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Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals (Audiobook)

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Most of us have no idea why we fail to reach our goals. Now eminent social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson shows us how we can finally win by revealing how goals really work—and by showing us how to avoid what typically goes wrong. Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson offers insights that listeners can use immediately, including how to set goals so that they will persist no matter Most of us have no idea why we fail to reach our goals. Now eminent social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson shows us how we can finally win by revealing how goals really work—and by showing us how to avoid what typically goes wrong. Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson offers insights that listeners can use immediately, including how to set goals so that they will persist no matter what; build willpower, which can be strengthened like a muscle; and avoid the kind of positive thinking that makes people fail. The strategies outlined in this book will not only help everyone reach their own goals but will also prove invaluable to parents, teachers, coaches, and employers. Dr. Grant Halvorson shows listeners a new approach to problem solving that will change the way they approach their entire lives. ©2010 Heidi Grant Halvorson; foreword 2010 by Carol S. Dweck (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.


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Most of us have no idea why we fail to reach our goals. Now eminent social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson shows us how we can finally win by revealing how goals really work—and by showing us how to avoid what typically goes wrong. Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson offers insights that listeners can use immediately, including how to set goals so that they will persist no matter Most of us have no idea why we fail to reach our goals. Now eminent social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson shows us how we can finally win by revealing how goals really work—and by showing us how to avoid what typically goes wrong. Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson offers insights that listeners can use immediately, including how to set goals so that they will persist no matter what; build willpower, which can be strengthened like a muscle; and avoid the kind of positive thinking that makes people fail. The strategies outlined in this book will not only help everyone reach their own goals but will also prove invaluable to parents, teachers, coaches, and employers. Dr. Grant Halvorson shows listeners a new approach to problem solving that will change the way they approach their entire lives. ©2010 Heidi Grant Halvorson; foreword 2010 by Carol S. Dweck (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

30 review for Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals (Audiobook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amora

    Heidi, an academic at Columbia University, presents evidence here that making goals not only increases our happiness, but also improves our health and cultivates skills. Heidi presents the reader with multiple ways to achieve goals (and how not to) and what goals we should set for ourselves. Most of the scholarly data presented in the book was conducted by the author herself and is extremely solid. Great book!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mitton

    This is NOT a clichéd self-help book. In a similar vein to Piers Steele’s book “The Procrastination Equation” and Kelly McGonigal’s “Maximum Willpower” Heidi Grant Halvorson’s “Succeed” is written by an academic (day-job when not scribbling is that of a Social Psychologist). And just like those other two books, Grant Havorson’s ”Succeed” distils the results of published dry academic research papers (that no one outside of an academic institution would be likely to get their hands on or understand This is NOT a clichéd self-help book. In a similar vein to Piers Steele’s book “The Procrastination Equation” and Kelly McGonigal’s “Maximum Willpower” Heidi Grant Halvorson’s “Succeed” is written by an academic (day-job when not scribbling is that of a Social Psychologist). And just like those other two books, Grant Havorson’s ”Succeed” distils the results of published dry academic research papers (that no one outside of an academic institution would be likely to get their hands on or understand) into something that tells in engaging English what factors have been found by academics to work in helping people set and attain goals. Succeed is not a quick fix, it is simply written but treats with a complicated subject presenting ideas and bona fide statistics that have come from academic studies and asks you to consider them on an entertaining journey into what social psychologists have published as results of research. This element of ‘meta-analysis’ is what sets this book and the two mentioned above from the drudgery and snake-oil salesmanship of the likes of (for example) “Brian Buy My Books Tracy” or “Paul Look Into My Eyes McKenna” or “Tony Yeah You Can Do It Easy if You Buy My Book Robbins” approaches. No spoiler here, but consider this as an example from the book – a large group of German students were asked to write an essay over the Christmas Holidays and post in the essay to the tutor within two days of Christmas Day. Half of the students were in addition given an additional instruction, and that was before they went off on holiday they were asked to write down where and when they would write the essay. Of the students who were not asked to write down (or plan) where they would write the essay – i.e. they had no particular plan asked of them WHEN or WHERE to write their essay 31% sent in an essay, of those who were asked to write down where and when – 71% of these students sent in an essay. More than twice as many. This is no urban myth, this is a published paper and this result has been repeated time after time. When you are asked or ask someone else to do something – do you think it might be a good idea to force yourself or ask them to plan EXACTLY where and when you are going to do it? Yup. This is a very minor point in Heidi Grant Halvorson’s book – there is a lot more valuable ‘stuff’ waiting for you if you take the time to buy, read and reflect on these on how to best help yourself succeed in what you want to do and what you need to do.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    I'm definitely a goal-oriented person, so I wondered how reading yet another book on the subject might help me do even better at setting/achieving goals. After all, how complicated can it be, right? Even still, I did glean some useful insight that I hadn't really considered before like, "Don't visualize success. Instead, visualize the steps you will take in order to succeed." I enjoyed Halvorson's research-based study of goals, though I did occasionally get bored with the details and ended up ski I'm definitely a goal-oriented person, so I wondered how reading yet another book on the subject might help me do even better at setting/achieving goals. After all, how complicated can it be, right? Even still, I did glean some useful insight that I hadn't really considered before like, "Don't visualize success. Instead, visualize the steps you will take in order to succeed." I enjoyed Halvorson's research-based study of goals, though I did occasionally get bored with the details and ended up skimming those parts to get to the practical application of the ideas. I loved Chapter 6, The Right Goals for You, which provided simple strategies to tackle goals when: "you need a kick in the pants," you need it done yesterday," "the road looks very rocky," and other goal-challenged situations we often find ourselves in. Chapter 7 was also useful for business owners, managers, parents or anyone else who needs to influence others to achieve goals. Overall, I useful guide for anyone interested in understanding the science behind goals and the practical ways you can achieve goals.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Prashob

