Behavioral scientist Katy Milkman shares 5 key insights from her new book, How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. Listen to the audio version—read by Katy herself—in the Next Big Idea App.
TAILORED ATTACKS WORK BETTER THAN ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL SOLUTIONS
I’ll start with some bad news: Most attempts at change fail. Part of it is that change is hard, but a more helpful explanation is that we don’t typically think strategically about change. Instead, we try to deploy one-size-fits-all solutions, like setting “big audacious goals” or “visualizing success.”
I’ve discovered that change comes most readily when you size up what’s standing in your way and then tailor your solution to match that obstacle. Let me use a simple example that I’ll come back to a few times because it’s so relatable: Say the change you want to make is getting yourself to the gym regularly.
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