"A must-read."—Matthew Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of The Rhythm of Life
"Both brilliant and practical, entertaining and rigorous."—Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Married to Distraction
"If you have goals, then you should read this book. If you manage others or are in a position to help others achieve their goals, then you have to read this book! It's filled with fascinating studies revealing the secrets of success."—Peter Bregman, CEO of Bregman Partners, Harvard Business Review blogger, and author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done
"Strategies people can utilize to help themselves achieve success."—CareerBuilder
"Halvorson makes academic studies palatable by writing with clarity and interspersing personal anecdotes along the way."—Publishers Weekly
Social psychologist Halvorson, a blogger for Psychology Today and assistant professor of psychology at Lehigh University, tackles attainment of goals in every area of life from relationships to sports. Extensively reviewing past studies on self-esteem, motivation, and pursuit of goals, Halvorson sidesteps conventional notions about achieving success, particularly the idea that one should imagine oneself achieving goals easily. She cites studies by psychologist Gabriele Oettingen showing that those who think the path is difficult invest more effort and work harder: for instance, "people who believed that getting a good job after college would be easy sent out fewer applications." The ideal, Halvorson says, is to think positively about achieving one's goals but to think realistically about the effort that will be required to achieve them. Halvorson then goes on to advise readers on how to set appropriate goals, avoid obstacles, and exercise self-control to stay on track. "Don't visualize success," she warns. "Instead visualize the steps you will take in order to succeed." Despite repetitious instructions, Halvorson makes academic studies palatable by writing with clarity and interspersing personal anecdotes along the way. Many will find her insights of value. (Dec. 23)
While the purpose of both books is to help people achieve their goals, the authors take different approaches. Executive coach and trainer Fine, writing with Merrill (coauthor, The Speed of Trust), offers the GROW (Goal, Reality, Options, Way Forward) system to help readers unblock "Faith, Fire, and Focus." Simply put, he works from an inside-out system to help readers get rid of the many distractions that prevent performance and creativity. Fine is definitely on to something, and his teaching can help employers better motivate their staff as well as assist coaches to help students succeed. If one can get past the overuse of acronyms, there is solid advice to be found. Halvorson (psychology, Lehigh Univ.) holds that an individual's mode of thinking (the abstract whys and concrete whats) can help or hinder achievement of goals. She points out that different strategies are needed for different types of goals of prevention and promotion. Most of the book concentrates on examining and setting goals, and concrete suggestions are offered for staying on course. Halvorson, similar to Fine, devotes a chapter to helping the reader help others. Both books offer quality material. Fine's is more achievement oriented, while Halvorson's would be helpful in that regard as well as in kicking a bad habit.