Switch – the Science of Change

How hard is it to change into being a non-smoker? How difficult is it to transform from bankruptcy to abundance? What is it like to leave an achy, stiff body behind and become pain free?

The answers depend on how well you use your head. The ground-zero obstacle for substantial change is the built-in tension arising from having two sides to our brain.

Our minds are ruled by two masters. One is rational, logical and pragmatic. The other is emotional, attached, and irrational.

When we unite the two and become of one mind within one brain, then we can make significant change. Even when change is hard.

I’m a student as well as a practitioner of uniting these opposing forces to affect such change. And one of my favorite books on the subject is Switch, How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Dan and Chip Heath.

I’d like to share a summary of Switch’s main points in hopes that they will serve your change efforts as well as they serve my clients:


Dan and Chip have a great site full of useful resources!

And if the comment about being tired of being stiff and in pain each day hits a cord with you, you’ll want to investigate the Ultimate Freedom Coaching Program being offered at SoulSalt Inc.

Small Wins

Sometimes it is wiser to get yourself quick small wins in terms of your daily “to do” list than it is to take on the biggest, hardest task first.

To this point, a study tracked customers who were given frequent visit cards at two different car washes. Both establishments offered a free visit when all eight spaces on a card had been stamped.

At one car wash, customers were handed their first card with a 20% head start – two of the eight slots were already stamped.

At another location the customers had to start from scratch and work on filling out the entire eight spaces on their own.

Interestingly, after a few months only 19% of those who had to earn all eight-stamps had earned their free car wash. Conversly 34% of those who had the head-start card had earned their free wash.

Many times we find it motivating to have a portion of a goal accomplished right out of the starting gate. On those days when your will-power is low use this bit of knowledge to your benefit. Give yourself the boost of one or two quick wins by planning easy to accomplish tasks first.

And should you try this quick win strategy on, I’d love to know how and when it worked for you.

Author’s Notes

The research referenced above is taken from the book Switch, How to Change Things When Change is Hard. Currently I’m reading this book by Chip and Dan Heath in conjunction with an article written by John Tierney titled: Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue? Both are quite informative in terms of understanding common roadblocks that prohibit us from making significant change. If you are interested in the article e-mail me, and I’ll send you an electronic copy.