Review of How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Katy Milkman

Katy Milkman’s new book How to Change has received rave reviews among the behavioural economics community, but it’s not strictly just about behavioural economics. The book discusses the many barriers to behaviour change and the different strategies that can be used to overcome them.

With chapters on impulsivity, procrastination, forgetfulness, laziness, confidence, conformity, and anecdotes from encouraging more regular gym workouts to the challenges of freefall jumping from 24 miles in space, the book covers a lot of ground (and plenty of behavioural science too).

I particularly enjoyed discussions of the ‘fresh start effect’ and why timing is so important, ‘temptation bundling’ and lessons from Mary Poppins, and why many students and low-income savers want to restrict their freedoms in precommitment contracts. This is an easy-to-read guide to helping yourself adopt better habits with something for all of us to learn.


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