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Struggling to stay motivated in pursuing your goals? Many of us experience this for various reasons—like the all-too-familiar midweek fatigue, seasonal changes, personal challenges, or hitting a plateau after a significant achievement. Turning to motivational books can be helpful when we find ourselves in such situations. These books offer inspiring stories of resilience, practical strategies for overcoming obstacles, and actionable tips/techniques to help us take prompt action. So, if you’re feeling demotivated while striving towards a significant goal, here’s a guide to help you move forward, along with recommended motivational books to provide guidance.

6 Obstacles Keeping You from Achieving Your Goals

Before discussing our top motivational book recommendations, let’s explore the most common reasons you have difficulty reaching your goals.
Best Motivational Books - For Overcoming Obstacles to Goals

Badly Defined Goals

It’s tough to stay motivated for a long time without clear goals. Goals give us direction and help us become who we want to be. Without a clear, specific goal, we easily get distracted.

However, it doesn’t just end at setting a specific goal. If you’ve set a goal but don’t check on it regularly, you still risk losing track. You might not know if you’re making progress, miss chances to make important updates or changes, or even forget about your goal altogether.

Mental Clutter

Ever had a bunch of ideas, to-do lists, stresses, and worries all jumbled up in your head? If so, you’d know how mental clutter can mess with your mind, making it hard to focus, prioritize tasks, execute instructions, and make decisions. You end up feeling stuck and losing motivation to reach your goals.

Procrastination

Procrastination is a strong urge that can derail us from achieving our goals. It could be delaying reaching out to potential clients or putting off taking care of something and opting to have leisure time instead. One reason for procrastination is a fear or anxiety over the outcome of a task. Understanding why we procrastinate is crucial to take action.

Lack of Motivation

Ever noticed how everyone joins the gym in January, and then it’s empty again by February? It’s because we lose motivation to stick to our goals. This happens for many reasons, like falling sick or feeling unsure about what we’re doing. But, one of the biggest reasons is that we set goals that are too vague or too hard.  Studies show that breaking them down into smaller, more concrete and doable steps is crucial for sustaining motivation.

Not being Accountable

You wanted to practice the guitar for at least 30 minutes every day, but your inbox keeps blowing up, and the neighbors are making too much noise. It’s so easy to blame others for our problems, but when we do that instead of taking responsibility, we miss out on learning from our mistakes. It also prevents us from being real about what we really want and how our actions or lack of action have contributed to not achieving it.

Being Inflexible

The path to achieving our goals is seldom straightforward, and we’re likely to run into new challenges or unforessen circumstances. Imagine starting a tech company focused on making mobile apps, only to realize that the market is oversaturated. We know we need to switch things up, or even change the direction of the startup. Yet we might resist changing our plans, only to end up feeling demotivated and discounraged when we fail to get the results we want.

Now that we know key reasons for feeling unmotivated and not achieving our goals, we can look at the best motivational books to address them. Each of the recommended books below offers effective strategies for staying energized and motivated to achieve your goals.

The 7 Best Motivational Books

Here are our top picks of the best motivational books:

Stay ontrack with your goals with these 7 Top Motivational Books

Getting Things Done

1-sentence summary:
Getting Things Done guides us on how to achieve stress-free productivity by clearing mental clutter and implementing efficient workflow strategies.

What it teaches you:
Author David Allen highlights the importance of clarifying commitments that need your attention. He then explains how to use organized thinking to boost productivity, offering a step-by-step workflow for handling tasks with ease and control.

Key takeaways:
Getting Things Done equips you with practical techniques to manage tasks effectively, emphasizing the significance of noting all your commitments, breaking them down into actionable steps, and conducting regular reviews to maintain clarity and focus.

Best For:
Individuals looking to enhance productivity and reduce stress through effective task management.

Favorite Quote:
“There is usually an inverse proportion between how much something is on your mind and how much it’s getting done.”

Book Review:

Getting Things Done offers a systematic way to beat mental clutter and achieve more with less effort. The book’s emphasis on practical application, supported by clear examples and actionable advice, resonates with those looking to regain control of their tasks. Plus, by providing a comprehensive Getting Things Done (GTD) workflow, it makes getting work done easier, and helps you solve problems better.

You can read the Getting Things Done summary here.

The Now Habit

1-sentence summary:
In The Now Habit, Neil Fiore offers practical strategies and tools to overcome procrastination by addressing its underlying causes.

What it teaches you:
Fiore explores the psychological roots of procrastination, highlighting how it serves as a coping mechanism for managing stress and anxiety related to tasks and self-image. Individuals can overcome procrastination and achieve their goals by understanding and addressing these underlying fears.