    This won't be your typical mumbo-jumbo self help book, it's scientifically rigorous with lots of great as examples, you will learn quite a lot of important things like: 1) What are goals,how to set one. 2)what sort of goals to be pursued. 3)Goals for Optimists and pessimists. 4)Why perseverance matters more than ability. 5)Types of goals. 6)Why we still fail after lots of efforts. 7)How to mentor. 8)Types of feedbacks and lot more It will be absolutely worth your time reading this one. This won't be your typical mumbo-jumbo self help book, it's scientifically rigorous with lots of great as examples, you will learn quite a lot of important things like: 1) What are goals,how to set one. 2)what sort of goals to be pursued. 3)Goals for Optimists and pessimists. 4)Why perseverance matters more than ability. 5)Types of goals. 6)Why we still fail after lots of efforts. 7)How to mentor. 8)Types of feedbacks and lot more It will be absolutely worth your time reading this one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lance

    It wasn't so much the purple cover that intrigued me (I mean, purple is the default wardrobe color for comic book villians) as it was the subtitle: How We Can Reach Our Goals. I had always been troubled that every year I make goals and only achieve a portion of the them. No matter what changes I seem to make, I could never get at the real root of the problem because the percentage of unmet goals would remain more or less constant year after year. Now I have some answers. Halverson is a social psy It wasn't so much the purple cover that intrigued me (I mean, purple is the default wardrobe color for comic book villians) as it was the subtitle: How We Can Reach Our Goals. I had always been troubled that every year I make goals and only achieve a portion of the them. No matter what changes I seem to make, I could never get at the real root of the problem because the percentage of unmet goals would remain more or less constant year after year. Now I have some answers. Halverson is a social psychologist who brings her research into motivation and achievement to light in a very interesting and thought-provoking way. Her conversational tone is very inviting. She explains the different kinds of goals and how the way we think about how goals helps to shape our success in accomplishing the goals. We need to set the right kind of goals for the situation at hand, and we need to approach them in the right way. For example, one of the biggest mistakes people make is setting goals to validate their own sense of worth, what Halverson calls be-good goals. Goals designed to make us better people that focus on self-improvement, what Halverson calls get-better goals, have a higher chance of actually being achieved. Positive thinking is scientifically proven to be good, but also scientifically proven is the increased risk of failure provided by too much optimism, or what Halverson calls "unrealistic optimism." I would just call this arrogance, pride, or cockiness. What Halverson calls realistic optimism, which is scientifically shown to increase the chances for success, is what I would call tempered optimism, or optimism balanced with a sense of practicality. But as Shakespeare once wrote, "a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet", and Halverson's bouquet is precisely that. All of her assertions are backed up with scientific studies that reveal the right way to approach our goals in order to maximize our chances for success. Some of what she concludes from her scientific work has already been practiced by others for years. For example, David Allen has long asserted the importance of planning -- doing the intellectual work necessary to decide what needs to happen so that when the moment comes all resources can be focused on execution. Halverson's scientific work confirms what Allen has observed over the many years of his consulting practice. Because our goals involve other people, Halverson also dives into how to provide proper feedback as well as explaining the cultural difference between Asia and the West. I agree with her that our culture values inherent ability so much that we neglect acquired ability and the reality that many Asians accept readily in their own culture -- anyone can be great with enough effort and persistence. Halverson's suggestions for feedback are good for anyone who works with others, whether as an employer, an instructor, or a parent. What benefited me the most from Halverson's book is her reassurance that sometimes it is healthy to step away from a goal. I had always thought that quitting on a goal meant quitting on my commitment, but Halverson shows that is simply not true. Sometimes changing circumstances demand that we change our direction. The goals we make are only as good as the information and circumstances at the time the goal was made. Things change, and we shouldn't be afraid to walk away from a goal once we determine it is no longer good for us. But Halverson stresses that a key part of this process is replacing the old goal with a new one that is appropriate to the new circumstances in order to maintain our motivation and sense of movement. All in all, this was a great book, well worth the time and effort spent with it. I would rank it on the same level as Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, because this book is a paradigm shifter. Covey described paradigms as maps, saying that only when our map reflects reality can we plot a true course. That's what Halverson's book is -- a map that more accurately reflects the way we are wired to go after achievement. If you are responsible for other people and/or you have an interest in increasing your own personal effectiveness, then you must read this book. The conclusions made by Halverson are all based on scientific study, and in each of those instances she explains the circumstances of the studies so that you can follow her along to the conclusions drawn. Although not always intuitive, it is a very straightforward way of thinking about goals and how to reach them. I will certainly be applying the principles of this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Abeer

