Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don't, and How to Make Any Change Stick Hardcover – 1 Jan 2013
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Publishers Weekly, 12/10/12
Toronto Star, 2/3/13
January Magazine, 2/1/13
Philadelphia Tribune, 1/6/13
Spirituality & Practice, 1/15/13
Truth, January 2013
SirReadaLot.org, February 2013
In the tradition of Predictably Irrational and Stumbling on Happiness, a psychologist explores the science of habit-forming: how the automatic brain runs our lives, why seemingly simple habits can be surprisingly difficult to implement, and how you can finally change yours for the better. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Every aspect of habits appears to be covered: why we form them, their value as well as their annoyance, how to make the good ones stronger and how to sidestep the worst.
An excellent, easy, read for everyone. Highly recommended.
I could tell the author was a typical middle class white British professor who had been reading academic papers his whole life, with no to little real life/practical experience.
If I buy a self-help book, I want you to give me solutions - quick and to the point. This book is extremely descriptive - the author gives tons of irrelevant examples - such as why Einstein was more creative than his students.
This is not what I want to know. I want to know what exactly a habit is and how specifically I can form a good habit and get rid of a bad one - quickly and effectively. That's why I like American writers - they speak to the point: the problem is A. In order to overcome it, you need to do B, C and D. Failing that's try Z. Give specific, relevant and precise examples. Start a new chapter.
As such, this book is an exercise is verbosity. It is full of sentences like: 'Research has shown that the stronger the habit, the longer it takes to overcome it' following which the author discusses at length the participants of the research, samples etc. I am sorry but you don't have to be a genius to figure this out. Or: 'Happy people tend to focus on positive thoughts'. Yea - butter is buttery.
I am a practical busy successful man who needs solutions not some ephemeral 'research'. As such, I regret I wasted time reading this book.
I would have liked to have given 4 stars. However although the information is interesting and relevant it is never clearly summarised in the way I would expect of a presentation and argument of this nature. This is of even more importance when such 'text' books are to be read on a Kindle that despite it's annotating features is not as easily roamed for past references or remembered passages as a print copy.
Mr. Dean has, in my opinion, been let down by his Editor.
So, not a good start. But just as I was about to give up he got to some research on implementation intentions and things really perked up. He had found some really good studies to talk about and I learned some new and useful things.
Unfortunately, he didn't give enough detail on the studies to allow me a sense of their quality so I'll have to find the original articles. He also was happy to rely on single, unreplicated studies, without giving any warnings. That's disappointing.
Although at one point stressing that resisting temptation and changing habits are not the same thing, the author soon returned to confusing the two!
Overall, not a great book, but the outstanding research talked about in the implementation intentions chapter added two stars to my rating and made it worth the Kindle price. if you're interested in that the you can get most of it by Googling for Peter Gollwitzer, the man behind the implementation intentions idea and a proper scientist.
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