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Learn the Secrets of Goal Setting and Achievement with Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals


Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals by Heidi Grant Halvorson




Do you have goals that you want to achieve but don't know how? Have you ever wondered why some people seem to succeed effortlessly while others struggle and give up? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might want to read Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals by Heidi Grant Halvorson. This book is a practical guide that reveals the science behind goal setting and achievement. It shows you how to set better goals, pursue them effectively, and reach them faster and easier. Whether you want to improve your health, career, relationships, or any other aspect of your life, this book will help you get there.




succeed how we can reach our goals epub 11


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Why do we fail to reach our goals?




Many of us have no idea why we fail to reach our goals. We often blame ourselves for being lazy, incompetent, or unlucky. We think that we lack the talent, intelligence, or resources that others have. We assume that success is a matter of innate ability or luck that we can't control.


However, according to Halvorson, these beliefs are not only wrong but also harmful. They prevent us from learning from our failures and improving our skills. They make us feel helpless and hopeless. They undermine our confidence and motivation.


The truth is that we fail to reach our goals not because of who we are but because of what we do. We fail because we make common misconceptions and mistakes about goal setting and achievement. For example:


  • We set vague or unrealistic goals that are hard to measure and achieve.



  • We focus on the outcome rather than the process of reaching our goals.



  • We rely on our willpower alone to overcome challenges and temptations.



  • We ignore or avoid negative feedback that could help us improve.



  • We give up too soon or too late when we face difficulties or setbacks.



Fortunately, these misconceptions and mistakes can be corrected. We can learn how to set better goals, pursue them effectively, and reach them faster and easier. The key is to understand the psychology of goal setting and achievement. That's what this book is all about.


How can we set better goals?




The first step to reaching our goals is to set them properly. Not all goals are created equal. Some goals are more likely to lead us to success than others. The difference lies in how we frame our goals. Halvorson introduces a simple but powerful distinction between two types of goals: be-good goals and get-better goals.


Be-good goals




Be-good goals are goals that focus on proving our ability or worth. They are about demonstrating our competence, intelligence, or talent. They are about being better than others or meeting some external standard of excellence. For example:


  • I want to get an A on this test.



  • I want to win this race.



  • I want to impress my boss.



Be-good goals may seem appealing and motivating, but they have several drawbacks. They make us feel anxious and stressed. They make us afraid of failure and criticism. They make us avoid challenges and risks that could help us grow. They make us narrow-minded and defensive. They make us less likely to learn from our mistakes and feedback.


Get-better goals




Get-better goals are goals that focus on improving our ability or performance. They are about developing our competence, intelligence, or talent. They are about being better than ourselves or meeting some internal standard of excellence. For example:


  • I want to learn more from this test.



  • I want to improve my time in this race.



  • I want to enhance my skills at work.



Get-better goals have many advantages over be-good goals. They make us feel curious and excited. They make us embrace failure and criticism as opportunities to learn. They make us seek challenges and risks that could help us grow. They make us open-minded and flexible. They make us more likely to learn from our mistakes and feedback.


How can we pursue our goals effectively?




The second step to reaching our goals is to pursue them properly. Setting better goals is not enough if we don't know how to achieve them. We need to have the right motivation, mindset, and strategy to turn our goals into reality. Halvorson explains how these three factors affect our goal pursuit and how we can optimize them for success.


Motivation




Motivation is the force that drives us to act on our goals. It determines how much effort, persistence, and creativity we put into our actions. It also influences how we feel about our actions and outcomes. Without motivation, we would not be able to pursue our goals at all.


However, not all types of motivation are equally effective for different types of goals. Halvorson distinguishes between two kinds of motivation: promotion motivation and prevention motivation.


Promotion motivation




Promotion motivation is the motivation to pursue our goals for the sake of gaining something positive or desirable. It is about achieving our hopes, dreams, and aspirations. It is about advancing toward an ideal state or outcome. For example:


  • I want to earn more money so I can buy a new car.



  • I want to lose weight so I can look good in a swimsuit.



  • I want to learn a new language so I can travel the world.



Promotion motivation is best suited for get-better goals that involve learning, growth, or improvement. It makes us more creative, optimistic, and enthusiastic. It makes us more willing to take risks and explore new possibilities. It makes us more satisfied with our achievements and more resilient to setbacks.


Prevention motivation




Prevention motivation is the motivation to pursue our goals for the sake of avoiding something negative or undesirable. It is about fulfilling our obligations, duties, and responsibilities. It is about maintaining a current state or outcome. For example:


  • I want to earn more money so I can pay my bills.



  • I want to learn a new language so I can communicate better.



Prevention motivation is best suited for be-good goals that involve fulfilling, maintaining, or protecting something important. It makes us more careful, realistic, and vigilant. It makes us more likely to avoid risks and stick to proven methods. It makes us more relieved with our achievements and more regretful with our setbacks.


