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Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,167 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Decades of research on achievement
suggests people at the top of their game tend to reach their goals because of
what they do-not because of who they are. In this short, provocative, and
useful HBR Single, motivational psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson translates
the psychological secrets of these winning human beings for your use.
Halvorson expands on her immensely
ebook, 38 pages
Published (first published October 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  1,167 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Carolina Esteves de Andrade
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
I just read this book, and it is totally relevant if you are setting your goals and want to create good habits,leave the bad ones and get motivated. The book was written by Heidi Grant Halvorson, PhD. The book it’s straight to the point, a fast read (106 pages) but with great quality and content. It gave me some really good insights.

On top of that, it comes in a great pocket book format so you can have it nearby when you need some help or to boost your motivation and get back on track.

On 9
Leo Polovets
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Some books fail to reach their potential to be great because they are too long. Their content is good, but it is either spread out or repeated in order to make the book longer. This is especially true for most personal development books. Nine Things Successful People Do is great because it’s so short. The ideas are concise and important (like #4, “Be a Realistic Optimist” and #6, “Have Grit”), and the book doesn’t waste a lot of time trying to pad its own length. Each section contains a short ...more
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"We end up with lots of pots on the stove, but nothing is ever ready to eat." (p. 17) Wow, does this sentence describe modern life! Enjoyed this very short, direct, and practical book.
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Concise summary of principles or mindsets that can help you to be more effective

If you are new to these theories or principles, this book may not be enough to help you understand and buy-in.

But if you are not new to these, this book works as a great summary and reminder. One that is worth re-reading every now and then.
Jul 20, 2015 rated it liked it
A compilation of Dr. Halvorson's research on super-achievers.

The list:
1. Get specific
2. Seize the moment to act on your goals
3. Know exactly how far you have left to go
4. Be a realistic optimist
5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good
6. Have grit
7. Build your willpower muscle
8. Don’t tempt fate
9. Focus on what you will do, not on what you won’t do

Other pointers:
* What will success look like? How will you know when you’ve reached your goal?

* Believing what you do is interesting and
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have read a lot of self improvement books. The difference Of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently is that this one is based in research. I got the impression that it was more like an esay that a simple pocket book on sale. Good Book.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those needing motivation and self-help
This little book is enough to help someone get started on improving their habits. The habits that a book like this cover are tough ones so it is best to read a book like this after reading some heavier material about how to change habits. This is just a refresher for those near the end of their success strengthening program.

If you are looking for a book that will put into a rock solid plan what this book talks about then you will want to sit down and study The 7 Habits of Highly Effective
Oct 02, 2012 rated it liked it

The thing these days is to spend a fair amount of time listing your credentials and referring to them often—except now, you write a really short book, with very short chapters, etc. I suppose if most of your reading happens on blogs and Twitter, this is nice, but, for me, it fails to persuade.

If the information in here is actually new to you, I suppose the tight format will help you remember and use it. I find it unlikely much of anything will be new to anyone who has read even one
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Good points: Short. No cruft. Straight to the point. The nine strategies are common sense, but I find it convenient to have them expressed clearly in writing.

Bad points: the strategies are common sense.
Yina Guo
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
The ideas that mentioned in the book are easy to understand and common. But I don't know how much I would follow after reading the book. Will check my own behaviors in one month and see whether this book has made a difference or not.
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's a very good summary for Halvorson's other book "Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals"; almost everything is here from there, destilled into a short essence of the topic. I would recommend reading Succeed first.
Chris Mccarty
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked the chapter about grit, and also the tactic to set get better goals vs be good goals.
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding, so much I regularly refer to it when reviewing my performance at work and life in general.
Bonnie Casella
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazing
Amazing! This book provided sensible habits that work.
Ahmed Atef
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For the size of the book, rating it 5 stares. Very compact book which I will read again in the future as a reminder to what needs to be done.

Heidi says in the beginning of the book that you might know some parts, but others will be surprising. I want to say there was some nice surprising parts. Especially when they supported by studies and experiments on people.