    I’m decidedly not a self-help books person, though I’m trying to take a leaf out of my brother’s book—the model child—and I’m no expert with my opinions, even if I’m not generous with them. This was a good read. It is concise, objective and based on research, and quite honestly I would rather get my life advice from a social psychologist than some man who became famous off of yelling profanities on igtv (as fond as I may be of profanities). To be clear... the advice in this book is not anything t I’m decidedly not a self-help books person, though I’m trying to take a leaf out of my brother’s book—the model child—and I’m no expert with my opinions, even if I’m not generous with them. This was a good read. It is concise, objective and based on research, and quite honestly I would rather get my life advice from a social psychologist than some man who became famous off of yelling profanities on igtv (as fond as I may be of profanities). To be clear... the advice in this book is not anything too peculiar or groundbreaking... in fact, I found that most of these principles I’ve subconsciously known and sometimes applied all my life. I talked about some of them to a friend and she has too. But there’s definitely an advantage to reading them set into concrete psychology language and backed by scientific evidence—actually, as a scientific sceptic, that has been quite important to me, and definitely makes me want to apply them more. One criticism, however, is that some of the claims are backed only by a simple lab study, which is not the most compelling evidence. I have not yet done my research into these studies and how reliable they are. At many occasions, she does reference more than one source, but this is not always the case. The prose is a bit weak at points, but that’s okay, I know I’m not reading a novel. It has, however, a very conversational and easy to read tone, which is the important thing in this case. In general, this is good, if not the most life-changing advice. Or perhaps it is life-changing and I’ll find out. I will let you know.

  7. 4 out of 5

    William

    Heidi Grant Halvorson has written an unusual book on how we can reach our goals. What makes it unusual is that her book is entirely based on research studies available in the academic psychology literature. I generally appreciate knowing the context or background of why I'm being told to do certain things, so I really appreciated this. This explanation is especially valuable where she makes recommendations that, while based on the empirical literature, are counter-intutive or against received wi Heidi Grant Halvorson has written an unusual book on how we can reach our goals. What makes it unusual is that her book is entirely based on research studies available in the academic psychology literature. I generally appreciate knowing the context or background of why I'm being told to do certain things, so I really appreciated this. This explanation is especially valuable where she makes recommendations that, while based on the empirical literature, are counter-intutive or against received wisdom. So, why am I giving this book only a 3-star rating? This is because Part Two of the book lacks a practical focus. In this part, Grant Halvorson discusses generally the different types of goals (e.g. be-good vs. get-better goals, or prevention-focused vs. promotion-focused goals). I found this interesting and could see how these categories were useful for analysis. But I really missed the practical bent of how these categories could be used to formulate goals. Looking at the other reviews for this book, this was evidently not an issue for others. Perhaps I lack "the vision thing" or need to have the dots connected for me in an especially obvious way, but the lack of a practical take-away in this part of the book was a problem for me. Conversely, other parts of the book had a practical aspect that was quite valuable. I especially appreciated Chapter 9 ("Make a Simple Plan") and Chapter 13 ("Give the Right Feedback"). Where the academic literature was joined with a practical take-away, the book was excellent. I do want to take issue with one of Grant Halvorson's messages, the idea that success in reaching our goals is dependent entirely on effort and not at all on ability. I would seriously qualify this statement. In the category of "ability" I would include a teacher's competence. As Augustine of Hippo is supposed to have said, if a student hasn't learned, then the teacher hasn't taught. One's own effort is often a major determinant of success, but effort cannot overcome everything. Overall, this is a good book on how we can reach our goals that is grounded in the psychological literature, but a lack of a practical focus in one part of it prevents it from being very good.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Much of this book is common sense. The selling point here is that this is comprehensive research, but the science is often too light to support the heavy advice based on it. For example, the author uses the "Biggest Loser" TV show as a model. She claims that the contestants gain weight after the show because their commitment diminishes when the social pressure is removed. Well, some scientists objectively measured what is going on with the Biggest Losers. It turns out that their metabolisms slow Much of this book is common sense. The selling point here is that this is comprehensive research, but the science is often too light to support the heavy advice based on it. For example, the author uses the "Biggest Loser" TV show as a model. She claims that the contestants gain weight after the show because their commitment diminishes when the social pressure is removed. Well, some scientists objectively measured what is going on with the Biggest Losers. It turns out that their metabolisms slow down so dramatically that it is extremely difficult for them to keep the weight off. This is outside their control. [http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/hea...] So the author's take on something that is a major struggle for millions of people amounts to unfairly blaming the victims. I don't think that's helpful.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I normally wouldn't have picked up this book, with its boring title and cover. But I'd heard the author, Heidi Grant Halvorson, speak on Laura Vanderkam's podcast, so I figured she'd probably have insightful things to say in this book as well. I wasn't disappointed. The book is full of research-based findings on motivation and strategies for success, not just ideas and anecdotes such as "Work hard!" and "Stay positive!" (There is a discussion on positive thinking in this book.) What's even bette I normally wouldn't have picked up this book, with its boring title and cover. But I'd heard the author, Heidi Grant Halvorson, speak on Laura Vanderkam's podcast, so I figured she'd probably have insightful things to say in this book as well. I wasn't disappointed. The book is full of research-based findings on motivation and strategies for success, not just ideas and anecdotes such as "Work hard!" and "Stay positive!" (There is a discussion on positive thinking in this book.) What's even better is that Grant Halvorson writes in a fun, straightforward way, so it wasn't a pain to read through pages about studies. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to accomplish something difficult, something attempted before but not accomplished, or just some new goal.

