Execution

For the more entrepreneur oriented people, this book focuses on business goals rather than personal ones. These are important to entrepreneurs as many businesspeople set goals only for them to fail and go nowhere at all.

While part of the goal process is to experience failures and learn from them, this book explores four disciplines to find more success and push your business forward.

Get the book here.

14. Measure What Matters

The last book to cover is John Doerr’s book Measure What Matters. It’s another business goal-setting book, but the examples and theories presented can be used in personal life as well.

The book stresses the namesake of this book and points to companies like the Gates Foundation and Google who use this system and have become massive successes.

The reason these theories work is that it touches on a lot of what The 4 Disciplines of Execution is about.

It goes about it in a different way using a system called OKR. OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results.

Get the book here.

Final Thoughts

Even if you’re not an avid reader, self-improvement books help in so many ways. The timeless and evergreen knowledge ensures you can apply this with little worry about whether it’s the best method around.

Even if it isn’t, goal setting is all about exploring ideas and testing to see what works for you. That, and of course having a solid system to achieve your goals again and again.

More Tips on Setting Goals

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