It’s that time of year again, we’re going list all the things we meant to do in 2019 and put them on a new list, entitled ‘2020 is going to be my year.

Goal setting, resolutions, new starts; they can either add to the pressure of the year going up one or they can inspire positive change, it’s up to you. Either way, it’s your choice.

I have read more books about goal setting than I care to remember. If I’d spent that time actually working on the goals I wanted to achieve, I’d probably have been much more successful.

If there was one book that had the answer, we would all be ticking off our goals list without a hint of procrastination, self-sabotage or any need to traverse challenges that inevitably come our way.

If only!

Goal setting is a skill and it’s one that goes hand in hand with building resilience. When we face challenging circumstances, we have to prioritise and take purposeful action in order to move forward. That’s really all goal setting is.

Everyone involved in personal development has a method of goal setting that they believe is ‘the’ way. I have no doubt that there’s value in each and every method, I also believe that goal setting is a personal endeavour and one that has to be linked to our purpose, the way we work and our motivation.

When we learn any new skill, we need to start small. So, listing ten goals, planning for each and every one and then attempting implementation on the 1st January is ambitious at best. Feeling like a failure by 5th January is not a great way to start the year, right?!

Think back to a goal you have achieved, something you’re proud of. What steps did you take and what can you learn from that? You don’t need a ‘guru’ to tell you, I have no doubt that you overcame challenges along the way and you have your own method that works perfectly for you. Maybe you could write your own book?!

If you’re looking for some ideas, ways to articulate your goals or generate planning ideas so that you will tick them off in 2020 (or beyond, depending on what the goals are), these books could give you a nudge in the right direction.  My plea to you is that you take the information and adapt it to work for you. It’s easy to take the information that an author presents to you, follow it to the letter and then feel like a failure if it doesn’t work. You’re far from a failure; you just need to take the ideas that resonate with you and create your own method.

  1. Your Best Year Ever – Michael Hyatt

This merges personal and business goal setting, offering a logical approach that aims to offer a clear pathway to achieving goals and staying focused throughout the year.

  1. Start Now. Get Perfect Later – Rob Moore

The title says it all. It’s about taking action and overcoming self-doubt, which is at the heart of why most of us don’t go our goals with the enthusiasm they deserve. This is written by someone who walks the talk, so worth a read.

  1. The 12 Week Year – Brian Moran & Michael Lennington

This is quite a work-focused book, however, if you take the theory and adapt it to your circumstances it can work really well. I use an adapted version of the 90-day process in my own planning and get more done than I dreamed possible.

  1. Grit – Angela Duckworth

I usually walk past any book that claims to share the ‘secrets’ of anything. As a general rule, there are no secrets when it comes to success other than hard work and focus! This, however, is a brilliant book that explores the research behind how and why people achieve their goals. Written by an academic researcher, not a ‘guru’, you’ll know why grit is fundamental to your success and that’s a key factor in sticking with your goals.

  1. Start With Why – Simon Sinek

No list about stepping up and focusing on what you want to achieve would be complete without Mr Sinek. The book has some repetitive examples but if you’re ready to step up and be a leader in your field, it’s well worth adding to your list.

Goal setting is about more than clearly defined articulation, eating frogs, aiming to be SMART or following the latest ‘secret’ to success. It’s about finding your own path, your own motivation and strengthening your existing skills of planning and action-taking.

Now, crack on, you have goals to achieve.