  10. 5 out of 5

    James Shoop

    I really liked this book. It didn't have the cheesy, hokey feel that most self-improvement books I've read do. The author's style was very personal and non-preachy- which is rare for books written by professionals- and the topics were addressed in a very orderly fashion, which is also rare. Her constant allusions to her dislike of exercise were so predictable and not-funny that they were hilarious in a weird sort of way... Much more importantly, though, is the content! The book is very well rese I really liked this book. It didn't have the cheesy, hokey feel that most self-improvement books I've read do. The author's style was very personal and non-preachy- which is rare for books written by professionals- and the topics were addressed in a very orderly fashion, which is also rare. Her constant allusions to her dislike of exercise were so predictable and not-funny that they were hilarious in a weird sort of way... Much more importantly, though, is the content! The book is very well researched, and the ideas she presents are fresh and engaging, as well as being very helpful! Some of the tips she presented are already paying dividends to me. I'm very glad I read this book!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leo Polovets

    “Succeed” is a terrific book about 1) how to think about goals 2) how to set goals and 3) how to work effectively toward goals. The advice and insights are based on scientific studies (as opposed to old wives’ tales and anecdotes). For example, sometimes it’s good to think about the big picture () while at other times it’s better to think about the details (What do I need to do next?); “Succeed” reveals which situations favor one approach over the other. The book is filled with tons of practical “Succeed” is a terrific book about 1) how to think about goals 2) how to set goals and 3) how to work effectively toward goals. The advice and insights are based on scientific studies (as opposed to old wives’ tales and anecdotes). For example, sometimes it’s good to think about the big picture () while at other times it’s better to think about the details (What do I need to do next?); “Succeed” reveals which situations favor one approach over the other. The book is filled with tons of practical, meaningful advice.

  12. 5 out of 5

    EMP

    4.5 stars. I picked this up thinking "Okay, another SH book in an endless stream of me try to get my butt in gear." However, this book made me actually think about myself from a different perspective. I learned some unflattering things including that I set my bar low because I don't want to bother with something unless I know I can be good at it. It annoys me when people use phrases like "life changing" to describe books because it seems so melodramatic, but that's the phrase I thought of when I 4.5 stars. I picked this up thinking "Okay, another SH book in an endless stream of me try to get my butt in gear." However, this book made me actually think about myself from a different perspective. I learned some unflattering things including that I set my bar low because I don't want to bother with something unless I know I can be good at it. It annoys me when people use phrases like "life changing" to describe books because it seems so melodramatic, but that's the phrase I thought of when I was done reading this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lu

    Dr. Halvorson has written a book that addressed a big gap in my goal setting practice that I didn't even know existed. There are many type of goals and rewards. This book clearly illustrated the difference between the types, and most importantly, defined which type of goals should apply to which type of situations. The first couple of chapters alone on "why" and "what" of goals are worth the book price alone. I also like how the author uses her personal stories to illustrate her points. Highly recom Dr. Halvorson has written a book that addressed a big gap in my goal setting practice that I didn't even know existed. There are many type of goals and rewards. This book clearly illustrated the difference between the types, and most importantly, defined which type of goals should apply to which type of situations. The first couple of chapters alone on "why" and "what" of goals are worth the book price alone. I also like how the author uses her personal stories to illustrate her points. Highly recommended. 9/10

  14. 5 out of 5

    Meera

    I liked how each chapter provided you with self-examination of your goals and motivations. I can't say that I learned anything new really about how to succeed in your goals but the information was framed in a way that made me enjoy reading this book. I also got ideas on how to motivate my children and students better which was unique from previous books I've read. I liked how each chapter provided you with self-examination of your goals and motivations. I can't say that I learned anything new really about how to succeed in your goals but the information was framed in a way that made me enjoy reading this book. I also got ideas on how to motivate my children and students better which was unique from previous books I've read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Matt Seltzer

    Overall, I dug it. Dr. Halvorson goes into some great detail into how one can achieve goals, and, more importantly, how to look at and develop goals that our minds are interested in achieving. The important of the latter is the prevailing theme, as she goes into great detail throughout about things like how time can differ our motivations for near and far goals, or how a fear of punishment is a different motivator from a desire for reward. Much of this comes from our experiences, but regardless Overall, I dug it. Dr. Halvorson goes into some great detail into how one can achieve goals, and, more importantly, how to look at and develop goals that our minds are interested in achieving. The important of the latter is the prevailing theme, as she goes into great detail throughout about things like how time can differ our motivations for near and far goals, or how a fear of punishment is a different motivator from a desire for reward. Much of this comes from our experiences, but regardless of our pre-programming, Halvorson demonstrates the psychological impact that framing goals can have on each of our psyches. As a marketing practitioner, I especially loved the deep-dives into how language, surroundings, pre-conditionings, etc. can change how motivated we are to commit to an action. That's literally the science-side of the marketing industry. Definitely recommend for anyone looking to build themselves further into who they want to be!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jina

