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Smart Change: Five Tools to Create New and Sustainable Habits in Yourselfand Others [Kindle Edition]

Art Markman PhD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $25.00
Kindle Price: $11.99
You Save: $13.01 (52%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

An insightful guide that shows how habits of behavior are formed, and how we can transform bad habits into positive behaviors in ourselves and others.

Smart Change explores the psychological mechanisms that form and maintain habits in individuals and groups and offers real, accessible and actionable advice for changing habits. In an engaging narrative, Markman covers a wide range of habits, from individual behaviors like eating better and exercising regularly to work-related behaviors such as learning effectively and influencing customers’ purchases. He proposes that there are five effective tools to help individuals change behavior and to help people influence the habits of the people around them:

1. Tame the “Go” system: Identify the triggers of habits, replace old behaviors with new ones and generate specific plans to deal with obstacles.
2. Harness the “Stop” system: Learn to deal with stress and other factors that hinder the development of new and positive habits.
3. Optimize your goals. Determine the course of behavior change and how to successfully incorporate those changes for the long term.
4. Manage your environment: Change your surroundings to dramatically reduce poor behavior and habits.
5. Engage your Neighbors: To affect other people’s behavior, understand the shared culture that creates a mutual dependency, and allows neighbors and colleagues to have a profound positive influence on the behavior of other members of their community.

Editorial Reviews


 "Technology promises to make our lives easier and more efficient, but too often it has just the opposite effect – we feel rushed, harried, “always on,” and we take refuge in bad habits like procrastination. If this sounds like you, you need to try Smart Change. It’s based on the science of motivation and designed to tap into our habit-forming circuits and use them to create a more satisfying life.”
—Daniel H. Pink, To Sell is Human and Drive

"Full of tools to help you change your behavior.  You’ll reorganize your life, and be on your way to a healthier you, and not just for the next week.  This book will have lasting impact."
—Dr. Mike Roizen, RealAge: Are you as Young as You Can Be?

"If you are serious about changing habits, read this. It is written in an insightful yet accessible style. FOUR STARS"
—HR Magazine

"Markman has a knack for writing clearly and sensibly about our thought processes and habits. He realized, however, that making change is difficult for nearly everyone, mainly because there are so many temptations. So he sets out to show us how our brain works and tries to unlock the mysteries of motivation."
—Austin American-Statesman

"Markman is...a respected pop culture expert...That has a lot to do with book's snappy pace and appeal...Smart Change is not a personal story or memoir.  Readers will enjoy the level of specificity to change old habits."
—San Antonio Express News

"Art Markman’s smart, engaging, quirky book will teach you how to do more of the things that make you healthy, wealthy, and happy, and less of the things that don’t.  Smart Change is an important book that’s also a delight to read."
—Adam Alter, New York Times bestselling author of Drunk Tank Pink

 “Change is hard; but it doesn’t have to be. In this insightful book, Art Markman gets to the root causes of our habits and explains what it takes to reshape them and make lasting, positive changes in our lives.”
—David Burkus, The Myths of Creativity

"Giving up smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health, but if you have tried and failed, you may need to change your approach. The author believes the key is to change your behavioral patterns--only then will you be able to break the negative cycle for good.”
—The Sun

Praise for Art Markman's Smart Thinking

"Markman provides a helpful guide for developing smarter habits, and ultimately, a smarter, more fulfilling life of learning."
— Charles Ealy, Austin American

"The book is an easy read, though rewards re-reading. Unlike many of these “Think yourself smarter” books, this one has lots of good advice, and feels like it relies on primary sources more than secondary. In fact, I bet I end up reading a lot of what is in this book, taken out of context by “Think yourself successful” gurus. Save time, read it here, at the source."
— Tom Otley, The Business Traveler

“Smart Thinking teaches people how their minds work so they can be more effective performers at work and at life. An essential read for anyone who wants to operate at their best, think outside the box, and accomplish whatever goals they set out to achieve.”
— Sian Beilock, PhD, author of Choke

