Change: maybe not one thing, but definitely one day at a time

I admit. I’m an impulsive buyer. Mainly of books.
The other day I bought a book, which I was pretty sure was about changing just one thing in your life to be successful. Of course I still had some other books to finish. At long last, I started reading this book (that I thought was about just changing one thing) last night.

Turns out we fail precisely because we only attempt to change one thing at a time when trying to break bad habits.

We put in lots of effort into that one thing, but are not awarded with progress. Because guess what? “The forces that are working against us are legion – and they work in combination,” says Patterson, Maxfield, McMillan and Switzler in
Change
any
thing

[I suppose I mistook “any” for “one” :-)].
There are dozens of things sustaining our bad behaviours, and we try to change just one thing and expect to succeed.

They suggest looking at six issues when dealing with change. When you want to lose weight for example, you have to look at your personal motivation (why do you wanna lose the weight?) and personal ability (what method are you going to use?). But then you also have to look at social motivation (what’s in it for the people around you if you eat a second helping of dessert?) and social ability (how do other people enable you to eat more than “your fair share”?). The last two issues are structural motivation (what’s in the fridge (or sweety cupboard)?) and structural ability (how about using those exercise equipment in the garage?).

The authors also suggest looking at changing your behaviour in a more scientific manner. Make notes. Experiment. See what works. See what doesn’t work.

So there. I’ve summed up the first 30 pages of the book in two short paragraphs. But please, may I remind you that I’m not THAT much into details…

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