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Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success Hardcover – April 11, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A strategic, step-by-step guide to breaking longstanding bad habits from the authors of Crucial Conversations draws on research coming out of their Change Anything Labs, where they study and work with people struggling with self-destructive patterns. The authors introduce a system for adopting—and sticking to—better behaviors in this smart, sensible work. Targeting the main problem areas—weight, addictions, spending, career advancement, and relationships—the authors exhort readers to avoid blaming their inability on willpower ("the willpower trap") in favor of recognizing powerful influences that can counteract temptation: e.g., offering ourselves financial incentives or radically changing our physical spaces to see that we stick with healthier habits. The authors present a highly detailed holistic plan, illustrated by encouraging case studies, for making systemic changes that approach problems from every angle and promote active change. (Apr.)
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Individuals who have the power to change their behaviour are individuals with power. Master the skills taught in this book and you'll reach a new level of personal influence' Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The Leader in Me 'At Zappos, one of our core values is to "Embrace and Drive Change." This book shows how adapting one's life or career for the better can be done in a new and powerful way' Tony Hsieh, bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of, Inc 'Change Anything doesn't offer you a one-size-fits-all solution to your challenges. Instead, it shows your how to tailor a handful of simple strategies so that you can create your own success story' Marci Shimoff, bestselling author of Happy for No Reason and Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (April 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446573914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446573917
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

236 of 248 people found the following review helpful By Fr. Charles Erlandson on April 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Change Anything" comes with a risky and audacious promise: if you apply the principles of this book to your life you will produce sustainable change in your behavior that will noticeably improve your life! To make such a huge claim about a topic of such immense practical importance is, indeed, audacious.

So does "Change Anything" live up to its claim? Yes, and No.

The fact that I think this book lives up to anything even approaching its bold claim is a high recommendation for this book. Here's what the book delivers that makes me believe that if you actually understand and faithfully use the principles of this book that you can, indeed, change many of your behaviors for the better.

First, the authors free us from a powerful mind trap: the simplistic belief that if only we had more willpower we'd succeed in changing our lives. The reality the authors argue for (persuasively) is that while willpower is still important, changing behavior turns out to be as much about "skill" as it is about "will." And the truth is that certain skills for changing our behaviors can be taught. The authors also point out that that often (for example when you go to Las Vegas into a casino) you can't see what's controlling. However, "If you can see it, you can change it." "Change Anything," then, is a book about seeing the hidden influences in our lives and using them to change our behaviors from ones with negative to ones with positive consequences.

The book opens with a series of fascinating experiments on children that provide evidence for all that the authors will present.
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59 of 59 people found the following review helpful By WJ Tronoski on May 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are ready to work at changing your life, I recommend Change Anything. The suggestions in Change Anything helped me when I applied them to my personal change efforts.

Change Anything is organized into three parts:
Part 1: Presents four science-based strategies implementing lasting change
Part 2: Describes the six sources of influence and suggests ways to apply them for personal change
Part 3: Discusses the Change Anything suggestions in common change scenarios

Parts 1 and 2 alone justify buying the book.

Here are some reasons why Change Anything worked for me:
- The four scientific strategies outlined in Part 1 provided a great structure for applying the six sources of influence.
- It is down to earth and practical. The book acknowledges the realities of a change effort (e.g., sometimes there will be bad days), and the recommended actions are "do-able."
- The book offers many useful examples and concrete ideas for making changes stick

One word of warning...applying the Change Anything suggestions is difficult - it requires effort and willingness to spend time planning, recording, analyzing, and adjusting your personal change efforts. The book includes complementary access to a website that supports planning and tracking your change efforts.

I dropped my rating to four stars for a few specific reasons:
- I found the Change Anything web site to be limited - it didn't offer compelling content or resources for me.
- Part 3, which comprises almost 40% of the book, is mostly useful if you are dealing with one of the common change scenarios it discusses. If your change scenario is different, part 3 is mostly a set of examples. Part 3 seemed like filler to me.

Overall, though, I found Change Anything to be an insightful and practical guide to making personal changes stick.
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By George Rodriguez - Nonfiction Author of Simple Time Management Tips on January 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The authors of "Change Anything" argue that willpower is not the answer when it comes to personal success. Rather, using and understanding their six sources of influence we can finally overcome what is keeping us from accomplishing lasting change in our lives. Well-written and full of insightful studies and examples, the authors make a compelling case, but repeated efforts to advertise their website and program and a curious admission early in the book make me hesitant to wholeheartedly recommend this book

What is the best way to achieve success in our lives? The authors of "Change Anything" argue that not only must the answer be based on scientific inquiry (which they offer), but should also not rely on willpower as the only path to change. This would seem to contradict what Baumeister and Tierney argue in "Willpower", but they are quick to point out that willpower is only wrong because it is incomplete. Using their "Six Sources of Influence" the authors aim to lay out a step-by-step program that anyone can use to make changes in their life in areas as diverse as career, diet, finances, addictions and relationships.

Using a more "person-focused" approach than Timothy Wilson's "social-focused" format in "Redirect", the authors provide clear, engaging chapters on each source along with specific tactics to go along with each step. Stories like that of the doctoral student who took a picture of himself, cut it in to 90 pieces and added a piece each day he wrote two pages of his dissertation is an example of the thought-provoking examples they provide in each chapter.
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