The Power Of Habit

My whole life I drove manual transmission cars. Shifting was almost as natural as breathing. I hardly had to think about pushing the clutch with my left foot and changing the gears with my right hand.

It was a habit…that is, until two years ago, when I bought my first automatic.

The funny thing is, I still sometimes reach for the shifter and insist on putting on the emergency brake when I park.

Though driving an automatic car is easier, I still find myself occasionally resorting to old habits.

Habits are like police characters in TV shows. Just like there are good cops and bad cops, there are good habits and bad habits.

Some we want to break; others we want to develop.

By understanding how habits work and what triggers them, we can make conscious changes and get control of our life!

That’s the theory behind, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg.

I listened to the book over the holidays, which seemed like a timely addition to my toolkit for the new year.

The book is a fascinating study into why we do what we do, with real steps on how to change.

The book isn’t a pipedream; Duhigg read hundreds of studies on habit formation from social science, neuroscience and psychology, to come up with his theory.

What he offers is both insight and practical.

His basic premise is that habits involve 3 key steps: cue, routine and reward. Learning to recognize and manage these 3 steps can empower us to make lasting changes.

Check out this short video review that reviews the concept.

I encourage you to pick up the book (available in hardcover, paperback, Nook, audio CD, Kindle and downloadable audio).