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Stick with It: A Scientifically Proven Process for Changing Your Life-for Good Hardcover – June 20, 2017
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“Sean Young has taken psychology research and applied it outside the research lab, helping people make lasting changes to their behaviors. In this book, he shares a process and tools so that we can make these changes ourselves.” (Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take)
“Behavioral scientists have been...much less successful at showing us how to make change last. With Stick with It, Sean Young has come to the rescue, offering a system for generating lasting change that is both scientifically grounded and personally implementable. It’s a winner.” (Robert Cialdini, New York Times bestselling author of Influence and Pre-Suasion)
“Stick with It helps you go from wanting to change to actually doing it. Sean Young breaks down the science behind behavior change and offers practical and effective strategies for changing your life.” (Amy Morin, author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do)
“It’s a must-read for anyone who’s been unable to keep a new year’s resolution, improve their work productivity, or failed at making a lasting change in any other area of their life or work.” (Jonah Berger, New York Times bestselling author of Contagious)
From the Back Cover
Whether it’s absentminded mistakes at work, a weakness for junk food, a smartphone addiction, or a lack of exercise, everyone has a bad habit or behavior that they’d like to change. But wanting to change and actually doing it—sticking with it to make that change permanent—are two very different things.
Dr. Sean Young, an authoritative new voice in the field of behavioral science and the director of the UCLA Center for Digital Behavior and the UC Institute for Prediction Technology, knows a great deal about our behavior and how we can change it—for the better. Stick with It is his fascinating look at the science of lasting behavior, filled with crucial knowledge and practical advice to help everyone successfully alter their actions and improve their lives. As Dr. Young explains, much of what we’ve been taught about behavior change is wrong; contrary to popular belief, you don’t change behavior by changing the person or their personality—you do it by changing the process. Drawing on his own scientific research with patients and research participants, along with research from other leading experts in the field, he identifies the seven crucial forces that combine to make lasting personal transformation, including
- Stepladders: how the power of incremental steps creates long-term change.
- Community: how social support and competition fuel change and keep us accountable.
- Neurohacks: how a set of mental shortcuts can reset the brain so that people can finally change old unwanted behaviors.
- Engraining Good Habits: how success in life and work depends on developing the right behavioral routines.
Packed with pragmatic approaches and stories of real people who have used them successfully, Stick with It shows that it is possible to control spending, stick to a healthy diet, become more social, exercise regularly, stop compulsively checking email, and overcome problem behaviors—forever.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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On the one hand, Stick With It can be helpful because it takes psychological strategies that are already known to work, packages them into a catchy acronym, and reveals how you can readily apply those strategies in your everyday life. In this regard, the book does not relay any novel ideas or new information; it merely shows you how to execute a plan based on existing knowledge and old research in psychology.
On the other hand, a key question to ask is, does Young’s S.C.I.E.N.C.E. method work? Based on the book’s title and information provided in the text, you are told that people who use SCIENCE are nearly three times as likely to change their behavior (versus those who don’t), and thus SCIENCE is validated based on empirical testing. The reality is, the evidence demonstrates that SCIENCE does not affect lasting change.
If you take a good, discerning look at the central study (the HOPE social media intervention) that “proves” the methodology works (in the Lancet; links are available in the book) what you will find is 17% of people in the intervention group (those who used the SCIENCE method) reached a desired endpoint verses 7% in the control group (those who did not use the SCIENCE method). What was the desired endpoint? Getting tested for HIV at a local clinic over a three-month period.
In plain English what this means is that Stick With It claims to describe an effective method for lasting behavioral change when that method was “proven” based on one small study where "it worked" meant someone did something once in three months. Certainly, going to the gym once in 3 months or not smoking one day out of 90 is never a fair gauge of lasting behavioral change. Furthermore, statistically speaking, the number of people used in this study (N=556) is not exactly impressive. As a medical doctor I’ve been reading and assessing the validity of medical trials for more than a decade, so what the HOPE trial does “prove” is that SCIENCE may nudge men to get tested for HIV. It does not prove that if you use it you can “stick with it.”
In the end, if you haven’t read anything recently in the fields of psychology, self-help, or business strategy, then Stick With It may yield some valuable information. Otherwise, this is old knowledge packaged with clever marketing and a misleading title.
Setting small goals or using step ladders to get things done. As in planning steps that keep you on track to reach the goal you set out for yourself. Some of this seems like it common sense, but when you actually read it and let it sink in, you have an "ah ha" moment. I will apply this book to my life, as I really do need to start "sticking with it"
I really do like the different stories in each chapter about people trying to break this habit and how it affects their every day when they do stick with it and keep going, such as the socially awkward guy who made the steps to practice talking to others in increments. Don't just jump head first into things...use the step ladders and inch your way through! Set goals for the week...for the month...and see how you do! I'm going to reflect more of my progress and reward myself for sticking with my goals and things that I start in general.
I don't expect my life to change overnight from this book, but it really does bring things to light for me, and it was easy to understand. I tend to shy away from these types of books because of all the scientific jargon, but I could understand and relate to this book...making the information stick with me :)