    If Halvorson's book Focus gets a bit repetitive because the author is covering one finding over and over again, Succeed feels the opposite: a bit breathless because Halvorson is now trying to cover several findings to make a comprehensive book about motivation and goals. Despite that, I think the information within is very good. Halvorson covers a lot of ideas that are more exhaustively explored elsewhere: for example, that self-control is like a muscle (Roy Baumeister in Willpower), that our li If Halvorson's book Focus gets a bit repetitive because the author is covering one finding over and over again, Succeed feels the opposite: a bit breathless because Halvorson is now trying to cover several findings to make a comprehensive book about motivation and goals. Despite that, I think the information within is very good. Halvorson covers a lot of ideas that are more exhaustively explored elsewhere: for example, that self-control is like a muscle (Roy Baumeister in Willpower), that our lives are shaped by our beliefs about whether we can improve or our qualities are innate (Carol Dweck in Mindset), and that positive thinking can hinder us in goal achievement (Julie Norem in The Positive Power of Negative Thinking).

  17. 5 out of 5

    Angela Randall

    I just found this book from an article on bright young girls. I've heard similar things about bright kids in general, but never thought about how easily it might apply more to girls than boys. And if you've ever tried to control a classroom of kids, you know how easily this can be true. All kids need to be reminded that effort-based learning is required, not that there's some "smart/not smart" or "good at this/not good at this" switch in place. I just found this book from an article on bright young girls. I've heard similar things about bright kids in general, but never thought about how easily it might apply more to girls than boys. And if you've ever tried to control a classroom of kids, you know how easily this can be true. All kids need to be reminded that effort-based learning is required, not that there's some "smart/not smart" or "good at this/not good at this" switch in place.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Geoff

