Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
ISBN: 978-1-4000-6928-6
Publisher: Random House
Published: February 2012

 Why do you do the things you do? Even our casual routines and mannerisms tend to be the result of deeply ingrained habits. In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg studies how habits both hurt and harms both humans and corporations and details how we can adjust our habits for our benefit.

Using case studies of brain trauma patients, corporate marketing techniques, and corporate renewals, Duhigg shows the ways that habits are followed whether they are beneficial or harmful to the point of loss of life. All of these studies lead to the discovery of the cue-routine-reward loop that powers our actions.  By changing one variable in the equation, we can change our harmful habits such as smoking, inactivity, or gambling into better habits like exercise, healthy eating, and responsible money handling.

By showing how you can identify your triggers and reinforce positive actions to create new habits, this book is great for creating or changing habits. This book has helped me make some changes: watching less tv, being more consistent with my running (doing a 10k in the fall), and developing better eating habits.  It's quite a read (lots of science) -Duhigg does a great job of making the science really relatable.  It reads like a narrative rather than a textbook.  If you need to change some habits, this is a great book to get you started.

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