What I learned from Jeremy Dean's "Making Habits, Breaking Habits".
Let's face it. Whether it's a habit you're trying to get rid of or a habit you're trying to pick up, it's tough to change. "Making Habits, Breaking Habits" by Jeremy Dean highlights how powerful habits are and how difficult it is to make or break them. It is a well-written book that can inspire anyone to begin a new journey towards self-improvement. This book is broken down into 3 sections in order to explain how habits work:
There is an endless number of articles, books and video tutorials on how to make or break a habit in less than 30 days (which sounds pretty optimistic to me). Dean explains that some of the things we do are intentional habits and others are unintentional. This section of the book breaks down psychological studies of the conscious and subconscious to understand the difference between what is a habit and what's really unintentional. Sometimes the reason why we can't make or break a habit is because we simply overthink it. We always want to be right and we always want to feel like we're in control. So why do habits have so much power?
This section explains that there are 3 factors that make us robotic, habitual consumers: being short on time, being distracted and having limited self-control. There are two types of habitual thinking: pessimistic and optimistic. Though many of us don't realize it, socializing, traveling, working, eating, shopping and even using the Internet are actually habits. Some people pick up bad habits from pessimistic habitual thinking; for example, over-eating when stress overwhelms you or escaping into the computer screen to avoid going to the gym. What I learned from this section of the book is that life doesn't have to be so repetitive if we start to become aware of our own behaviors.
Dean also dives into the topic of mental health issues such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Some people may have more control over their habits than others, but OCD is a sickness that can form habits such as having the need to repeatedly check if the door is locked after they've already locked it. Most people, however, are just stuck in their repetitive schedules and don't have enough incentive or motivation to change.
It's a lot harder to get into optimistic habitual thinking in order to form a habit that improves your lifestyle. The key to change is finding the motivation to change. To start changing a habit, you must ask yourself, "Why do I want to change?" There has to be a purpose and motivation for the change, or else it will be almost impossible.
In order to get into the right mentality, you must have the right state of mind. Here are the three steps to get into the right state of mind:
1) Relax the body and mind.
2) Concentrate on something.
3) Be mindful.
Once you get into the right state of mind, you must have the willpower to stick to your habit. There is no predetermined number of days that guarantee a habit change. You just have to be motivated enough and strong enough to not give into your temptations. Once you convince yourself you can do something, anything is possible.
If you're looking for a little motivation to work on improving your lifestyle but aren't sure where to start, I definitely recommend this book! "Making Habits, Breaking Habits" is an easy read because of its widely applicable topic - how to make changes stick. Buy this book in bulk for your company or students to encourage a healthier and more productive lifestyle. You can find other business books in bulk, paperbacks in bulk and other health books wholesale at BookPal.
This post was written by Linda Cheung, a social media intern at BookPal. She is currently reading The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna and Love, Lucy by April Linder.