“If you want to be more creative, if you want to be an innovator, this is the book for you. Creativity doesn't fall out of the sky. It favors the prepared mind. This book prepares your mind.”
— Hara Estroff Marano, author of A Nation of Wimps

“What does thinking quickly create a positive mood?  Are goals contagious?  How do you create a culture of smart thinking?  Building on decades of research in cognitive psychology and replete with stories and practical tools, Markman answers these questions and in doing so teaches you how to learn.  Once finished, you’ll feel smarter.  Consider it an owner’s manual to the mind.”
— Jennifer Lynn Aaker, General Atlantic Professor of Marketing, Stanford GSB and author of The Dragonfly Effect

Smart Thinking not only enriches the literature on human thought--and its foibles--it takes it to the next level, offering clear prescriptions for how to sharpen memory, analysis and creativity in our daily lives.”
— Wray Herbert, author of On Second Thought: Outsmarting Your Mind's Hard-Wired Habits

About the Author

Art Markman, PhD, the author of Smart Thinking and Habits of Leadership, is the Annabel Irion Worsham Centennial Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas and founding director of the program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations.

Markman has published more than 150 articles and chapters and is the author of the scholarly work Knowledge Representation. He has been the editor of Cognitive Science since 2006.

As a consultant he has worked with large companies, including Procter & Gamble, for which he developed a number of training programs. He has worked with Drs Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen on two of their bestselling You books and contributes to their social networking website, YouBeauty. He is also on the scientific advisory boards for The Dr. Phil Show and The Dr. Oz Show.

Markman blogs regularly for Psychology Today, the Huffington Post, 99U, and Harvard Business Review online.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1402 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0349401306
  • Publisher: Perigee (January 7, 2014)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,495 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart, Useful and Understandable January 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed Art. Markmans last book, and found this continuation of the "Smart" series to be equally good. Books that mainstream pyschology have become very popular over the last few years, and as an articulate, engaging, card carrying cognitive psychologist, I find Art Markmans to be particulary informative. I thought this particular book was insightful, entertaining, and most importantly, very useful.

The main focus of Smart Change is habits. It talks about how they are formed, and how we can transform bad habits into better behaviors in both ourselves and in others. It is January, so the mention of habits immediately took me to New Year Resolutions, and eating better, losing weight, and exercising regularly. While Smart Change very effectively addresses these perennial challenges, it also delves deeper, examining how habits play a role in much of everyday life, be it work-related behaviors such as time management and effective learning, or how we interact with friends and family in our personal lives. The book does explore the psychological mechanisms that lie behind habits, but does so in a very accessible way. However, perhaps most importantly, it also offers actionable advice and tools that can be used to change habits, and hence lives, for the better.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
The market is crowded with self-help books, why should you be excited about this one? Because this book is different. Cognitive science researchers have made a number of important discoveries about the ways our minds work that are potentially relevant to our daily lives. Markman, a leading cognitive scientist, has done an excellent job translating this research into useful advice to help you understand how to change habits. He outlines just enough of the results and principles to clarify why the practical advice he provides makes sense. (For readers who want to know more, there are key entry points into the literature in an appendix, a nice bonus for the curious.) The writing is crisp and clear, with examples that help illustrate the points without belaboring them.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to kick a bad habit? This book will help! January 8, 2014
By J. Sinn
Format:Kindle Edition
Having some trouble kicking those pesky bad habits that seem so engrained in your daily routine? Art Markman will show you the way in his new book, “Smart Change.” I was lucky enough to snag an advance copy, so I can tell you that it definitely contains some pearls of wisdom – especially for those who need some help in the self-control department. I found that chronicling my daily successes and pitfalls in a journal have really brought some issues to light. What’s really interesting about this book is that it shows how to rely on strategies other than self-control to kick bad habits and adopt new, better ones. If you’re going to pick a self-help book to make good on those New Years resolutions, this should be it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
“Smart Change” written by Art Markman is a book about habits, especially those not so good – the author provides advices how to change them into something good, out of which both you and the people around you will benefit.

The author in his book telling the story of simple habits, such as those that we are sometimes quick to promise ourselves and others some nice things in appropriate situations, but also about the complex ones for their resolution will have to try harder.
Markman discuss how important part of our life habits are, for example, the way we work and learn, for which we are not even aware that is always done by a scheme which we unconsciously once adopted and since blindly adhere.

