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Published on May 13, 2020

14 Great Setting Goals Books To Read This Year

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.

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. 

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      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

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            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.

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                  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.

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                        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

                            Featured photo credit: Joel Muniz via unsplash.com

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                            Leon Ho

                            Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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                            Last Updated on September 24, 2020

                            How to Take Advantage of the 80 20 Rule to Succeed in Life

                            How to Take Advantage of the 80 20 Rule to Succeed in Life

                            The world of productivity has several hacks or tricks to help you manage your time: to-do lists, the Pomodoro Technique, Parkinson’s Law… All of these strategies are great strategies in their own way, but one strategy stands above all the others: the 80 20 rule.

                            This particular strategy has been used the most and is regarded as the most helpful in developing time management and other concepts in life.

                            But what’s so special about this rule? How does it give you success and how do you use it? Let’s explore the specifics.

                            What Is the 80 20 Rule?

                            Many people regard this rule as the 80 20 rule, but it has a proper name: the Pareto Principle[1]. The principle was named after its founder,  the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, in 1895. Pareto noticed that people in society were divided into two categories:

                            • The “vital few,” which consisted of the top 20 percent with respect to money and influence.
                            • The “trivial many,” otherwise known as the bottom 80 percent.

                            As he researched this further, he came to discover that this divide didn’t apply only to money and influence, but other areas, too. Virtually all economic activity was subject to his previous observation.

                            He observed that 80% of Italy’s wealth at the time was controlled by only 20% of the population.

                            Since the development of this rule, humankind has used this particular ratio in all kinds of situations. Even if the ratio isn’t always exact, we see this rule applied in many industries and in life. Examples are:

                            • 20% of sales reps will generate 80% of your total sales.
                            • 20% of customers account for 80% of total profits.
                            • 80% of the revenue will stem from 20% of the workers.

                            Either way, I’m sure you can piece together why people call this rule the 80 20 rule over Pareto’s Principle[2].

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                            Make Your Life and Your Business More Efficient with the 80-20 Rule - Salesforce Canada Blog

                              In terms of how this particular rule will be able to work for you, it’s a matter of applying this rule to how you spend your time. For us to see success, the goal is simple.

                              We need to set it up in such a way that 20% of our input is responsible for 80% of our results.

                              Another way to think about it is we use 20% of our time on activities that give us 80% of our results in a given area of life.

                              How Does the 80 20 Rule Work?

                              To best explain this, let’s visualize a bit.

                              In an ideal world:

                              • Every employee would contribute the same amount of effort to work.
                              • Every feature that’s released for an app or product would be equally loved by users.
                              • Each business idea you come up with would be a hit.

                              In that scenario, planning would be a breeze. There wouldn’t be any need to analyze anything so long as you put in the effort.

                              But that’s not reality.

                              Yes, the effort is certainly an element, but what the 80 20 principle states is that everything is unequal. Invest in 10 start-up companies, and you’ll find only a few will pass year two and make it big. You’re in a team of five, and there’ll be one person doing more work than others.

                              We wish our lives were always one-for-one in terms of input and output, but that’s simply not true. Understanding this is key to understanding how the 80 20 rule really works.

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                              So how does it really work?

                              It’s a matter of focusing on what’s giving you the most in your life for little of your time.

                              Going back to the few examples I’ve presented above, consider this:

                              • If two start-ups you invested in are making it big, focus on having a more direct hand, and see if you can help them prosper more.
                              • If 20% of sales reps are giving you 80% of your sales, focus on rewarding those and keeping their spirits high and motivated.

                              These scenarios can go on and on, but the idea is to place your efforts on the 20% that is actually making the difference in your life. Another term that’s good to know is the diminishing marginal utility[3].

                              Pareto didn’t come up with this one, but the law goes as follows: each extra hour of effort or worker will add less “oomph” to your finished results.

                              Eventually, you’ll hit a point where you will spend a lot of time on small and unimportant details, similar to perfectionism.

                              So before hitting that point, you want to have a laser focus on the most important details, from family and relationships to your work or business. Prioritize the activities that are going to move you forward the most, and be wary of adding extra time, effort, or more hands into those particular tasks moving forward.

                              How to Take Advantage of the 80 20 Rule

                              So now that you have an understanding of the 80 20 rule and how it works, what is the best way to take advantage of it?

                              Depending on where you are applying this rule, this can be used in all kinds of fashions.

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                              For example, you can apply this rule to goal setting, as demonstrated by Brian Tracy in this video:

                              Or you can apply it in terms of general productivity as explained in this article: What Is the 80 20 Rule (And How to Use It to Boost Productivity)

                              The core of this rule is that it forces us to ask ourselves the questions we wouldn’t consider otherwise. It helps us to place our focus in the right places with regards to all things in life.

                              In short, the 80 20 rule places us in charge of our lives and helps us set out on our goals and dreams. With this in mind, here are some things you can consider concerning this rule.

                              1. Focus on Your Big Tasks First

                              While this is the essence of the 80 20 rule, it’s still worth mentioning. Why? Because so many of us feel intimidated by the biggest task. We instinctively avoid it and opt for smaller tasks first.

                              We think that if we complete enough small tasks that we will feel motivated to finish that really big one later. But that’s really false hope at work.

                              Once we finish off a lot of small tasks, we either feel drained, or we tell ourselves we’ll do this the next day.

                              Instead of doing all that, bite the bullet and tackle the largest task first.

                              If you need help with prioritization, check out this article.

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                              I argue this by challenging you to ask yourself this one question:

                              “Is the task I’m about to do the top 20 percent of my activities or the bottom 80 percent?”

                              I’m sure you’ve seen time and again you or other workers spending a lot of time on one task for most of the day. In those kinds of grinds, you’re barely getting ahead and have next to nothing to show for it. That’s because they’re putting all their attention on work that’s in the 80 percent.

                              It’s normally the big tasks that are part of the 20 percent.

                              Another way to think about this is that everything we do starts a habit. If every day we spend our energy on low-value tasks, we will always prioritize those.

                              2. Stretch This Into Personal Life

                              While I’ve been talking about business and setting goals, remember you can use this in other areas of your life, too.

                              Take your personal life and ask yourself some of these questions:

                              • How much TV do you watch on a regular basis? What sort of shows are you legitimately into? These questions can help you in recognizing what shows you are watching purely for consumption. By applying the 80 20 rule, you can cut back on Netflix, TV, or YouTube video consumption and prioritize other areas of your life.
                              • What does your wardrobe look like in terms of colors? Are there specific colors that you like? Knowing what you wear most times will help you in sorting out your wardrobe significantly. It also saves you time to come up with what to wear every morning.
                              • How many newsletters do you actually read? This question can help you in figuring out which newsletters to unsubscribe to and can clear up a lot of space in your inbox. It can also relieve pressure from having to check your emails constantly.
                              • How much time do you spend on your phone every day? How much of that time is actually doing something meaningful? These questions can help you in clearing out various apps that aren’t helping you with your goals. In fact, this can curb the need to check your phone constantly.

                              Final Thoughts

                              The 80 20 rule is the productivity hack that many of us need, and for good reason. As you can tell, it’ll help you to focus and prioritize the more important aspects of your life.

                              Not only that, but it’ll maximize those outputs at the same time and ensure you’re not spending too much time working on them. All you need to do is start asking questions and taking action.

                              More Techniques to Help You Succeed in Life

                              Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

                              Reference

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