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Stick with It

A Scientifically Proven Process for Changing Your Life – for Good

By Sean D. Young
15-minute read
Audio available
Stick with It: A Scientifically Proven Process for Changing Your Life – for Good by Sean D. Young

Stick with It (2017) offers sensible advice that you can start using today to make positive changes in your life. Drawing from real-world case studies and the latest behavioral research, author Sean Young provides a thorough and rational plan for how you can combat your bad habits and follow through on your dreams and goals.

  • Anyone struggling to make lasting changes in their life
  • Readers who are eager to break bad habits
  • Professionals keen to improve ineffective personal work routines

Sean D. Young, PhD, is a professor at the Department of Family Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the director of the UCLA Center for Digital Behavior.

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Stick with It

A Scientifically Proven Process for Changing Your Life – for Good

By Sean D. Young
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
Stick with It: A Scientifically Proven Process for Changing Your Life – for Good by Sean D. Young
Synopsis

Stick with It (2017) offers sensible advice that you can start using today to make positive changes in your life. Drawing from real-world case studies and the latest behavioral research, author Sean Young provides a thorough and rational plan for how you can combat your bad habits and follow through on your dreams and goals.

Key idea 1 of 9

If you’re looking for more motivation, break down your dreams into manageable steps.

No matter how big your goal is, try to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Indeed, the first tip for achieving your goals is to know that your mind will respond better to small steps than to giant leaps.

Just consider a 2012 study that followed the progress of 126 overweight women who were trying to lose weight. The researchers found that those who focused on short-term goals, like sticking to low-calorie food every day, were more likely to lose weight. Not only that, but those who focused on hitting long-term goals, like losing a certain amount of weight by the end of the month, actually gained weight.

Short-term goals are effective because they take advantage of the way your mind works. For instance, the pleasure we feel when earning a reward is associated with the dopamine our brain releases when we anticipate that reward. Just the thought of being able to check off a meaningful goal is treated like a reward in your brain. Therefore, it's more pleasurable and motivating to set small and frequent daily goals, and thus earn these consistent rewards, than it is to aim for some distant, future goal.

So, when you’re setting up a new target for yourself, think about how you can break this broader task into three smaller categories: steps, goals and dreams.

Steps contain small tasks that take two days or less to complete. If your goal is to learn a new language, this might entail signing up for a course or buying a workbook.

Goals should contain both the short-term and long-term objectives. The short-term goals, which should take around a week to complete, should add up to complete the long-term ones that take around a month to complete.

Lastly, dreams are ultimate goals that will take three months or longer to complete. So, If your dream is to write a book, the steps might be to write one page a day, the short-term goal might be to write 2000 words a week, and the long-term goals might be finishing a chapter every month.

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