13 Best Goal Setting Books For Success

Learn how to overcome obstacles, improve productivity, and start setting goals and achieving success in your work and personal life.


1. Atomic Habits

atomic habits

by James Clear, 2018

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.


2. Your Best Year Ever

your best year everby Michael Hyatt, 2018

We all want to live a life that matters. We all want to reach our full potential. But too often we find ourselves overwhelmed by the day-to-day. Our big goals get pushed to the back burner–and then, more often than not, they get forgotten. New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt wants readers to know that it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, he thinks that this is the year readers can finally close the gap between reality and their dreams.

In Your Best Year Ever, Hyatt shares a powerful, proven, research-driven system for setting and achieving goals. Anyone who is tired of not seeing progress in their personal, intellectual, business, relationship, or financial goals will treasure the field-tested wisdom found in these pages.


3. The Slight Edge

the slight edgeby Jeff Olson, 2005

The Slight Edge is a way of thinking, a way of processing information that enables you to make the daily choices that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire. Learn why some people make dream after dream come true, while others just continue dreaming and spend their lives building dreams for someone else. It’s not just another self-help motivation tool of methods you must learn in order to travel the path to success. It shows you how to create powerful results from the simple daily activities of your life, by using tools that are already within you.


4. Indistractable

indistractableby Nir Eyal, 2019

In Indistractable, Eyal reveals the hidden psychology driving us to distraction. He describes why solving the problem is not as simple as swearing off our devices: Abstinence is impractical and often makes us want more.

Eyal lays bare the secret of finally doing what you say you will do with a four-step, research-backed model. Indistractable reveals the key to getting the best out of technology, without letting it get the best of us.


5. The Power of Habit

the power of habitby Charles Duhigg, 2012

In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.


6. S.M.A.R.T. Goals Made Simple

smart goalsby S.J. Scott, 2014

Do you often set goals that you never seem to reach? We’re all filled with dreams and aspirations. Most long for fulfilling relationships. Some desire personal freedom. Others want fame and success. And some strive for profitable businesses. Wherever your ambitions may lie, goal setting can get you there.

On the other hand, the wrong goal can leave you feeling frustrated and unmotivated. When you set a goal that’s too lofty, it’s easy to give up when your dreams don’t turn into reality.

We all have important milestones we’d like to reach. The trick is to create a plan and commit to it. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals can help you do this.


7. Write It Down, Make It Happen

write it down make it happenby Henriette Anne Klauser, 2000

A simple and effective guide to turning your dreams into reality by taking matters into your own hands, filled with down-to-earth tips and easy exercises.

In Write It Down, Make It Happen, Henriette Anne Klauser, PhD, explains how simply writing down your goals in life is the first step toward achieving them. Writing can even help you understand what you want. In this book, you will read stories about ordinary people who witnessed miracles large and small unfold in their lives after they performed the basic act of putting their dreams on paper. Klauser’s down-to-earth tips and easy exercises are sure to get your creative juices flowing. Before you know it, you’ll be writing your own ticket to success.


8. The 4 Disciplines of Execution

4 disciplines of executionby Chris McChesney, 2012

The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is a simple, repeatable, and proven formula for executing your most important strategic priorities in the midst of the whirlwind. By following the 4 Disciplines—Focus on the Wildly Important; Act on Lead Measures; Keep a Compelling Scoreboard; Create a Cadence of Accountability—leaders can produce breakthrough results, even when executing the strategy requires a significant change in behavior from their teams.


9. Think and Grow Rich!

Think and Grow Richby Napolean Hill, 1937

In the original Think and Grow Rich, published in 1937, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles. In the updated version, Arthur R. Pell, Ph.D., a nationally known author, lecturer, and consultant in human resources management and an expert in applying Hill’s thought, deftly interweaves anecdotes of how contemporary millionaires and billionaires, such as Bill Gates, Mary Kay Ash, Dave Thomas, and Sir John Templeton, achieved their wealth. Outmoded or arcane terminology and examples are faithfully refreshed to preclude any stumbling blocks to a new generation of readers.


10. Smarter Faster Better

smarter faster betterby Charles Duhigg, 2016

At the core of Smarter Faster Better are eight key productivity concepts—from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making—that explain why some people and companies get so much done. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics—as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters—this painstakingly researched book explains that the most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t merely act differently.


11. 9 Things Successful People Do Differently

9 things successful people do differentlyby Heidi Grant Halvorson, 2011

It’s not just who you are—it’s what you do.

Are you at the top of your game—or still trying to get there?

Take your cues from the short, powerful 9 Things Successful People Do Differently, where the strategies and goals of the world’s most successful people are on display—backed by research that shows exactly what has the biggest impact on performance. Here’s a hint: accomplished people reach their goals because of what they do, not just who they are.


12. Creating Your Best Life

creating your best lifeby Caroline Miller, 2009

Creating Your Best Life is the only research-based book on the topic of goals and happiness, and it has found receptive audiences worldwide. Filled with interactive exercises and quizzes, it helps readers set and accomplish life list goals and understand the link between goal accomplishment and happiness, also known as Positive Psychology. In a step-by-step fashion, the book teaches readers how to coach themselves on how to set goals in 16 life domains, as well as take control of their environment to maximize their chances of success.


13. Better Than Before

better than beforeby Gretchen Rubin, 2015

Most of us have a habit we’d like to change, and there’s no shortage of expert advice. But as we all know from tough experience, no magic, one-size-fits-all solution exists. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.

In Better Than Before, acclaimed writer Gretchen Rubin identifies every approach that actually works. She presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good.