The key is to match our motivation with our goals. If we have a get-better goal, we should use promotion motivation to pursue it. If we have a be-good goal, we should use prevention motivation to pursue it. This way, we can maximize our motivation and performance for any type of goal.


Mindset




Mindset is the belief that we have about our ability or potential. It determines how we view ourselves, our goals, and our challenges. It also influences how we respond to success and failure. Without the right mindset, we would not be able to pursue our goals effectively.


However, not all types of mindset are equally conducive to goal achievement. Halvorson adopts the distinction between two kinds of mindset that was proposed by Carol Dweck: growth mindset and fixed mindset.


Growth mindset




Growth mindset is the belief that our ability or potential can be improved through learning and effort. It is about seeing ourselves as works in progress who can develop new skills and talents. It is about embracing challenges and feedback as opportunities to grow. For example:


  • I can become smarter if I study hard.



  • I can become faster if I train regularly.



  • I can become more creative if I practice new ideas.



Growth mindset is compatible with get-better goals that involve learning, growth, or improvement. It makes us more confident, curious, and persistent. It makes us more willing to try new things and learn from our mistakes. It makes us more satisfied with our progress and more resilient to failure.


Fixed mindset




Fixed mindset is the belief that our ability or potential is fixed and cannot be changed much. It is about seeing ourselves as having a certain amount of skills and talents that we cannot increase or decrease. It is about avoiding challenges and feedback that could expose our weaknesses or flaws. For example:


  • I am either smart or dumb and there is nothing I can do about it.



  • I am either fast or slow and there is nothing I can do about it.



  • I am either creative or boring and there is nothing I can do about it.



Fixed mindset is compatible with be-good goals that involve proving, maintaining, or protecting our ability or worth. It makes us more anxious, defensive, and complacent. It makes us more likely to stick to what we know and avoid learning from our mistakes. It makes us less satisfied with our performance and less resilient to failure.


The key is to adopt a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset for any type of goal. A growth mindset will help us pursue our goals more effectively and enjoyably than a fixed mindset. We can cultivate a growth mindset by changing the way we think about ourselves, our goals, and our challenges.


Strategy




Strategy is the plan that we have for achieving our goals. It determines how we organize, execute, and evaluate our actions. It also influences how we cope with obstacles and opportunities that arise along the way. Without a good strategy, we would not be able to achieve our goals efficiently and effectively.


However, not all types of strategy are equally suitable for different types of goals. Halvorson suggests three components of a good strategy: planning, monitoring, and adjusting.


Planning




Planning is the process of deciding what actions we need to take to reach our goals. It involves setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) subgoals that break down our main goal into manageable steps. It also involves anticipating potential problems and solutions that could help us overcome them. For example:


  • If I want to earn more money this year (main goal), I need to save 10% of my income every month (subgoal).



  • If I want to lose weight this year (main goal), I need to exercise for 30 minutes every day (subgoal).



  • If I want to learn a new language this year (main goal), I need to practice for 15 minutes every day (subgoal).



Planning is essential for any type of goal, but especially for get-better goals that involve learning, growth, or improvement. It makes us more focused, organized, and prepared. It makes us more likely to take action and overcome challenges. It makes us more accountable and committed to our goals.


Monitoring




Monitoring is the process of tracking our progress and feedback toward our goals. It involves measuring our performance and outcomes regularly and accurately using objective indicators or criteria. It also involves comparing our actual results with our expected results and identifying any gaps or discrepancies. For example:


  • If I want to save 10% of my income every month, I need to check my bank account balance and spending habits every week.



  • If I want to exercise for 30 minutes every day, I need to use a fitness tracker or app to record my time and calories burned.



  • If I want to practice a new language for 15 minutes every day, I need to use a language learning app or website to test my skills and vocabulary.



Monitoring is important for any type of goal, but especially for be-good goals that involve fulfilling, maintaining, or protecting something important. It makes us more aware, realistic, and objective. It makes us more likely to notice problems and opportunities. It makes us more motivated and confident in our abilities.


Adjusting




Adjusting is the process of revising our actions or goals based on our progress and feedback. It involves making changes or improvements to our plan or strategy if we are not achieving our expected results or if we encounter new situations or information. It also involves celebrating our achievements or learning from our failures if we reach or miss our goals. For example:


  • If I am not saving 10% of my income every month, I need to cut down on unnecessary expenses or find a side hustle.



  • If I am not exercising for 30 minutes every day, I need to find a workout buddy or join a fitness class.



  • If I am not practicing a new language for 15 minutes every day, I need to find a tutor or join a language exchange group.



Adjusting is crucial for any type of goal, but especially for get-better goals that involve learning, growth, or improvement. It makes us more flexible, adaptive, and innovative. It makes us more likely to overcome setbacks and seize opportunities. It makes us more satisfied and resilient in our goal pursuit.


How can we reach our goals faster and easier?