Key takeaways:
The Now Habit provides actionable techniques to fight procrastination, such as the Unschedule method, positive self-talk, habit replacement, and guilt-free play. By applying these strategies, readers can build resilience, focus, and confidence, resulting in better work quality and a more balanced life.

Best For:
Those struggling with procrastination.

Favorite Quote:
“People don’t procrastinate just to be ornery or because they’re irrational. They procrastinate because it makes sense, given how vulnerable they feel to criticism, failure, and their own perfectionism.”

Book Review:

The Now Habit thoroughly explores procrastination and provides practical strategies for overcoming this common challenge. Fiore’s emphasis on addressing the underlying fears and insecurities that fuel procrastination resonates with many, offering a refreshing perspective beyond traditional productivity advice.

In addition to teaching more about the root of procrastination, its actionable tools, such as the Unschedule method and positive self-talk techniques, give readers practical steps to break the procrastination cycle and develop a mindset of productivity and resilience.

You can read The Now Habit summary here.

Eat That Frog

1-sentence summary
Author Brian Tracy gives us 21 tips to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time.

What it teaches you
Tracy provides valuable guidance on clarifying your goals and creating actionable plans. One of his recommendations is that to accomplish our overarching goals, we should identify the most significant tasks (often the least exciting to complete) and tackle them early on.

Key Takeaways
The book offers tips on better managing time and enhancing productivity, such as tackling the hardest tasks early in the day, setting clear goals, breaking tasks into smaller parts, and using lists and schedules to stay organized.

Best For
Individuals feeling overwhelmed and wanting to be better at delegating, prioritizing tasks, as well as achieving results in a short time frame.

Favourite Quote
“An average plan vigorously executed is far better than a brilliant plan on which nothing is done.”

Book Review

Eat That Frog is all about getting the tough stuff done first, just like eating a frog (a metaphor for your most challenging task). Brian Tracy uses this idea to show how tackling your biggest task early can make a big difference. He gives practical tips to beat procrastination and manage time better. Tracy’s advice is straightforward and helpful, making this book a great read for anyone who wants to get more done and feel more fulfilled.

You can get the detailed Eat That Frog summary here.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

1-sentence summary:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People presents ideas that help you take charge of your actions, communicate better, and work together well, ultimately leading to individual growth.

What it teaches you:
Author Stephen Covey advocates that achieving effectiveness comes from character development and internal change. The 7 habits outlined in the book serve as a roadmap for personal and professional growth, guiding individuals to cultivate proactive attitudes, clarify their goals, manage time effectively, build meaningful relationships, and continually renew themselves.

Key takeaways:
From being proactive and beginning with the end goal in mind to seeking understanding and the ability to work well with others, this book offers practical strategies for developing habits that lead to success and fulfillment.

Best For:
Anyone looking to enhance their effectiveness, leadership skills, and overall quality of life.

Favorite Quote:
“Change – real change – comes from the Inside-Out… It comes from striking at the root – the fabric of our thought…which give definition to our character and create the lens through which we see the world.”

Book Review:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a popular self-help book that gives valuable advice on how to be successful. Covey talks about important principles for achieving success from the inside out.

The book is relevant in both personal and professional contexts. The habits shared in the book help you grow step by step, from dependence to interdependence and renewal. It empowers individuals to handle problems in life with a clear mind and a strong sense of what they want to do.

You can read the detailed The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People summary here.

The Magic of Thinking Big

1-sentence summary:
In The Magic of Thinking Big, David Schwartz explains 13 principles for achieving success, emphasizing the important roles of belief, a growth mindset, and proactive action.

What it teaches you:
Schwartz talks about how thinking positively, dreaming big, and not holding yourself back can help you have more chances to grow in your personal and professional life.

Key takeaways:
The book encourages us to believe in ourselves to make good things happen. It urges us to concentrate on success, not failure, and to be sure about what we can do. By thinking big and imagining success, Schwartz reminds us that we can overcome self-imposed setbacks and do better than we ever expected.

Best For:
Ideal for those seeking practical strategies to elevate their mindset and achieve their goals.

Favorite Quote:
“Think Big and you’ll live big. You’ll live big in happiness. You’ll live big in accomplishment. Big in income. Big in friends. Big in respect.”

Book Review:
The Magic of Thinking Big serves as a comprehensive guide to overcoming self-limiting beliefs and embracing a mindset of abundance and possibility.

