Goal Resources – Books

This is the list of some of my favorite material on setting goals and achievement, as well as personal development in general. I’m convinced that regular exposure to the right ideas, thoughts and principles is essential to avoid falling into unproductive thinking, limited beliefs and poor habits.

  • The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, by Jack Canfield

    You probably know Jack Canfield best as co-Author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. In short, he has devoted his life’s work to understanding success and helping others reach their full potential.

    He starts by making it clear that we are 100% responsible for our lives, both the good and the bad, and that the way to change our lives is to start changing ourselves, via our attitudes and behavior. He reminds us that success requires time, effort, perseverance and patience – practical advice from years of observing achievement. He also discusses following your passion, and using goal setting to get moving in the right direction. That’s just the start, but from that practical, common sense foundation he proceeds to a comprehensive explanation of achievement in great detail.

    I’ve got it in print, got in on CD and on my iPhone, listen to it regularly and I highly recommend it. You can find it here on Amazon.

  • Keys to Success, by Napoleon Hill

    If you haven’t heard of Napoleon Hill, you’re probably new to the personal development movement. If you have, you know he’s sort of the father of the movement. Originally the author of Think and Grow Rich, Keys to Success is (for me) a more clear, concise elucidation of the principles in that book.

    Not coincidentally, his message is consistent with the message in The Magic of Thinking Big and The Success Principles. Find it here on Amazon.

  • The Magic of Thinking Big, by Dr. David Schwartz

    For me, The Magic of Thinking Big might be the best material available for making meaningful changes in your life, due to it’s focus on dealing with how we think. It’s not solely about goals so I put it second on my list, but it you want great advice about changing how you think, this is the book I recommend.

    Dr. Schwartz has useful, practical suggestions related to our beliefs, building confidence, curing fear of failure, dealing with excuses (“excusitis”), identifying confidence killers and using goals to make things happen.

    My initial perception was that it was a little too simplistic, but after seeing the changes it’s made in my life and comparing it to the other books, research, etc. I’ve read, it’s clearly my favorite. The ideas and advice are relevant and simple to follow (notice I didn’t say easy – it does take work).

    I can’t imagine not having both the book and the audio CD in my library. You can find it here at Amazon.

  • The Dip, by Seth Godin

    Known primarily for his marketing prowess (founder of Squidoo, among other things), Seth Godin has emerged over the past 10 years as a voice to pay attention to for general wisdom and perceptive insights. This book addresses the myth that winners never quit”, and he points out that true winners quit all the time. The key is knowing when to quit, and when to persevere through what he calls “the dip”, that inevitable time wiht any new endeavor (goal) where the excitement fades, it ceases to be pure fun, and you have to start working through the failures to get to enduring success. It’s intelligent, it’s relevant, and it was very helpful to me in building this website.

  • Eat That Frog! 2nd Edition, by Brian Tracy

    Brian Tracy is one of my favorite personal development speakers, and I highly recommend any of his presentations. Eat That Frog! was one of the first of his audio books I bought, I think mainly because I knew I could benefit from the message. It’s easy to skip those difficult, frustrating or tedious tasks in favor of the ones I can do quickly, even though they aren’t the most important things I need to do. Also, I recently purchased his Ultimate Goals program and it’s a great resource for goal setting as well as personal development in other areas.

    Here’s a link to some video of Brian Tracy to give you an idea who he is and what his message is. -> click here

    Eat That Frog! 2nd Edition
    is great listening if you like to be reminded to do the important things first. It’s a theme right in line with Steven Covey’s 4 Quadrant model, where he reminds us how important it is to focus on those things that are Important, not just the ringing phone or the most recent email to pop into our Inbox.

    For me, at least, it helps me keep my thinking “right” when I listen to these kind of messages as often as possible. You can find it here at Brian Tracy’s website.

  • The Power of Failure: 27 Ways to Turn Life’s Setbacks into Success
    by Charles C. Manz

    If you struggle with perfectionism, or have that voice in your head saying “Careful – you’ll blow it!”, or “well, you screwed it up again”, get “The Power of Failure”. This was the first book I read that really helped reshape my view of mistakes and “failures”. It presents a vital lesson that says failures (more accurately, mistakes) are absolutely essential if we are to accomplish anything meaningful in life. Learn to embrace your mistakes, and certainly lose that horrible feeling of being a loser when you fail. You can get it here on Amazon.

  • Getting Things Done, by David Allen
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, by Stephen Covey
  • Good to Great,by Jim Collins
  • Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell
  • CoMotivate, a web site that lets you specify an accountability partner to help you pursue your goal