How to Change - Summary and Key Ideas

"How to Change" is a comprehensive guide that uses scientific insights to help readers identify and overcome internal obstacles that hinder personal growth and achievement. It provides tailored strategies for behavior change, making it a valuable resource for anyone seeking to improve their habits and life.

The target group of "How to Change" are individuals seeking to improve their habits or achieve personal goals, and those interested in understanding the science of behavior change.

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How to Change

Key ideas


Unlock lasting change by identifying your unique barriers and harnessing the power of fresh starts to take that crucial first step.

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Impulsivity hinders long-term goals, but strategies like temptation bundling and gamification can make good behaviors instantly gratifying, overcoming present bias.

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Commitment devices, like locked bank accounts or spaced-out deadlines, can effectively combat procrastination and promote long-term goal achievement.

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The average adult forgets three things each day, but timely reminders, cue-based plans, and checklists can effectively combat this forgetfulness.

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Harnessing our inherent laziness can transform it from a barrier to change into a powerful asset for efficiency and improvement.

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Confidence is less about overvaluing skills and more about trusting your potential; it can grow by advising others and reflecting on past wins.

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Social norms and peer impact greatly affect personal choices. So it's essential to be mindful of the quality of the company we keep.

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Summary & Review

"How to Change" by Katy Milkman is a comprehensive guide to understanding and implementing behavior change. The book emphasizes the importance of identifying and overcoming internal obstacles to change, and offers a range of strategies to make this process more manageable and effective. These strategies are based on the latest scientific research and are presented in a clear, engaging, and actionable way. The book also highlights the importance of tailoring these strategies to individual circumstances and goals, and provides numerous examples and case studies to illustrate these points.

Katy Milkman

Katy Milkman is a renowned behavioral scientist and professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is the co-founder and co-director of the Behavior Change for Good Initiative and hosts a popular podcast called "Choiceology".

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