Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

The Power of Habit is amazing as it proves that any habit can be changed or manipulated to our advantage by mastering the cues, i.e. the behaviors that make us do a habit in the first place. The book provides guidance on recognizing these habits, becoming sensitive to how they develop, and making decisions on whether they should be changed. It then offers advice on how to change a specific habit for a lifetime.

All habits begin with a cue – this tells us we are repeating a behavior. Then there is an opportunity to develop a routine around the behavior (which is hopefully a wanted, positive or sought after habit). It follows that a reward is given to reinforce a behavior. In this way, if we are sensitive to the cues and routines, we can work to change a habit.

There are marketing, business and real-life examples from several different industries to show how habits are formed and reinforced. Why is it important to understand habits? Because, as is explained in The Power of Habiteverything that we do is built on habits. Apparently our brains would be worn out if we had to remember how to do everything for the first time each day. In this way, habits are “habit-forming,” and they are also able to be manipulated and changed. Marketing companies use habits to get us to buy products; a new product launch succeeds or fails based on whether the consumers understand that they can’t live without the product once a habit is formed to keep using it.

What is amazing about The Power of Habit is that there are real examples of how companies have been ruined or bolstered with the habits of people within the organization. Individuals, organizations, demographic groups and entire populations work, live, play and prosper on the strength and values of their habits.

This book would be valuable to anyone interested in leadership at an organization, in marketing a new product to the masses, attempting or initiating a weight loss program or anyone interested in developing a new habit.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Random House. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.