Monday, March 4, 2013

Making Habits, Breaking Habits by Jeremy Dean


TITLE: "Making Habits, Breaking Habits"
AUTHOR: Jeremy Dean
DIETY?: no
IE?: no
MY RATING: 4****

This is a fascinating book about habits — how they work, how to make and break them, and how to make changes stick.
I loved that this book was so full of practical examples of how to make & break habits. And, this wasn’t just the same old-same old that you’d find in any other book. This one had new techniques that I’d never heard of! For example, in making habits, he talks about setting intentions … calls them “implementation intentions” … where you use an “if-then” sort of equation. If you want to start a habit of exercise, say, you can write, “If I have time on my lunch hour, then I will walk for 30 minutes outside.” This isn’t necessarily “new” to me. But, in addition to these if-then statements, you also add in “mental contrasting”. This is where you picture the positive outcome of forming the new habit… then think about all of the obstacles that are realistically in your way of creating that new habit. “The idea is to make the association stronger in the mind between the bad…habit and how this is stopping you from reaching a cherished goal.” (p.178). I’d never heard of this before, so it was exciting to learn about!
I also was really –pleasantly– surprised to find a whole chapter on creativity and “creative habits”. It talks about how creativity works, and how to increase it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. And, while -yes- there are some spots that are kind of technical, the majority of the book is very easy to understand, and doesn’t take a lot of “brain power” to read through. I liked that the author is from the UK, so there are some words & phrases that are different from the Western way of speaking/writing.  And, the many, many studies mentioned throughout help to back up the principles being taught in the book.
Definitely recommended.

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