He talks about how habits even affect behavior towards our loved ones, family and friends, something that you would rarely attribute to habits established on psychological reasons.
And it is precisely this psychological aspect what separates this book from other self-help titles because the author, who is Professor of Psychology, brought a compelling and experience-based story about the mechanisms of the mind on which habits are leaning.

This is the first book I read from Art Markman, but extremely liked his combination of explanation of how our psyche works and tips how to help ourselves to become able to manage something we do unconsciously. Due to above-mentioned reasons I can fully recommend “Smart Change”.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Habit Tact for Humantiy April 2, 2014
All of us need to make some changes in some area or areas of our life. But it is so hard. We start some change project and soon enough find ourselves back where we began, sitting on the couch and stuffing our faces with potato chips (hopefully organic). So what is the secret to successful change? Recently there has been a spate of books examining habits and how we can change them. Most notably The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg and Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions by John C. Norcross et al. Art Markman’s Smart Change is another addition to this sub-field of self-help.

Markman’s standard human is guided in his or her actions by two systems: the Go System and the Stop System. The Go System is what makes us continue doing what we’re doing; i.e. following habits. It is motivated to act by conditions in the environment that have created habits. So, if we are hanging out in a bar with our drinking buddies, our Go System will motivates us to study Proust - wrong! Our Go System will motivate us to chug down a few until we burp our guts out. How do we conquer this? Two ways: by taming the Go System and by engaging the Stop System. (Markman lists another three “tools”, but these are the major ones.)

Taming the Go System is not easy. You need to find another habit to replace the unwanted one. If you want to stop eating a donut at 3PM, then you need to have a substitute habit ready to replace that. Have an apple at hand. File a complaint with the Health Department against your local donut establishment to get it closed down. The Stop System can also be engaged but, according to Markman, can only be pushed so far or it will burn out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible book that goes over how to implement change in ...
Incredible book that goes over how to implement change in your life. I found the neurological basis of building or breaking habits most interesting to understand.
Published 25 days ago by David T. Garcia
5.0 out of 5 stars It changed my life for the better. Highly recommend it
As a recent college gradate, I found this book extremely beneficial in helping me idealize my post-graduation goals and prioritize the necessary steps to reach them. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Matt King
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, to the point
Some good, straight forward tips on making changes. I like his explanation of the two systems--the stop and go system--in your brain that establishes your behavior. Read more
Published 3 months ago by David Dostal
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Nice Item as described
Published 4 months ago by T. Pavacik
5.0 out of 5 stars Learns the Whys, then just do what it says
This book sets you up for habit change in just the way it explains in the pages. Simple...follow the steps, and reap the rewards
Published 5 months ago by Bryan Lemos
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this
This read is good for personal insight and change AND for your child, grand child, friends child, etc. it can help you, help others.
Published 7 months ago by readerkaren
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Could not keep interested in this book and found myself skipping over it so I'm probably not giving it the best shot but I just could not read it.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Saw on Dr. Phil...
Tough to stay with. It is pretty dull. I did get some actionable items, however. It is repetitive, which I suppose is his point for creating new habits.
Published 8 months ago by karen m. turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks
Book is a great addition to the library. I am researching habits as it relates to a service I provide to customers and this is really helping
Published 8 months ago by BP
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essence of Habit Change
Dr. Markman takes a wide array of research data on self-activated habit change and makes it useful and hands-on. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Money Man
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More About the Author

Art Markman is the Annabel Irion Worsham Centennial Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin and Founding Director of the Program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations. His research explores a variety of topics in thinking including the way people form and use analogies, generate creative ideas, and make decisions. He blogs for Psychology Today,, and Fast Company. He is co-host of the NPR show Two Guys on Your Head, produced by KUT radio in Austin. Art's books include Smart Thinking, Habits of Leadership, and Smart Change.

In his spare time, Art plays blues saxophone, writes for the Psychology Department Limerick Committee, and hangs out with his family.


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