    'This book isn't actually just about willpower, however. It's about achieving goals, and self-control is just one piece of that puzzle. Specifically, Succeed is about understanding how goals works, what tends to go wrong, and what you can do to reach your goals or to help others reach theirs. Heidi Grant Halvorson, a social psychologist, offers a dynamic look at setting goals. Unlike 'Rethinking Positive Thinking' which centres on WOOP, this book offers a much more diverse overview of goal setti 'This book isn't actually just about willpower, however. It's about achieving goals, and self-control is just one piece of that puzzle. Specifically, Succeed is about understanding how goals works, what tends to go wrong, and what you can do to reach your goals or to help others reach theirs. Heidi Grant Halvorson, a social psychologist, offers a dynamic look at setting goals. Unlike 'Rethinking Positive Thinking' which centres on WOOP, this book offers a much more diverse overview of goal setting research. She structures her work into three parts: Part One. Get Ready. Part Two. Get Set. Part Three. Go. Each of the chapters concludes with a condensed bulleted pointed summary of that chapter, which is very useful for application. Part One begins with the oft-forgotten component of applying the rules of travel to goal setting. We might think that we have set goals, and that when we still make no steps forward that goal setting just doesn't work. But Halvorson rightfully questions whether we have actually even formulated a goal or was it some insubstantial, fraudulent imitation: 'The first step to getting anywhere is to decide where you want to go... That seems so obvious that you may be wondering why I bothered to say it... Oh sure, you feel like you've set a lot of goals for yourself, but have you really? Or have you just thought about how you'd like to be happier, healthier, or more successful, without actually deciding what specifically you were going to do about it? You have desires, lots and lots of things that you want to happen, but how many of those wishes have you turned into real goals? Without being translated in to goals, our desires remain just that - things we wish would happen. If your planning never gets any further than "I'd like to go someplace warm," you're probably not going anywhere, are you?' Continuing in Part One, we learn the importance of setting both specific and difficult goals based on research by Locke and Latham. Halvorson also asks us to consider goals both in terms of 'what' terms and 'why' terms. As she writes, 'When people think about what they are doing in why terms, they are guided by the big picture - their smaller, everyday actions become a part of something larger and more important.' In order to facilitate this why thinking, we must consider the goal we're finding difficult and ask a few questions: What goal does this action help me achieve? How does this goal benefit me? The aim is to see intermediate goals, which may seem trivial or unappealing in themselves, and connect them to larger narrative, big picture goals. Later, she mentions the most widely known and accepted theory in the the study of motivation, 'Expectancy Value Theory', which states that a person is motivated to do something based on (1) expecting that they are likely to be successful and (2) that they think there is some benefit from it. So if one can enhance those two components, one is more motivated. One feels then that Henry Ford was justified in his assessment, 'If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.' Halvorson also mentions Gabrielle Oettingen's research, and presents her own great exercise on 'Setting Goals through Mental Contrasting', which involves listing positive aspects of a happy aspect of accomplishing a goal, and then adding an obstacle, and then continuing that cycle of positive aspect and obstacle. In Part Two, Halvorson presents one of her biggest ideas, the distinction between 'be good' and 'get-better' goals (She has even made a Youtube talk on the latter). 'Be good' goals are examples of performance goals, while 'get better' goals are examples of mastery goals. For someone who pursues 'get-better' goals, they don't judge themselves on the grade that they get, their standard is instead determined by questions like 'Am I improving? Am I learning? Am I moving forward at a good pace?' This pursuit of mastery will nearly always inevitably translate to good grades but it demonstrably changes the self-talk, the desire to pursue deeper questions for their intrinsic interest, etc. As she writes: 'Get-better goals, on the other hand, are all about the journey. In dozens of studies, psychologists have found that when people pursue get-better goals, they find greater interest and enjoyment in what they do. They have a heightened attention to the process, experience, a greater sense of involvement and immersion, and personally value what they are learning more... Studies show that students who find the material interesting are more likely to generate their own questions and seek the answers to satisfy their curiosity. They use "deeper" processing strategies, like looking for themes, connections, and underlying principles in the material they are learning, instead of the more "surface" processing strategies like rote memorization and cramming so favored by be-gooders. They are less likely to procrastinate. And all that active learning and question asking and not procrastinating leads, not surprisingly, to higher achievement. If you choose get-better goals, you have greater success because you enjoy the process of getting better. So sometimes you really can have your cake and eat it, too.' In the chapter 'Goals for Optimists and Goals for Pessimists', we learn about promotion and prevention goals. Analogous to being good and getting better goals, we can approach the same goals through different lenses. As a professor, Halvorson has saw first-hand this difference in students who wanted to become doctors. Some didn't want to let their parents down (prevention focus) while others had always dreamed of being a doctor (promotion focus). One can combine the two approaches. For example, in quitting smoking, one can begin with a promotion focus, listing the benefits of doing so and then as the months pass use a prevention focus to imagine what will be lost in returning to the habit. In Part Three, Halvorson explains why we fail to reach our goals and simple ways in which we can avoid that. In this part, she mentions implementation intentions and in a chapter called 'Keep it Real'. she gives a great exercise for being realistic about one's goals. This involves asking: (1) Why you think you will do well, (2) How likely are other people to have that advantage and (3) Think about how you can take control of succeeding or failing. She also offers the crucial distinction that rather than commit to visualising success, that we should instead visualise the steps for that success. I love this advice, as it still retains the power of visualisation while shifting what it is we apply it to. As she explains: 'I won't name names, but it seems like there are an awful lot of self-help books out there telling people that if they just picture what they want in their minds, it will somehow happen. That would be great if it were true, but scientifically speaking, there really isn't much evidence for it. On the other hand, visualization can be very helpful, if you imagine the steps you will take in order to succeed, rather the success itself. Mentally simulating the process of achieving the goal, rather than the hoped-for outcome, not only results in a more optimistic outlook, but in greater planning and preparation. Picture yourself doing what it takes to succeed, and you will soon you finding yourself believing that you an. The best part is, you'll be absolutely right.' In summary, Halvorson has laid out the big ideas in the study of motivation. As she mentions in the Introduction, there is sadly not a three-step process that works for everyone. Some people respond better to prevention goals than promotion goals. And that same person might exchange the focus depending on what the goal is. Therefore, goal setting is more nuanced and context-dependent than it might first appear. But Halvorson is more than up to the task in this book of translating the research into actionable guidance.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    So, I used this book in a neuroscience course that I teach. The assignment was to create a commentary on the book by integrating the neuroscience of action selection / value assessment for an intelligent, but non-scientific audience. I encouraged the students to creatively frame their commentary, e.g., as a podcast, letter to a friend, etc. From my perspective the assignment went really well, and that partially speaks to the book. Succeed, itself, is written by a social psychologist who has done So, I used this book in a neuroscience course that I teach. The assignment was to create a commentary on the book by integrating the neuroscience of action selection / value assessment for an intelligent, but non-scientific audience. I encouraged the students to creatively frame their commentary, e.g., as a podcast, letter to a friend, etc. From my perspective the assignment went really well, and that partially speaks to the book. Succeed, itself, is written by a social psychologist who has done a considerable amount of work on resilience and goal-setting / goal achievement. But the book, itself, is very much written for a "business" reader. There's a bit too much discussion about weight regulation, for example, and the book is framed almost as a set of recipes that conclude with bulleted reminders (i.e., at the end of a chapter). Personally, I don't find that this style promotes understanding,...and I do think that ultimately the best "self-help" books promote a deeper understanding of self. This book does not promote that deeper understanding. What is does is provide actionable to-do's and recipes. Now, if you happen to know the data, the book is more interesting, and of course, problematic. The social psych landscape is undergoing a reproducibility crisis, so much of the data is being revisited. However, Halvorson paints with such broad strokes that there is no denying much of her advice. Framing and priming different motivational systems does interact with achievement. That's well-established fact at this point. "Loss avoidance" promotes certain cognitive / behavioral styles that can be beneficial or problematic, depending on the goal. "An opportunity mindset" does the same. Etc. Etc. Finally, the idea of being strategic with our environment and cognitive framing is a hugely important lesson, as it provides an individual with more agency. Emotions are tools as much as they are inexplicable happenings. Situations can be rearranged to promote / incentivize different types of behavior. In summary, quick read, a bit shallow, and more of a cookbook than a book of insights.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Decades of research on setting and achieving goals presented in a theory & application structure. Peter Gollwitzer’s idea for planning life reminds me of writing functions in JavaScript. Carol Dweck wrote the foreword and at one point Halvorson worked on a project with Susan Duckworth. Growth mindset and grit play a prominent role in this book. Interesting sections on the value of negative thinking, pessimism, and preservation goals. Optimists are more likely to make themselves feel good about fai Decades of research on setting and achieving goals presented in a theory & application structure. Peter Gollwitzer’s idea for planning life reminds me of writing functions in JavaScript. Carol Dweck wrote the foreword and at one point Halvorson worked on a project with Susan Duckworth. Growth mindset and grit play a prominent role in this book. Interesting sections on the value of negative thinking, pessimism, and preservation goals. Optimists are more likely to make themselves feel good about failing than make the necessary plans and effort to do well. Many have an exaggerated sense of their intelligence, talents, and the fortunes they will encounter in life and as a result miss out on many opportunities within their reach. Performance goals are attempts at proving a fixed trait, such as intelligence. They compel us to avoid risk and focus on promotion goals where we can most easily secure it. The result is an inflated or deflated ego, mania or depression. Mastery goals are attempts at learning something new, such as functional programming. They compel us to tackle challenges and value the process as a learning experience. When the goal is not met, one is less likely to give up or require attribution retraining. Humility and a balanced mind is the fruit.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rasveen Gill

