After several years of reading motivational books that got me all fired up but didn't tell me what to actually "do" towards reaching my important goal, I bought "GOAL! Your 30 Day Game Plan for Business and Career Success". It's a short book, about 140 pages in all, but what it had to say made a big difference in me achieving a long-standing goal.
What sets this book apart from other motivational books is how practical in nature it is. Yes, there is certainly a philosophical component to it, but that is backed up with a lot of practical guidance that resonated with me. And the book is very interactive in nature. For example, right from the start, I was required to write down my goal in very specific terms and then to write my motivations for why this goal was important to me. For the first time in many years of thinking about my goal, I was compelled to examine my motivations around why the goal was important to me and what negative thoughts I had that had been preventing me from achieving my goal. When I replaced these negative thoughts with correspondingly positive thoughts, I had mentally "cleared the way" to see my goal as achievable.
GOAL! did a good job of helping me overcome obstacles like procrastination and hitting plateaus during the course of working toward my goal. There were a number of great stories about people like Richard Branson and Anderson Cooper who overcame huge hurdles to success.
There was also a section of the book devoted to 30 days of exercises that helped keep me on track and moving towards my goal. The exercises only took about 5-10 minutes to do, but they served a useful purpose in that they had me thinking about my goal from the standpoint of already having achieved it. I realized that this approach helped me minimize the hurdles I had to overcome along the way to being successful.
The last thing worth mentioning about GOAL! is that the principles are broad enough that they can be applied to just about any goal that you might want to tackle. I highly recommend it to anyone with a tough goal to achieve. It really works!