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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 July 8, 2020

                            How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

                            How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

                            What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

                            When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

                            In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

                            While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

                            As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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                              Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

                              Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

                              The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

                              But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

                              However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

                              This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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                              Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

                              We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

                              Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

                              Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

                              The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

                              When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

                              When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

                              How to Make Decision Effectively

                              Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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                              1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

                              You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

                              Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

                              Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

                              2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

                              You don’t have to choose all the time.

                              Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

                              Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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                              3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

                              You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

                              The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

                              Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

                              Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

                              So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

                              More Tips About Decision Making

                              Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

                              Reference

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