REACH

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An epiphany about his own direction in life led Thurgood to create “REACH,” which he describes as “an intentional, purpose-driven personal growth and development framework.” The author’s concept includes “Five Focus Areas”: “Relationships, Career & Finances, Health & Fitness, Intellectual & Spiritual, and Service.” Curiously, Thurgood chose to devote a single chapter to an overview of these five areas and then append at the end of the book detailed descriptions of each one. Despite this somewhat odd organizational construct, the overview chapter clearly defines the areas in a concise text accompanied by helpful, bulleted sidebars. The descriptions at the end of the work do a very good job of elaborating on each area, providing proactive, if obvious, suggestions, such as “Connect with Your Colleagues” (Relationships), “Keep a Budget” (Career & Finances), and “Reduce Stress” (Health & Fitness). One intriguing technique Thurgood explains is “Bursting,” in which an individual aggressively pursues a major objective “that might have otherwise taken far longer or that you may have never achieved at all.” Another creative idea the author proposes is gamification. Thurgood suggests that making a game out of achieving goals and adding “rewards, punishments, and visual trackers” could prove to be motivational. Noting the importance of peer relationships, the author devotes two chapters to the formation and management of a “REACH group.” This aspect of the REACH framework is critical, in Thurgood’s view, so he shares a handy, eight-step process for selecting group partners and also discusses how best to manage the band. While some readers may find the idea of “weekly check-ins,” “monthly meetups,” “REACH Retreats,” and “one-on-one meetups” to be overly intense, the REACH group concept seems generally sensible and well thought out. The “Additional Materials” section after the final chapter is unusually comprehensive. Along with the descriptions of the five areas, the segment includes a valuable self-assessment, goal planning worksheet, quarterly report, group overview, and sample REACH Retreat agenda. All of these items enrich the book’s content.

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