I like it when a book makes a bold promise. Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success starts off with this one:
“If you apply the principles and tactics we outline, you can rapidly, profoundly, and sustainably change your own behavior (even long-standing bad habits). And by learning how to change your own behavior, you can dramatically improve results in most any area of life.”
Five people wrote this book, which is probably a story in itself. But then, these guys are used to teamwork. Before Change Anything, they wrote three New York Times bestsellers that you may have heard of: Crucial Conversations, Crucial Confrontations, and Influencer.
This latest book, which offers a research-based approach to making personal change, suggests that we have less control over our behavior than we believe. But we can control the six influences that govern our behavior. And that’s how we can make change happen.
The authors lay to rest the myth that willpower is all we need to make a change in our lives. We need more than grit and determination to alter behaviors, and the book offers four strategies to do that.
- Identify Crucial Moments: Identify the specific temptations that distract you from your primary goal.
- Create Vital Behaviors: Establish rules for avoiding temptations in advance of the time you encounter them.
- Engage All Six Sources of Influence: Change your environment, for example, and turn your enablers into allies.
- Turn Bad Days into Good Data: Don’t use failures as a reason to give up. Learn from them and push on.
The book is full of interesting, well-written case studies about people who’ve made dramatic changes in their lives, from shaking a bad habit to making career changes. More than anything, the book gives you a roadmap for making just about any change you decide on. And who couldn’t use that every now and then?
I liked the book so much that I recorded a podcast with one of the book’s authors, David Maxfield. I’ll let you know when it’s available.
This book’s a keeper.