Have you ever tried to change a long-standing habit in your life and failed?
You are certainly not alone. Many people try to change their eating habits, stop smoking, or shed their unproductive work habits and fail. The process is frustrating, but Art Markman, Ph.D., shows us that it doesn’t have to be so challenging in his newest book, Smart Change: Five Tools to Create New and Sustainable Habits in Yourself and Others.
Dr. Markman lays out the mental mechanisms that create and maintain habits in both individuals and groups and then provides his readers with five effective tools to change their undesired behaviors:
- Tame the Go System: Pinpoint the triggers of your habits, replace these behaviors with new ones, and create specific plans to manage temptations or obstacles in the future.
- Harness the Stop System: Find ways to manage stress and other factors that prevent you from developing new and positive habits.
- Optimize Your Goals: Plan out a course of action to change your behavior and how these behavior changes will look in the long-term.
- Manage Your Environment: Change your surroundings to reduce your temptation to engage in unwanted behavior or habits.
- Engage Your Neighbors: Recognize that there is a shared culture that allows friends, neighbors, and colleagues to profoundly influence the behavior of fellow members of their communities.