This month, the Athletic Bookworms are digging into some science-backed habit change with Professor Sean Young’s “Stick with It: A Scientifically Proven Process for Changing Your Life-for Good.” Is it a little resolution-y? Sure. But I have to say, I really respect this book above a lot of other habit change books. Most habit change books I’ve read over the years (hint: there have been a LOT) use the same couple of case studies (marshmallows, always marshmallows) and cliches (30 days to develop a habit that sticks, unless it’s 60). But this book is actually written by a psychologist who studies this stuff for a living, and while some of it does show that cliches are cliche for a reason, other bits of it are surprising, and will definitely make you think about why you do what you do, and how to change it.
About the book: An award-winning psychologist and director of the UCLA Center for Digital Behavior shows everyone how to make real, lasting change in their lives in this exciting work of popular psychology that goes beyond The Power of Habit with science and practical strategies that can alter their problem behaviors—forever.
Whether it’s absent-minded mistakes at work, a weakness for junk food, a smart phone addiction, or a lack of exercise, everyone has some bad habit or behavior that they’d like to change. But wanting to change and actually doing it—and sticking with it—are two very different things.
Dr. Sean Young, an authoritative new voice in the field of behavioral science, knows a great deal about our habits—how we make them and how we can break them. Stick with It is his fascinating look at the science of behavior, filled with crucial knowledge and practical advice to help everyone successfully alter their actions and improve their lives.
As Dr. Young explains, you don’t change behavior by changing the person, you do it by changing the process. Drawing on his own scientific research and that of other leading experts in the field, he explains why change can be difficult and identifies the crucial forces that combine to make transformation permanent, from the right way to create new habits to how to harness emotional meaning to motivate change. He also helps us understand how the mind often interferes with creating lasting change and how we can outsmart it, including using “neurohacks” to shortcut the brain’s counterproductive instincts. In addition he provides a powerful corrective to the decades old science of habits, offering a next generation discussion of how habits can change behavior with the right approach.
Packed with pragmatic exercises and stories of real people who have used them successfully, Stick with It shows that it is possible to control spending, stick to a diet, become more social, exercise regularly, stop compulsively checking e-mail, and overcome problem behaviors—forever.