By emphasizing the importance of belief, visualization, and proactive action, Schwartz equips readers with the tools they need to overcome self-doubt and pursue their goals with confidence and determination. The book’s emphasis on expansive thinking and goal setting resonates with audiences seeking to stay on top of achieving their dreams. Schwartz’s engaging writing style, and use of inspiring stories and memorable quotes, make “The Magic of Thinking Big” both informative and enjoyable to read.

You can read The Magic of Thinking Big summary here.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

1-Sentence Summary:
Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck offers insights and tips to help readers find genuine happiness by challenging traditional ideas of success and embracing their true identities.

What it Teaches You:
Manson emphasizes the importance of focusing on what truly matters and accepting that we may make mistakes and encounter suffering. The book also encourages exploring uncommon perspectives about personal growth and fulfillment.

Key Takeaways:
Through debunking common success myths, Manson encourages readers to prioritize authenticity over what others think of us and cultivate resilience when people do not always agree with our ideas.

Best For:
Anyone looking to navigate life’s challenges with courage and authenticity.

Favorite Quote:
“The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important.”

Book Review:
Although not the typical goal attainment inspirational book, Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” is a thought-provoking and empowering read that challenges readers to embrace the messiness of life with courage and authenticity. This ties into the idea of flexibility by advocating for a mindset shift towards focusing on what truly matters and being adaptable in the pursuit of one’s goals. Manson’s approach encourages readers to let go of rigid expectations and embrace the reality that circumstances may change along the journey toward their aspirations. The book includes many examples from his personal experiences and famous personalities. He also includes references to some struggles that he faced and lessons learned along the way.

You can read the detailed The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck summary here.

Atomic Habits

1-sentence summary:
In Atomic Habits, James Clear reveals the power of small, incremental changes, known as atomic habits, and their impact on forming big positive changes.

What it teaches you:
Drawing from cognitive and behavioral sciences, Clear shows us how habits are formed through the Habit Loop and introduces four laws to cultivate good habits and eradicate bad ones. He emphasizes the positive effect of consistent, incremental improvements.

Key takeaways:
Atomic Habits demonstrates how even minor adjustments can lead to significant long-term results through the principle of compounding. If we make reminders clear, make our habits enjoyable, keep things simple, and feel good right away, we can change how we act and transform our lives.

Best For:
Anyone seeking to optimize their personal and professional routines and maximize their potential.

Favorite Quote:
“Success is not a goal to reach or a finish line to cross. It is a system to improve, an endless process to refine.”

Book Review:
Atomic Habits offers a blueprint for building habits that lead to success. This best-seller emphasizes the power of incremental progress. Clear’s insights into habit formation, backed by scientific research and real-world examples, empowers readers to take control of their habits and make remarkable strides by building up little successes over time.

You can read the detailed Atomic Habits summary here.

Bonus Books on Motivation

Go Put Your Strengths to Work

Go Put Your Strengths to Work is a practical guide that helps you identify how to play to your strengths and minimize the limiting effects of your weaknesses. It provides 6 powerful steps to identify your strengths and apply them in real life for outstanding performance. Learn to identify specifically the activities that strengthen and weaken you and develop a strategy to use these (for yourself and your team).

You can read the detailed Go Put Your Strengths to Work summary here.

Awaken the Giant Within

Many of us have thoughts like, “I shouldn’t do this,” “I can’t possibly achieve that,” or “I’m not talented enough/young enough/old enough.” These beliefs have a big impact on our lives. To achieve great success, it’s important to recognize what’s holding you back, raise your standards, change your limiting beliefs, and use specific strategies to unlock your potential.

You can learn all these things from Tony Robbins, a well-known coach who has worked with Bill Clinton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chuck Liddell, Serena Williams, and Hugh Jackman, and has influenced millions of people. In “Awaken the Giant Within,” you’ll learn how your beliefs are formed and how they can be changed. You’ll also learn about the “Neuro-Associative Conditioning” (NAC) process and different strategies to define your goals and achieve what you really want.

You can read the Awaken the Giant Within summary here. 

Conclusion

If you’ve ever set a goal and struggled to stay motivated, you know how challenging it can be. Motivational books can help reignite that drive. Books mentioned in this article, such as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, will teach you to focus on proactive behavior, building effective habits, and goal setting to persist in pursuing your goals. You’ll also find tips on prioritizing tasks and overcoming procrastination with books like Eat That Frog and The Now Habit. As a book summary service that has reviewed numerous motivational books, we’ve ensured all the books included in this article offer a comprehensive approach to achieving goals and staying motivated. So consider investing in motivational books and see how they can empower you day by day.

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