Exclusive: Kickstart 2017 with New Notes and Highlights on 'The Power of Habit'

Posted by Cybil on January 4, 2017


We all want to create more good habits and fewer bad habits. Luckily, New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg researched the science of how we form (and can break) these routines in his 2012 bestselling book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

Now, five years later, Goodreads asked Duhigg to revisit this powerful book which has won rave reviews from Goodreads members to share his updated insights, further learnings, and general reactions to passages throughout The Power of Habit. In these new highlights and notes available exclusively on Goodreads, the author gives us more information on changing our habits and gives a behind-the-scenes look at writing the book.


Goodreads asked Duhigg about returning to The Power of Habit and his best advice for your new year's resolutions:

"This is actually the first time I read it since I wrote it," Duhigg said about adding the new notes and highlights to The Power of Habit.

"It was definitely like rediscovering the book. When I was writing it I didn't know if anyone was going to read it. I just had no clue if it would be popular or not. So, it was fun to re-read it and think about the choices I made writing it."

His Best Advice for Keeping Resolutions:
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"My number one piece of advice to achieve your New Year's resolution is to actually define what you want to do," he says.

"One of the things we know about why people have trouble achieving goals is that they don't define their goals with real precision. For instance, saying I want to lose weight is a goal that would make sense. The problem with that is it's not specific or granular enough to develop a plan around that goal," Duhigg says.

"So instead of saying I want to lose weight, you should say I want to lose 10 pounds over the next six months by eating less food or, more specifically, by not snacking outside of mealtime. Now you have a very specific goal. The nice thing about specific goals is that you can measure against the goals on a daily basis. What you're trying to do is set up a system where you can get a feedback loop."

"You'll know if your plan is good if you get feedback on your success once a day or once a week. It probably shouldn't be less than once a week," Duhigg says.

Know Why Your Success is Important to You:

"You need to have an idea—a goal—in your head that tells you why your tactics are important," Duhigg says. "Unless you do the big work of asking yourself why you want to change this way, it's very hard to make that change become real, it won't become self perpetuating. Once you know the 'why' it actually becomes much easier to change."

"I spend a lot more time asking myself what's really important, why it's important to me, and what will I care about most in the future. I use a method of decision making called the 10/10/10 rule. When making a decision, ask yourself, 'How will I feel about this decision in 10 minutes, in 10 weeks, and in 10 years?'"

"Ultimately, finding ways to tell yourself to think more deeply about the choices you're making seems to always pay off."

Read all of Duhigg's new notes and highlights to The Power of Habit. Here's a sampling of his new insights:

"Most people don’t wait until they have cancer or an accident. Rather, they start believing that change is possible, and they work at the change—and fail repeatedly—until they learn enough to make the change become real." Read more of this note.

"Numerous studies have shown that visualizing something with precision—imagining how you hope a meeting will play out, for instance, or visualizing a specific conversation, or pushing yourself to daydream about a task you hope to accomplish—increases the odds that things will turn out pretty well." Read more of this note.

"There’s a small, irrational fear to starting an exercise habit. And so, when you finally overcome that small fear, and start exercising habitually, it causes a shift in self-image: you start thinking of yourself, almost sub-consciously, as the kind of person who exercises. And that kind of person tends to procrastinate less, and avoid frivolous spending." Read more of this note.

You can learn more about our beta project to share Kindle Notes and Highlights with your friends, family, book club, etc., here. And follow author Charles Duhigg for more of his updates and reading. In addition, Duhigg will be debuting a New York Times business column this month.

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by MU (last edited Jan 04, 2017 10:30AM) (new)

MU I'm very lucky that this was the first book about habit change that I read. It was powerful and changed my perspective about personal change. Currently reading 'Smarter, Faster, Better' but I will re-read the 'The Power of Habits' soon.


message 2: by Doncossatot (new)

Doncossatot nice


message 3: by Aya (new)

Aya Ocean A truly illuminating book! I could go on and on about it, but really you just need to read it.


message 4: by Affiliate (new)

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message 5: by Weight (new)

Weight Loss Great Book. I have read it. Thanks for sharing. I loved this book. weight loss tips


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