We all have them. But, let’s be real: They’re easier said than done. While we love setting a bunch for ourselves, actually achieving them usually winds up being a different story — but, not for the reason you might think.
The truth is, we’re all more than capable of achieving even our most out-there and over-the-top life goals, but sometimes, we just don’t know where to begin.
Whether you’re feeling stuck in your personal life or your career, here are 8 books that will help kickstart your life goals, pull you out of that rut, and set you on the right track:
“Aliza Licht-global fashion communications executive, AKA fashion’s favorite ‘PR girl’ and former Twitter phenomenon-is here to tell her story, complete with The Devil Wears Prada-like moments and insider secrets.
Drawing invaluable lessons from her experience, Licht shares advice, inspiration, and a healthy dose of real talk in LEAVE YOUR MARK. She delivers personal and professional guidance for people just starting their careers and for people who are well on their way. With a particular emphasis on communicating and building your personal brand, something she knows a thing or two about, Aliza is your sassy, knowledgeable guide to the contemporary working world, where personal and professional lines are blurred and the most important thing you can have is a strong sense of self.”
And, as InStyle put it: it’s a “must-read for both recent grads just starting their careers and Millennials already in the work force.”
2. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
“This refreshingly blunt #1 NY Times Bestselling how-to guide serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, transformational insights, easy exercises and the occasional swear word.
Via chapters such as ‘Your Brain is Your Bitch,’ ‘Fear is for Suckers’ and ‘My Subconscious Made Me Do It,’ the book takes you on a wild joy ride to your own transformation and helps you create the money, relationships, careers and general all around awesomeness you so desire.
By the end of ‘You Are a Badass,’ you will understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to kick some serious butt.”
“Most organizations and individuals work in the context of annual goals and plans; a twelve-month execution cycle. Instead, The 12 Week Year avoids the pitfalls and low productivity of annualized thinking. This book redefines your ‘year’ to be 12 weeks long. In 12 weeks, there just isn’t enough time to get complacent, and urgency increases and intensifies. The 12 Week Year creates focus and clarity on what matters most and a sense of urgency to do it now. In the end more of the important stuff gets done and the impact on results is profound.”
“Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the ‘strange jewels’ that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.”
“A book for people who hate the very idea of self-promotion, Show Your Work! In ten tight chapters, I lay out ways to think about your work as a never-ending process, how to build an audience by sharing that process, and how to deal with the ups and downs of putting yourself and your work out in the world.
This book is not just for ‘creatives’! Whether you’re an artist or an entrepreneur, a student or a teacher, a hobbyist or a professional, it’s time to stop worrying and start sharing.
A New York Times bestselling guide to getting discovered.”
6. Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
“A stunning new approach to how individuals can not only change their lives for the better in the workplace, but also their lives away from the office, including (but not limited to) finding ways to improve one’s working relationship with others, one’s overall health, outlook on life, and so on.
For example, why is it that 95% of all diet attempts fail? Why do New Year’s Resolutions last no more than a few days? Why can’t people with good intentions seem to make consistent and positive strides in the way they want to improve their careers, financial fitness, physical fitness, and so on?
Based upon the latest research in a number of psychological and medical fields, the authors of CHANGE ANYTHING will show that traditional will-power is not necessarily the answer to these strivings, that people are affected in their behaviors by far more subtle influences. CHANGE ANYTHING shows how individuals can come to understand these powerful and influential forces, and how to put these forces to work in a positive manner that brings real and meaningful results.
The authors present an array of everyday examples that will change and truly empower you to reexamine the way you go about your business and life.”
“Most people think success comes from good luck or enormous talent, but many successful people achieve their accomplishments in a simpler way: through self-discipline. No Excuses! shows you how you can achieve success in all three major areas of your life, including your personal goals, business and money goals, and overall happiness.
Each of the 21 chapters in this book shows you how to be more disciplined in one aspect of your life, with end-of-chapter exercises to help you apply the ‘no excuses’ approach to your own life. With these guidelines, you can learn how to be more successful in everything you do–instead of wistfully envying others you think are just ‘luckier’ than you. A little self-discipline goes a long way…so stop making excuses and read this book!”
8. Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong by Jessica Bacal
“Jessica Bacal interviews twenty-five successful women about their toughest on-the-job moments. These innovators across a variety of fields – from the arts to finance to tech – reveal that they’re more thoughtful, purposeful and assertive as leaders because they learned from their mistakes, not because they never made any. Interviewees include:
- Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of Wild
- Anna Holmes, founding editor of Jezebel.com
- Kim Gordon, founding member of the band Sonic Youth
- Joanna Barsch, Director Emeritus of McKinsey & Company
- Carol Dweck, Stanford psychology professor
- Ruth Ozeki, New York Times bestselling author of Tale for the Time Being
And many more”