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Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don't, and How to Make Any Change Stick | [Jeremy Dean]

Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don't, and How to Make Any Change Stick

Say you want to start going to the gym or practicing a musical instrument. How long should it take before you stop having to force it and start doing it automatically? The surprising answers are found in Making Habits, Breaking Habits, a leading psychologist’s popular examination of one of the most powerful and underappreciated processes in the brain. Although people like to think that they are in control, the vast majority of human behavior occurs without any decision-making or conscious thought.
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Publisher's Summary

Say you want to start going to the gym or practicing a musical instrument. How long should it take before you stop having to force it and start doing it automatically? The surprising answers are found in Making Habits, Breaking Habits, a leading psychologist’s popular examination of one of the most powerful and underappreciated processes in the brain. Although people like to think that they are in control, the vast majority of human behavior occurs without any decision-making or conscious thought.

Drawing on hundreds of fascinating studies, psychologist Jeremy Dean busts the myths to finally explain why seemingly easy habits, like eating an apple a day, can be surprisingly difficult to form, and how to take charge of your brain’s natural "autopilot" to make any change stick.

Witty and intriguing, Making Habits, Breaking Habits shows how behavior occurs more than just a product of what you think. It is possible to bend your habits to your will - and be happier, more creative, and more productive.

©2013 Jeremy Dean (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC

What the Critics Say

"Making changes does take longer than we may expect - no 30-day, 30-pounds-lighter quick fix - but by following the guidelines laid out by Dean, listeners have a decent chance at establishing fulfilling, new patterns." (Kirkus Reviews)

"An accessible and informative guide for listeners to take control of their lives." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (405 )
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3.8 (353 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sara USA 12-06-14
    Sara USA 12-06-14

    No plot spoilers please!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No Sugar Coating Allowed"

    The author makes it very clear that he hates the idea of quick and easy permanent change books and theories. In a way he is so outspoken about how difficult and how long new habits take to become established that it almost makes it seem "why even try?".

    This book is filled with information and data from many, many research studies. It is a bit dry at times and often discouraging as well. I agree with several other reviewers that it was unnecessarily long winded in parts. All that said--I think the author is correct that the quick fixes and fantasy ideas presented in other books are really not helpful in the end. Far better to know up front what you are up against when you are trying to build positive or eliminate negative habits. Forget about the notion of "21 days to a new you". Think instead about 300 plus days instead!

    At times I felt overwhelmed by too much information and too much negativity over all. Plus the overview of when habits become mental illness was pretty dark. To me, a very sobering look at change and the underbelly of habits.

    The book does contain helpful points and methods. Just don't expect a positive and upbeat listening experience. A serious book about habits.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-22-14 Member Since 2013

    Spiritual Adventurer

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    "Get the actual book"
    Any additional comments?

    I purchase unabridged audiobooks expecting that NOTHING is left out of the book and that it is truly unabridged. So when I come to a point in the book where the narrator says "described in detail below" (Seriously? Are you not aware there is no "below" to an audio recording?) I am instantly disappointed. In this case, I found the first such instance in the 9th chapter after the description of the WOOP process. At that point, I determined to stop reading and return the audiobook. Will purchase the kindle version instead.

    37 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy D Rikley British Columbia, Canada 05-25-13
    Jeremy D Rikley British Columbia, Canada 05-25-13 Member Since 2012

    I am personal development junkie looking to increase my overall experience in this beautiful world we live in!!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting view in why we do what we do"
    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I have two gripes with this book; First, the author uses a ton of psychological theories and examples to back up his points. There isn't anything inherently wrong with this, however, by about the 3/4 mark the studies were getting boring and I fully understood that he did his research without needing to listen it. Second, although I found this book quite interesting it was quite repetitive. The idea of changing our habits is quite complex, however, it could have been summed up without needing to beat the same ideas and concepts over and over.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The guy reading the book felt a little dramatic at first and the content of this particular book does not call for it. By the end though, I really enjoyed his reading style.


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    We are less in control of our habits and behaviours than we think.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a fascinating look into why people do what they do. It gives great insight into our own personal habits, as well as those of other people. For anyone looking to learn more about why people make the choices they make, this book is a wonderful place to look.