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was an amazing book which I enjoyed learning. Considering this book is non fiction, and I prefer reading non fiction books because you actually learn something that makes you think a lot different and you have a new perception and outlook on the world. This has greatly impacted me because the overall message was to set goals and the significance of doing it. I for one never set goals before but now I have a goal setting booklet that I revise everyday and since then my life has been going fo This was an amazing book which I enjoyed learning. Considering this book is non fiction, and I prefer reading non fiction books because you actually learn something that makes you think a lot different and you have a new perception and outlook on the world. This has greatly impacted me because the overall message was to set goals and the significance of doing it. I for one never set goals before but now I have a goal setting booklet that I revise everyday and since then my life has been going forward and it's all because of this book that has inspired me to do this. Overall I am hoping to achieve a high level of success from reading this book because this book contains some exclusive content that all people should know including the nine things that successful people do differently. I totally recommend this book to people who like reading non fiction and to the fiction people to this is an outstanding book. I give this a 4 star not a 5 because the way the author worded it was confusing and also there was a couple of things that I personally did not agree with. Again, this is a life changing book and if you follow the guides and advice this girl gives then this book is for you

  22. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Read this for a psychology class (SS162 in Minerva Schools). It's a good read drawing from research on how we can succeed in reaching our goals through many techniques. One that I remember is the implementation intention, which basically says that if one has an intention to do a certain action and thinks through what has to be done, then the implementation is much more likely to occur compared to when an intention is not thought through. The author draws from this literature and gives the tip of Read this for a psychology class (SS162 in Minerva Schools). It's a good read drawing from research on how we can succeed in reaching our goals through many techniques. One that I remember is the implementation intention, which basically says that if one has an intention to do a certain action and thinks through what has to be done, then the implementation is much more likely to occur compared to when an intention is not thought through. The author draws from this literature and gives the tip of creating "If...then" statements. For example, if one wants to go to sleep earlier, then saying, "If my phone shows 10 pm, I'll turn my phone into airplane mode and lie on my bed." Of course, one can already see that there are various details one can add to make a certain action more likely. There were a bunch of tips, so I don't remember all of them. I plan to skim this again sometime later. A good read overall!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Supinder

    The book has numerous citations – used to back up claims on how to improve productivity and succeed. Most of the concepts are not new; however, there are several concepts that I have not come across before. One such concept is assessing personality and motivation as a dichotomy of being either a promotion-based goal or a prevention-based goal. The type of goal one sets dictates how the goal should be attempted. A revelatory insight is the concept of fear being a natural and helpful emotion when The book has numerous citations – used to back up claims on how to improve productivity and succeed. Most of the concepts are not new; however, there are several concepts that I have not come across before. One such concept is assessing personality and motivation as a dichotomy of being either a promotion-based goal or a prevention-based goal. The type of goal one sets dictates how the goal should be attempted. A revelatory insight is the concept of fear being a natural and helpful emotion when tackling a prevention goal; these goals should be long term ones and it helps to visualise all that could go wrong if one were not to attempt the goal. A short goal that can be easily accomplished falls into the bracket of a promotion goal. It makes sense if one were to focus on the pleasure of succeeding when attempting promotion goals.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Fredar

    very good psychology book on how to set goals and how to reach them, sums up the major discoveries of psychology on this aspect. However, I find that goal achievement books written by experienced life coaches are more practical albeit less scientifically rigorous. For example while a psychologist would say intrinsic motivation comes primarily from autonomy, mastery and relatedness, a life coach would say it comes from relationship, childhood and death. Immediately they would devise ways to invok very good psychology book on how to set goals and how to reach them, sums up the major discoveries of psychology on this aspect. However, I find that goal achievement books written by experienced life coaches are more practical albeit less scientifically rigorous. For example while a psychologist would say intrinsic motivation comes primarily from autonomy, mastery and relatedness, a life coach would say it comes from relationship, childhood and death. Immediately they would devise ways to invoke your motivation by inquiring about your relationship with people important to you, take you back to the place you grow up to remind you where your drive was coming from, guide you to contemplate your death and obituary so you get clear on how you want to be remembered. These are very powerful and practical ways to ignite people’s internal drive that psychologist often overlooks.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gonzalo Cordova

