Making Habits, Breaking Habits Book Summary - Making Habits, Breaking Habits Book explained in key points
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Making Habits, Breaking Habits summary

Jeremy Dean

Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick

4.1 (620 ratings)
11 mins

Brief summary

Making Habits, Breaking Habits by Jeremy Dean explores the science of habit-forming and provides evidence-based techniques for creating new habits and breaking old ones. It highlights how habits shape our daily lives and offers actionable advice for changing them.

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    Making Habits, Breaking Habits
    Summary of 4 key ideas

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    Habits are repeated behaviors with little to no conscious intention.

    What happens when someone throws a ball to you? In all likelihood, you catch it before you consciously realize what’s going on. This is a habit – an action repeated so frequently that it’s done unconsciously.

    This first aspect of a habit involves automaticity, that is, not being aware of the execution of a given action, such as flicking on a light while entering a room.

    Also, since repetition decreases enthusiasm, the act of performing habits is emotionless.

    Consider your morning routine: Does it conjure up strong emotions for you? Or imagine looking out upon a mountain range for hours from your office window every single day. It’s wonderful and breathtaking at first, but, over time, the pleasure of seeing it greatly decreases.

    In addition to automaticity, context also defines habits because of the associations you form between your surroundings and your behavior. Remember what it was like to be a student? The freedom of almost zero obligations and the beers you enjoyed with your friends? You may well connect the pleasures of socializing with the habit of drinking alcohol because of these early experiences, so now every time you socialize, you want to drink a beer.

    But how are habits actually formed? Take a look at the following:

    First, intentions create habits. For example, you want to have healthy, white teeth, so you start brushing them regularly.

    Another way habits are formed is through explaining random past behavior by adding an intention later on. Say you always sit in the same place in your friend’s kitchen because it was the only free spot when you first visited her. Now, however, you tell yourself it’s your favorite place because the light is just right and the chair is comfy.

    Finally, you can combine both the intention and explanation behind your habits. Perhaps you started biking to work because you were dieting, but you continue doing it because you enjoy being out in the fresh air.

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    Key ideas in Making Habits, Breaking Habits

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    What is Making Habits, Breaking Habits about?

    Making Habits, Breaking Habits (2013) provides an overview of exactly what habits are and how we form them. Using this knowledge, it reveals how to create healthy habits and tackle the bad ones so that we can experience lasting, positive change in our everyday lives.

    Making Habits, Breaking Habits Review

    Making Habits, Breaking Habits (2013) explores the science behind habits and provides practical strategies for transforming them. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its evidence-based insights, it offers a deep understanding of how habits are formed and how to break free from them.
    • Using relatable examples and relatable anecdotes, it helps readers apply the concepts to their own lives, making habit change accessible and achievable.
    • Its engaging approach keeps readers captivated, completely dispelling the idea that learning about habits has to be dry or dull.

    Best quote from Making Habits, Breaking Habits

    Awareness of the power of the unconscious to guide and change our thinking and behaviour is the first step to change.

    —Jeremy Dean
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    Who should read Making Habits, Breaking Habits?

    • People interested in human behavior and psychology
    • Anyone willing to improve their life and make lasting changes

    About the Author

    Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the founder of the immensely popular PsyBlog, a website dedicated to scientific research into how the mind works. PsyBlog has been cited in such media outlets as The Guardian, The New York Times and Wired.

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    Making Habits, Breaking Habits FAQs 

    What is the main message of Making Habits, Breaking Habits?

    The main message of Making Habits, Breaking Habits is that understanding how habits work can empower us to make positive changes in our lives.

    How long does it take to read Making Habits, Breaking Habits?

    The reading time for Making Habits, Breaking Habits varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Making Habits, Breaking Habits a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Making Habits, Breaking Habits is a valuable read. It offers practical insights and strategies to help us understand and change our habits for the better.

    Who is the author of Making Habits, Breaking Habits?

    The author of Making Habits, Breaking Habits is Jeremy Dean.

    What to read after Making Habits, Breaking Habits?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Making Habits, Breaking Habits, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Mini Habits by Stephen Guise
    • High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
    • Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
    • Good Habits, Bad Habits by Wendy Wood
    • Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
    • Singletasking by Devora Zack
    • The Kindness Method by Shahroo Izadi
    • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
    • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
    • The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr