"Pick Four" by Seth Godin is a very simple but very powerful 12-week goal program. Basically, Seth Godin has taken Zig Ziglar's Goals Program and updated and simplified it. Both the great strength and the great weakness of the book is its simplicity.
The simplicity of the book is one of its greatest strengths because unlike other books that deal with setting goals and the change process, this book contains a bare minimum of theory. In essence, the research on change and setting effective goals shows that 3 things are necessary:
1. Small steps
2. Consistent effort
3. Group support
The simplicity of the book makes the concepts easy to find, understand, and implement. I've tried plans for setting goals and changing by Stephen Covey and others but for some reason have not kept up with them consistently. I'm hoping that because the plan is so simple that I'll stick with this plan for the rest of my life.
The plan takes the reader through the process of selecting meaningful and important goals and narrowing them down to the most important 4. Then, for each goal, a 2-page analysis of benefits, obstacles, and the plan for the goal are listed. Most of the book actually consists simply of a daily log for 12 weeks in which the reader tracks how well he's doing on his goals.
The simplicity of the book is also its weakness. Although it's possible to get weighed down by too much theory, I would have liked to see more explanation of the philosophy of setting goals and change. Also, it would have been helpful if there were more information about how to adapt the goals if they're not working out for some reason. Some people, too, might need more help in formulating the goals or in getting motivated. The book only contains a brief introduction and only spends a little time on preparing the goals: most of the book is the daily goal analysis pages.
Another weakness of Pick Four is that it comes in a 4-pack. What if I only want 1 copy of the book and can make or use my own daily planner? Seth should sell the book in single copies as well.
Overall, I look forward to using this simple plan, sticking to it, and seeing the fruits of my labor in my life and the lives of others.