    This is by far the most comprehensive and well-documented book about goals I have encountered to date. Heidi Grant Halvorson is engaging while achieving the perfect balance between theory and practice. I really liked the summaries at the end of every chapter, so one can use the book as a reference in the future. In particular, Heidi Grant Halvorson's work teaches how to define the right goals for any situation, including team settings. Additionally, the author presents information about when and This is by far the most comprehensive and well-documented book about goals I have encountered to date. Heidi Grant Halvorson is engaging while achieving the perfect balance between theory and practice. I really liked the summaries at the end of every chapter, so one can use the book as a reference in the future. In particular, Heidi Grant Halvorson's work teaches how to define the right goals for any situation, including team settings. Additionally, the author presents information about when and how to quit a goal, self-control, and feedback. Finally, this book also provides a goal selection cheat sheet and a goal troubleshooter framework that I believe are the biggest contributions of this book to my leadership toolbox. If you get a chance to read one book about goals, this is the one to pick!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pia Bröker

    Good book, far from "You can do everything if you just believe in yourself and follow these three steps". The author uses scientific evidence to show what makes people more successful and what less. It seems a lot more realistic than other books. This book gives you tools to start and continue working on goals like studying better, spending more time with friends/family, dealing with finance, working "harder", or change habits. But it also explains how to take breaks, when to quit, and other tips Good book, far from "You can do everything if you just believe in yourself and follow these three steps". The author uses scientific evidence to show what makes people more successful and what less. It seems a lot more realistic than other books. This book gives you tools to start and continue working on goals like studying better, spending more time with friends/family, dealing with finance, working "harder", or change habits. But it also explains how to take breaks, when to quit, and other tips for improving mental health. I did not like that a major focus was on dieting and losing weight, as I don't think that is a goal that can be reached by determination and right planning, and I found the language triggering for people dealing with disordered eating behaviors. Had to read it for school.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dey

    A thorough and easy-to-read exploration of goals: what kinds exist, what circumstances dictate which kind of goal to set, how to create goals that encourage success. Includes how to create goals for and give feedback to others (examples from corporate work and parenting). She is clearly a researcher (hurrah!) and does an excellent job of summarizing research. She’s fairly modest about her own research, and very much provides a sense of the entire field of study. Each chapter concludes with a sum A thorough and easy-to-read exploration of goals: what kinds exist, what circumstances dictate which kind of goal to set, how to create goals that encourage success. Includes how to create goals for and give feedback to others (examples from corporate work and parenting). She is clearly a researcher (hurrah!) and does an excellent job of summarizing research. She’s fairly modest about her own research, and very much provides a sense of the entire field of study. Each chapter concludes with a summary that focuses on practical applications of the concepts covered. My only complaint is that there isn’t a larger chart that pulls it all together. It seems like creating a flowchart for thinking through these strategies would be helpful. I may try to do it on my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Randy Daugherty

    Most of us have no idea why we fail to reach our goals. Now eminent social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson shows us how we can finally win by revealing how goals really work—and by showing us how to avoid what typically goes wrong. Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson offers insights that listeners can use immediately, including how to set goals so that they will persist no matter what; build willpower, which can be strengthened like a muscle; and avoid the kind of positive thinking that makes people fai Most of us have no idea why we fail to reach our goals. Now eminent social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson shows us how we can finally win by revealing how goals really work—and by showing us how to avoid what typically goes wrong. Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson offers insights that listeners can use immediately, including how to set goals so that they will persist no matter what; build willpower, which can be strengthened like a muscle; and avoid the kind of positive thinking that makes people fail. The strategies outlined in this book will not only help everyone reach their own goals but will also prove invaluable to parents, teachers, coaches, and employers. Dr. Grant Halvorson shows listeners a new approach to problem solving that will change the way they approach their entire lives.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Wally Bock

    One of the five best books I read in 2016 Heidi Grant Halvorson is a psychologist who studies goals and goal-setting. That should make her able to write a great book on goal-setting. This is that book. Suceed is simply the best book I’ve ever read about goal-setting. It’s good because it brings together the science of it all as well as Halvorson’s personal understanding of how it looks from the inside. You’ve probably read a ton of stuff on goals in your life. I sure have. Even if that’s true, I One of the five best books I read in 2016 Heidi Grant Halvorson is a psychologist who studies goals and goal-setting. That should make her able to write a great book on goal-setting. This is that book. Suceed is simply the best book I’ve ever read about goal-setting. It’s good because it brings together the science of it all as well as Halvorson’s personal understanding of how it looks from the inside. You’ve probably read a ton of stuff on goals in your life. I sure have. Even if that’s true, I think you will get a lot from this book. I sure did. Read my complete review at http://www.threestarleadership.com/bo...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy Farwell

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’ve borrowed many self-help audiobooks with my local library; I do this in order to convert “dead time” while commuting to a “learning time”. Perhaps because I’ve overloaded my brain with this type of books lately (it’s January after all = a whole new year to try to go “next level”), therefore I could not absorb or glean anything useful from this book. 1. The author talks about a prevention attitude; how is different than someone having a pessimist attitude? 2. The chapter on willpower is basic I’ve borrowed many self-help audiobooks with my local library; I do this in order to convert “dead time” while commuting to a “learning time”. Perhaps because I’ve overloaded my brain with this type of books lately (it’s January after all = a whole new year to try to go “next level”), therefore I could not absorb or glean anything useful from this book. 1. The author talks about a prevention attitude; how is different than someone having a pessimist attitude? 2. The chapter on willpower is basically a summary of Kelly McGonigal’s book Willpower. Nothing new here.

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