For my first post of the year, I thought I would introduce you to three books that I read over the Christmas period, all to do with changing habits and behavior. They are all excellent in their own way, but I’ve recommended them in order, as in, the top one is the one I would buy first. If you end up reading any of these, please share your thoughts with me. I’ve included the Amazon blurb for each one, and you can click on the book image to go to the Amazon page for the book.
Small Move, Big Change by Caroline Arnold
A Wall Street tech leader explains how small behavioral changes lead to major personal and professional self-improvement
Whether trying to lose weight, save money, get organized, or advance on the job, we’re always setting goals and making resolutions, but rarely following through on them. According to longtime Wall Street technology strategist Caroline Arnold, the “big push” strategy of the New Year’s resolution is designed to fail, because it broadly pits our limited willpower stores against an autopilot of entrenched behaviors and attitudes that is far more powerful. To change ourselves permanently, we need to focus our self-control on precise behavioral targets and overwhelm them. Small Move, Big Change is Arnold’s guide to turning broad personal goals into meaningful and discrete behavioral changes that lead to permanent improvement. Providing scores of engaging real-world examples and new scientific findings, she shows us that while the traditional resolution promises rewards on a distant “someday,” microresolutions work because they reward us today by instantly altering our routines and, ultimately, ourselves.
The One Thing by Gary Keller
Since its April, 2013 publication The ONE Thing has made more than 125 appearances on national bestseller lists, including #1 Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, BookScan, and 800CEOREAD. The ONE Thing was chosen one of the Top 5 Business Books of 2013 by Hudson’s Booksellers and one of Top 30 Business Books of 2013 by Executive Book Summaries.
People are using this simple, powerful concept to avoid overwhelming distractions in their personal and work lives so they can focus on what matters most. Companies are helping their employees be more productive with study groups, training, and coaching. Churches are conducting classes and recommending from the pulpit. YOU WANT LESS. You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what’s the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, smaller paychecks, fewer promotions—and lots of stress.
AND YOU WANT MORE. You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends. NOW YOU CAN HAVE BOTH—LESS AND MORE. In The ONE Thing, you’ll learn to • cut through the clutter • achieve better results in less time • build momentum toward your goal • dial down the stress • overcome that overwhelmed feeling • revive your energy • stay on track • master what matters to you The ONE Thing delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life—work, personal, family, and spiritual. WHAT’S YOUR ONE THING?
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.