    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ria Toronto, ON, Canada 03-07-13
    Ria Toronto, ON, Canada 03-07-13

    Always strive for an open mind.

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    "Excellent, in-depth, research supported insight"
    What made the experience of listening to Making Habits, Breaking Habits the most enjoyable?

    The objectiveness, the worldly points of view; examining all sides of the matter in a very convincing and mind-opening way.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Making Habits, Breaking Habits?

    "We need the habit to raise above itself."


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from Making Habits, Breaking Habits?

    Hopefully the one regarding happy habits....


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent performance! A great listen that has left me with many inspiring and hopeful thoughts.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen 05-19-14
    Karen 05-19-14 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Small steps really do add up..."

    "Making Habits, Breaking Habits" describes what it takes to form new habits and how to optimize success along the way. The book takes on the 21 day "rule of thumb" that is so often referred to (hint: while it varies based on the habit type, the 21-day parameter generally isn't correct). What I found especially useful is how Dr. Dean describes actionable ways one can increase the likelihood of successful habit forming, by habit type. He also reinforces the concept that multiple small changes can add up to big benefits. This book is a worthwhile listen for anyone trying to develop or reinforce habits, whether it's stopping smoking, eating healthier, exercising more routinely, etc.

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 09-09-14
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 09-09-14 Member Since 2011

    Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Kick in the pants for me..."

    I've a few habits I want to go away and a few that I'd like to add. This book held my attention nicely, helped me understand a few things I didn't and gave me a kick in the right direction. It feels like it is well researched, the voice engaging and some interesting supportive examples. It feels like attending a 200 level psychology college class with a good professor. I got it on sale and it was well worth the few bucks I spent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris M 12-14-14
    Chris M 12-14-14 Member Since 2013
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    "pragmatic, useful & research-based"
    If you could sum up Making Habits, Breaking Habits in three words, what would they be?

    pragmaticevidence-baseduseful


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Making Habits, Breaking Habits?

    The debunking of the myth that "it only takes 21 days to change a habit." Depending on the habit, and according to scientific findings, it can take much longer to change habits & it was refreshing to hear this content from a popular press book. This is a resource that I now recommend to both clients & colleagues to support them in learning healthy habits & teaching others how to do so


    Any additional comments?

    Not sure if rating performance makes sense but the narrators voice was effective and not annoying - sometimes voices are a distraction & performance of this narrator supported learning, thus I rated performance. Same with "story": effective anecdotes & presentation of info

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah C Berkeley, CA USA 10-29-14
    Sarah C Berkeley, CA USA 10-29-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Engaging and Informative"

    Life hacks and mindfulness. I enjoyed the reading of this book, and am applying the information I gleaned on my first listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David A. Clark Huntsville, AL USA 09-09-14
    David A. Clark Huntsville, AL USA 09-09-14 Member Since 2013

    Clark Barr

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    "No smoking gun.."
    What disappointed you about Making Habits, Breaking Habits?

    I'm by far no genius of the human psyche, but I definitely didn't have any "whoa! aHa!" moments..


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine 09-02-14
    Catherine 09-02-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Deep Self-Help Book"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    It depends on the friend to be quite honest. The book I believed was golden because it gave you a lot of studies and research that the author did to prove his points in this book. However, some people want the 'quick fix' on how to help themselves without having studies and research to back it up. I believe this book is more self aware than self help, only because it tells you why you do certain things and how you can manipulate your mind to change those aspects.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There were no characters in the book as the book was a self help book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite part of the book was when he was talking about how your sub conscience mind has more power than your conscience. Example would be, if you make yourself a cup of coffee Monday thru Friday every morning before you go to work, it would suddenly become a habit and a ritual for you. But lets say that Saturday you do not make coffee as you use that time to sleep in or relax. Then lets say Monday is a holiday as to which you do not have to work, you still might find yourself making that cup of coffee on Monday and waking up at a certain time on Monday because you have been in that habit for quite some time. This was the most interesting part to me.


    Could you see Making Habits, Breaking Habits being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    More of a documentary than anything. Again, it was more of a self help book than it is a character based book.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is good to listen too and again should be enjoyed and listened too if you like the research and study aspect. I will admit however, you need to have full concentration on this book because it sometimes can get a bit boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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