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Last Updated on December 8, 2020

14 Great Setting Goals Books To Read This Year

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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.

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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                            Published on September 16, 2021

                            What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

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                            What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

                            Ready. Set. Go. For years, this was my three-step mindset when it came to goals. I would reach for the moon and hope to land among the stars without feeling the pain of the fall. This approach was all or nothing, and as a result, I experienced loads of burnout and almost zero productivity. In short, my task list was filled with high-level intentions, but I hadn’t taken the time to create a map to reach the destinations. I was lost in the planning stages because I didn’t understand process goals or have any examples to follow.

                            Since then, I’ve learned how to embrace the journey and break my outcome goals into smaller and more manageable process goals. This approach has improved my focus and reduced frustration because I’m now working towards a surefire strategy that will take me where I want to go––I’m creating a plan of action with achievable daily targets (a process goal).

                            What Is a Process Goal?

                            A process goal is not a destination, it’s the path you plan on taking to get there. For example, if you want to become better at writing, your process goal would be to post one blog article per week and learn from the feedback you receive. The destination is a monthly goal of 12 articles.

                            This distinction is important because it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that these types of goals are not all or nothing. Think about it. You’ve heard it said: it’s not about working hard but working smart.

                            Well, a process goal is an actionable target with what we call SMART criteria:

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                            • Specific – The more detailed your goal, the better. For example, instead of “I want to be fit,” you would say, “I want to lose five pounds.” Make sure your goal is crystal clear.
                            • Measurable – You need a way to measure progress and success, so it needs to be quantifiable. This is where you decide what “fit” actually means for you (more on this later).
                            • Achievable – If your goal isn’t challenging, then it’s not going to be motivating. On the other hand, there must be a steeper mountain to climb if you want substantial results.
                            • Realistic – “I want to run a marathon” is not practical for most people. Ensure you have the time, energy, and resources (e.g., training program) required to achieve your goal.
                            • Time-Bound – Your goal needs an assigned deadline or it’s just a pipe dream. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, but what happens when the fantasy ends?

                            To summarize, these are the essential components of any process goal: specific, measurable, achievable within a certain time frame, and realistic.

                            What Is a Destination Goal?

                            A destination goal is a point in time when you plan to be at a particular destination. For example, if your goal is to get to represent your country at the 2025 Summer Olympics, you right need to focus on smaller increments to attain that success. On your way to that goal, you need to focus on smaller destinations. First, make the national team. Then, compete in a few events and so forth.

                            If you try to make it to the Olympics from the very start without any milestones along the way, it would be too daunting. On the other hand, if you focus on each milestone as a destination goal, it will all seem possible and achievable.

                            Process Goal Template

                            Let’s say you want to become a better cook. Here is one way of writing the process goal: “I will save $100 per week by cooking all my meals at home for 12 weeks.” This would be your destination (monthly), and the steps required to achieve this goal (weekly) would be:

                            1. Spend one hour on Sunday planning my meals for the week.
                            2. Shop for groceries after work on Monday and Tuesday nights.
                            3. Cook all meals at home on Wednesdays through Sundays.
                            4. Pack my lunch for work on Mondays and Tuesdays.
                            5. Save $100 per week in cash by cooking at home.

                            This process goal will help you become a better cook by teaching you to save money through planning, shopping, cooking, packing your own lunch, and trying new recipes. It also includes a weekly reward (saving $100 in cash) that will help you stay motivated.

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                            Process goals encourage you to reach your ultimate goals. When you feel like you can accomplish smaller goals along the way, you gain sustainability and confidence to move forward.

                            In many ways, process goals are a lot like faith. Each accomplishment brings you closer to seeing the fullness of the life that you desire––it breaks through the fog and makes things clearer.

                            What Questions Helped Me Find My Process Goals?

                            After several years of setting lofty goals and becoming increasingly frustrated when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, I decided to take a closer look at my approach.

                            Now, there are many ways you can do this, but here’s how I went about it. Last year, I asked myself the following questions:

                            • What am I doing right now?
                            • How can I get better at this?
                            • Is this process goal leading me closer to my ultimate goals?

                            The choices I made from the answers to these questions became my process goals. They were the driving force that kept me motivated and moving forward when I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. Since then, I’ve been able to accomplish lifelong goals that I had given up on years ago. For example, I’ve been able to obtain a publishing contract, create more digital products for my business, and enjoy the moment.

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                            Before I broke down my goals into smaller ones, I was struggling to just get out of bed. The thought of my endless list kept me stagnant. Now, I look forward to each morning and taking on smaller projects to reach profitable outcomes.

                            What Are Some Process Goals You Can Try?

                            So, now that you understand the importance of process goals, let’s get you started with some examples that you can utilize this week:

                            • Sign up for a new class.
                            • Complete one portion of your project by Thursday.
                            • Start walking around the block instead of running a mile.
                            • Improve your writing by spending 30 minutes everyday journaling.
                            • Practice your interview skills.
                            • Read at least one book from the library this week.
                            • Do ten push-ups each day before you leave for work.

                            You get the idea. These process goals don’t have to be complicated. If anything, you want to break down your plans to the point of them feeling easy or at least doable without needing a week’s vacation. By breaking your goals down into smaller pieces, you can accomplish a lot more in a shorter period. You’ll also feel more confident that you’re able to accomplish something within the moment.

                            It isn’t easy to continue towards your goal if achievement feels too far away. You need to celebrate the small things and embrace the process.

                            What Do You Need for Process Goals?

                            Think about how much time and money you’ve spent on new clothes, books, technology, etc. Many of us want to keep up with the latest trends and purchase the best gadgets from Apple or Microsoft. But all of these extra investments come at a steep price.

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                            To find your process goals, you may have to face some difficult emotions or situations bravely and confront them head-on. You might need to forgo the new outfit or the latest Mac book to meet your overall objectives.[1] Remember, process goals not only protect you from feeling overwhelmed, but they also keep you from being distracted.

                            Final Thoughts

                            You may feel overwhelmed at first when trying to set a process goal. Sometimes, just thinking about change triggers stress hormones, which only leads to more worries and anxious feelings. However, if you keep yourself focused and take small steps in the right direction, you’ll soon realize that goals don’t have to be complicated.

                            You can achieve your process goals one day at a time, and you can start today by breaking down your larger goal into smaller steps. It doesn’t matter if the process takes a week or six months, what matters most is that you’re moving forward and doing something to make yourself better.

                            Now, go on out there and achieve one of your process goals!

                            Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

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