The third step to reaching our goals is to use some tips and tricks that can boost our goal achievement. Setting better goals, pursuing them effectively, and having a good strategy are not enough if we don't have some extra tools that can help us along the way. Halvorson shares some of these tools that can enhance our goal pursuit and make it faster and easier. They are: self-control, happiness, and feedback.


Self-control




Self-control is the ability to regulate our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in order to achieve our goals. It involves resisting temptations and distractions that could derail us from our goals. It also involves persisting in the face of difficulties and challenges that could discourage us from our goals. For example:


  • If I want to save money, I need to resist buying things that I don't need or want.



  • If I want to lose weight, I need to resist eating junk food or skipping workouts.



  • If I want to learn a new language, I need to resist watching TV or playing games instead of practicing.



Self-control is vital for any type of goal, but especially for be-good goals that involve fulfilling, maintaining, or protecting something important. It makes us more disciplined, consistent, and reliable. It makes us more likely to stick to our plan and achieve our desired outcomes.


However, self-control is not something that we have or don't have. It is something that we can strengthen or weaken like a muscle. Halvorson suggests some ways to strengthen our self-control muscle:


  • Exercise regularly: Physical exercise can improve our mental stamina and endurance.



  • Sleep well: Adequate sleep can replenish our energy and focus.



  • Eat healthily: Balanced nutrition can nourish our brain and body.



can help us calm our mind and body.


  • Use cues: Visual or verbal cues can remind us of our goals and motivate us to act on them.



  • Use rewards: Positive rewards can reinforce our behavior and make us more likely to repeat it.



Happiness




Happiness is the state of feeling positive emotions and satisfaction with our life. It involves experiencing joy, gratitude, love, and other pleasant feelings. It also involves appreciating what we have and what we have achieved. For example:


  • If I want to save money, I need to feel happy about the future benefits of saving.



  • If I want to lose weight, I need to feel happy about the health benefits of losing weight.



  • If I want to learn a new language, I need to feel happy about the cultural benefits of learning a new language.



Happiness is beneficial for any type of goal, but especially for get-better goals that involve learning, growth, or improvement. It makes us more motivated, optimistic, and enthusiastic. It makes us more creative, flexible, and resilient. It makes us more satisfied with our progress and more resilient to failure.


However, happiness is not something that we have or don't have. It is something that we can cultivate or diminish by our actions and thoughts. Halvorson suggests some ways to cultivate happiness:


  • Express gratitude: Saying thank you or writing a gratitude letter can make us more aware of the good things in our life.



  • Practice kindness: Doing something nice for someone else can make us feel good about ourselves and others.



  • Savor positive moments: Paying attention to and enjoying the positive experiences in our life can make us happier and more optimistic.



  • Seek social support: Connecting with people who care about us and share our goals can make us feel less lonely and more supported.



Feedback




Feedback is the information that we receive about our performance and outcomes. It involves getting praise or criticism from others or ourselves. It also involves getting objective data or results from tests or measurements. For example:


  • If I want to save money, I need to get feedback from my financial advisor or my bank statement.



  • If I want to lose weight, I need to get feedback from my doctor or my scale.



  • If I want to learn a new language, I need to get feedback from my tutor or my language app.



Feedback is essential for any type of goal, but especially for be-good goals that involve proving, maintaining, or protecting our ability or worth. It makes us more aware, realistic, and objective. It makes us more likely to notice problems and opportunities. It makes us more motivated and confident in our abilities.


However, feedback is not something that we always welcome or use effectively. We sometimes ignore or avoid feedback that could help us improve. We sometimes misinterpret or distort feedback that could hurt our ego. We sometimes give or receive feedback that is vague, inaccurate, or unhelpful. Halvorson suggests some ways to use feedback effectively:


  • Seek feedback: Asking for feedback from others or ourselves can make us more proactive and open to improvement.



  • Accept feedback: Listening to feedback from others or ourselves without judgment or defensiveness can make us more receptive and humble.



  • Use feedback: Acting on feedback from others or ourselves by making changes or improvements can make us more responsive and adaptable.



  • Give feedback: Providing feedback to others or ourselves that is specific, constructive, and timely can make us more helpful and supportive.



Conclusion




In conclusion, Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals by Heidi Grant Halvorson is a practical guide that reveals the science behind goal setting and achievement. It shows you how to set better goals by choosing get-better goals over be-good goals. It shows you how to pursue your goals effectively by using promotion motivation for get-better goals and prevention motivation for be-good goals. It shows you how to have a good strategy by planning, monitoring, and adjusting your actions. It also shows you how to use some tips and tricks to boost your goal achievement by strengthening your self-control, cultivating your happiness, and using feedback effectively. Whether you want to improve your health, career, relationships, or any other aspect of your life, this book will help you get there.


If you are interested in learning more about this book and the topic, you can check out the following frequently asked questions:


FAQs




  • Q: Who is the author of this book and what is her background?



A: Heidi Grant Halvorson is a social psychologist and a motivational science expert. She is an associate director of the Motivation Science Center


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