From 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)
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