Search Site   
Current News Stories
North Carolina plant recalling eggs as inspectors find 'filth'
Gathering raises ideas for ways to fund infrastructure
Trump backs E15 as senators demand EPA's RFS waiver

Trump wavers on membership for U.S. in Pacific nations deal

Argentina buys U.S. pork for first time in 26 years
House Ag passes farm bill draft, with Dem concerns
McConnell proposes legalization of industrial hemp across nation
Still no presidential nominees to several top posts at USDA, EPA
Be mindful of how you work this spring, to avoid lower-back pain

Wanted: More haulers for dairy delivery, say experts
   
News Articles
Search News  
   
Learn about the power behind creating habits
 
Making Habits, Breaking Habits by Jeremy Dean
c.2013, DaCapo Lifelong
$26/$29 Canada
256 pages

This year, you’re really going to do it. No more unfulfilled promises. No more embarrassment, explaining, or excuses.

You’ll never have to hide that bad habit again because you’re going to quit smoking, stop gambling, be kinder, resist going online every 10 minutes, lose weight, whatever it is you’ve been meaning to do for months.

You’re really going to do it. You are. And with Making Habits, Breaking Habits by Jeremy Dean by your side, you really might accomplish that goal.

Step into the self-help section of any bookstore or library, and you might think “21” is a magic number; many books claim that you can fix your life in that many days. Jeremy Dean says establishing habits isn’t that easy, however.

Research shows it takes an average of 66 days for a habit to be formed, depending on several factors. A “really strong” habit could take a year to create!

From the time we get up in the morning until the time we fall asleep, we follow habits without thinking about them, which is one of the main characteristics of a habit. Habits are also “curiously emotionless” and are generally followed in connection with another situation: You get in the car and turn on the radio because, well, you’re in the car.

That’s a habit made in “response to rewards from the environment.” Conversely, making habits can also be intentional, but it depends on how worthwhile we find them. You may intend to get to the gym every day, for instance – but if you’d really rather stay in bed, guess which activity wins.

“There has to be an ultimate goal that is really worth achieving or the habit will be almost impossible to ingrain,” says Dean. Muster all the willpower your body possesses, visualize until your head hurts, but nothing works if there’s no internal reward. External rewards, Dean says, are “laced with danger.”

As for breaking habits, it’s hard to stop doing something you’re not aware you’re doing. What’s worse, studies show that trying to suppress a thought or action makes you want to do it all that much more.

So forget about self-control, says Dean. Instead, change your cues, pay attention, know yourself and learn some “happy habits.”
Looking for a quick-fix for those New Year’s Resolutions? Nope, Making Habits, Breaking Habits isn’t it. By helping us understand what makes us tick and why, author Jeremy Dean avoids platitudes and misty advice, to give his readers the tools they need to stop being frustrated by change and lack thereof.

He advocates patience and dispels a lot of myths about why we do the things we do (or don’t), explaining why our willpower fails us or why we find some habits easy to make. That’s helpful, and could make a fix that sticks.

While there are times when this book seemed smaller than its subject, I think it would be advantageous to anyone who’s serious about changing behavior. If that’s you, then find Making Habits, Breaking Habits … then do it.

Terri Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was three years old and never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books. Readers with questions or comments may write to Terri in care of this publication.
1/9/2013