Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review: The Power of Habit

Remember way back when I used to do monthly book posts?  I liked that, but then finals and AP tests happened, so I literally did not read for a month and a half. I recently pulled out some books at home that I had never gotten around to reading. One of them was The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg.
I have to say, I’m not a big self-help book reader, but I’m a huge science nerd, especially when it comes to things I can apply in my daily life, like habits, so I was pretty excited to read this book and understand how habits are formed. Overall, I would say the book was written in a fun and easy to follow way, with periodical anecdotes. Something that was really helpful for me was having Duhigg explain how a habit loop works in the first chapter, and then go back to the familiar structure in every chapter thereafter. Personally, I do wish this book included a little more hard science, but I can understand how that would be a turnoff for people not so interested in the neuroscience aspect of it.
Part of what made this book so good was how applicable the things I learned were. Once I started identifying the cues that prompted certain habits for me, It was easier to change them. The general principle behind changing bad habits, like sitting down for an episode of Orange in the New Black (not a fan by the way, hate on me all you want), after work instead of going to the gym, is identifying the cue and reward, and keeping both of those the same, while changing the behavior. If you watch TV after work, you might feel relaxed and enjoy unwinding, and you do it because you’re stressed out. So the solution to getting to the gym is identifying the feeling of getting stressed out and lacing up your running shoes (or shoving your foot in and adjusting if you’re lazy like me). In terms of reward, your brain will produce endorphins that will both relax and energize you.
Another concept I found really interesting was the idea of willpower as a muscle. If  you overwork a muscle, it gets tired and torn up, and doesn’t work as well as it could. In the same way, if you stay away from junk food all day and plan to go to the gym at night, your willpowers muscle might be overused and you might bings watch TV with junk food instead of going to the gym. For me, I tend to put off going to the gym unless I do It first thing in the morning, so I’ve been waking up early with my friend Monica and going around 6 AM. Of course, this habit is still in the making since we’ve only done it for a week. Of course, like any muscle, willpower can get stronger, which is why with practice, weaning off of junk food or soda becomes easier.
Pretty cool stuff, huh? And super applicable. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone even slightly interested in the science of habit (so basically everyone because humans are creatures of habit), and rate a solid 4.5 stars

What’s on your reading list? I’m definitely looking for new books to read. Leave a comment below and friend me on Goodreads so we can check each others’ books out!

P.S. Please help me! Blogger is not letting me align the top photo + this text and I don't know why. It's really bothering me- what do I do?

xo, Hima

38 comments:

  1. wow! so cool! and definitely applicable, just like you said! i'm trying to do some "fun" reading this summer :)

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  2. I need to get my hands on this!

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  3. Fabulous! Sounds like a great, informative read! <3

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  4. Such a great read. Very informative. I for sure need to get my hands on this soon! Great post!

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  5. I definitely need to read this; maybe it will help me form some good, stable habits!

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  6. Great book. I'm currently reading a book about how to use habit to become a more effective writer, this sounds like the next thing I need to read...:)

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  7. Sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. This book sounds awesome! On a technical note, using Chrome's "inspect element", I discovered that the div at the top of your post has a 0.5 inch text indent set. If you go into the HTML and remove it, perhaps that will fix your image problem?


    Cheers!

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  9. Sounds like a good read! I'll have to check it out!

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  10. This has been on my TBR list for awhile, sounds like a great book!

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  11. this has been on my queue forever!! i need to get around to it.

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  12. I agree with everyone this really has been on my queue too

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  13. I've been wanting to read this book, haven't gotten to it yet.

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  14. I've got this sitting in my amazon basket, I keep it full of books I'm wanting to read, I really need to order this and read it :-)

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  15. I used to read all the time. And then college happened, but when I'm home, I always reading something if I'm not writing. Just try to keep your habit up when you go off to school!

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  16. Cool book. I might have to make some time to read it !

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  17. Wait this sounds so absolutely incredible. I need to read this book.

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  18. You should definitely check it out! I really enjoyed it!

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  19. Go buy it right now- it's that good!

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  20. It's definitely informative! I love it!

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  21. absolutely! perfect for the airplane!

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  22. You should definitely consider checking it out from the library- it's so good!

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  23. I know it helped me get to the gym every day

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  24. That would be a great idea! I know it definitely helped me get to the gym every day!

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  25. OMG thank you SO much! That worked perfectly!

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  26. You should definitely read it- it's so applicable!

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  27. Maybe you should read this on one of the many road trips you take! :)

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  28. It's such a great read- definitely worth the time!

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  29. I really enjoyed it, and I completely agree1

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  30. HAHA I do that too! But I usually end up checking them out at the library! :)

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  31. I definitely hope to continue reading in college! It's such a relaxing thing to do!

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Thank you so much for leaving a comment! You probably just made my day :) I do my best to reply to every single one, even if it takes a little while. Make sure you're not a no-reply blogger so we don't get deprived of a wonderful conversation!
xo, Hima