Some quotes from each chapter:

#1 Get Specific
- You can't just win or achieve something. You need to put it in numbers, to track it.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cheesy title? yes
helpful? yes

Notes from listening on Audible:
1. Get Specific: losing 5 pounds vs losing weight
- List specific outcomes (fit in size 8)
- List specific actions (gym on Wednesdays at 4pm)
- List specific obstacles (dinner with friends) (here we can use if-then planning, if I went to dinner with friends, I will order …)

2. Seize the moment to act on your goal
- Decide when and where in advance with specific actions (Every night at 9pm I will ..)
- if-then planning: (if Sofia sleeps at
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
9 things successful people do differently by Heidi Grant Halvorson was exactly what it sounds like, a book sharing nine habits that successful people do. And while the book itself was smaller than my left hand, it packs a punch leaving readers with a lasting impression. The premise behind the book is that people don’t succeed strictly because of who they are; more often, people succeed because of what they do. And this book provides the to-do to make you a more effective person when it comes ...more
Mihai Pintilie
1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no ...more
DJ Loynes
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“9 Things Successful People Do Differently” is a must-read for those looking to improve their efficiency. The author, Heidi Grant Halvorson, so wonderfully takes methods used by some of the world’s most influential people and condenses it into nine feasible skills. Basically, I do really like this book. At first, this book was just another book my mom suggested I read. Now, it will be just another book I will suggest that my own children read. Looking back, I do believe that this book turned ...more
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short and powerful no nonsense cut right to the bone booklet. Very useful knowledge when put into action and all layed out in a clear and precise format. Got me re-formatting and being a little more detailed in writing down all my current goals.
"Too often, people concentrate all their efforts on what they want to stop doing and fail to consider how they will fill the void." - Heidi Grant Halvorson (9 Things Successful People Do Differently, Pg.81)
Goal Notes:
-be specific in your goals.
Annie Kate
Nine tips from research on very successful people, 'strategies they use to set and pursue goals (sometimes without consciously realizing it) that, according to decades of research, have the biggest impact on performance.' At the end of each short chapter there are questions to help you make the techniques practical in your own life.

After all, 'success is about reaching goals. It's about making smart choices, using the right strategies, and taking action.'

This powerful little book deserves to be
Mar 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Not bad, but mostly repackaging of stuff you’ve seen a hundred times. It is sort of what I expected, because many of these books are. Sometimes you are just more ready to hear a rehashed message with new ears. Other times the author may have a particularly effective way of relating an idea you’ve already heard. In this book, neither of those things were true. The book's primary strength was its brevity and the fact that it did present pretty solid subject matter. Quick read. Won’t be sorry, but ...more
Kathleen Allen
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found this useful and easily applied. Good examples and references to research findings. Also good examples of some of the myths surrounding success, and some of the delusions we embrace that just don't work for our success. Good practical advice for anyone seeking to change habits and improve their results in reaching their goals. Loved the weight loss examples, since that is one of my success challenges.
Sandeep Gautam
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
Its a short book that grew out of an HBR article; the coverage of success factors like grit, growth mindset, willpower, making goals specific and techniques like mental contrasting with implementation intentions etc are all touched upon and covered to a reasonable extent.

To someone not familiar with the above concepts, this book will introduce many science based ways to achieve goals/ success. To others, it will act as a refresher and important reminder.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: success
Simple and Cute Steps for Success

1. Get Specific - Be Precise
2. Seize the Moment - Time to Act
3. Know Exactly how far you have left to go - Examining our-self
4. Be Realistic - Achievable
5. Focus on Getting Better, Rather than Being Good - Setting one par up
6. Have Grit
7. Build Your Willpower
8. Don't tempt fate
9. Focus on "What You Will Do", Not What You Won't Do
Alfred Timothy Lotho
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was very short but it still contains a lot of good points and was very effective due to the format. More scientific background/resources could have been added and that would make the book a little longer but it would make it more powerful.
Terrell Crowder
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very swift read, excellent pointers. Biggest take away for me personally was being specific with dates, times, and goals. Helps provide clarity to everything. Including personally, professionally, and financially. Good read
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nine very good tips on how to become successful at certain parts of your life. The book doesn't cover how to be an overall simply points out tips that can make one more successful at reaching goals.
Wiljar Ojuro
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Informational in helping one think clearly and realistically improve themselves. However, I couldn’t really agree with certain areas of the book due to lack of reliability. Certain aspects just doesn’t apply to a women of color like myself.
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Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson is a social psychologist who researches, writes, and speaks about the science of motivation. She is the Associate Director of the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia Business School, and author of the best-selling books:

Succeed: How We Can All Reach Our Goals, Nine Things Successful People Do Differently, Focus: Use Different Ways of Seeing The World for Success and