Saturday, April 30, 2016

ABC Reads: April Review

Today is the day to link up your ABC Reads!!  
And we have a fun video for you to enjoy, too!

Here's a refresher on the terms of the challenge:

What does the challenge entail?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  There are 26 letters of the alphabet and Mia and I challenge you, during the course of 2016, to read a book that starts with each letter.  For example, Atonement (A), The Bell Jar (B), Catching Fire (C), and so on.  Makes sense, right? You don't need to go in order - if you want to start with S, go for it.  On the last day of each month, we'll host a link-up for you to share your ABC Reads.  We will award one point for each letter you review AND a bonus point for linking up with us!  At the end of the year (or when the first participant reviews a book beginning with each of the 26 letters), the winner will be awarded a $30 Amazon gift card.  So, what do you say?  Do you accept our ABC Reads challenge?

It was a slow reading month for me.  We had SO much going on that I barely had time to catch my breath let alone finish a book.  The one I did manage to complete was fantastic though!  Hopefully, I'll make up some ground in May.  For this month, I completed the following letter: S.  Here are my thoughts...

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard 
by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

This book was incredible.  A wealth of knowledge...explained in an easy to understand and absorb manner.  There are basically three keys to change - directing the rider (our brains), motivating the elephant (our hearts), and shaping the path.  Everyone has an emotional elephant side and a rational rider side.  It is equally important to speak to both sides of individuals when attempting to affect change.  The book has numerous examples that illustrate various methods.

To direct the rider it is important to find the bright spots, script critical moves, and point to the destination.  When working on that rational side, it is best to investigate what is already working and duplicate it.  Often we focus on those doing it wrong and try to correct them instead.  I really thought the "find the bright spots" concept was novel.  Obviously, being specific can help our brains focus more clearly.  For example, instead of saying let's eat more healthy change the perspective to let's be sure to include at least one vegetable each night for dinner or let's only purchase whole grain bread.  Script small and specific moves to work toward the big picture goal.  Lastly, give yourself direction.  It's always easier to change if you know why it is worth changing! 

To motivate the elephant, find the feeling, shrink the change, and grow your people.  Finding the feeling often involves incorporating the senses - sight and touch specifically.  Showing someone the difference can be a powerful motivator.  A great example of shrinking the change explained in the book revolved around cleaning your home.  It can be a massive task that can spin you into emotional distress!  But, tackling one room or space at a time for a set amount of minutes can make it seem possible.  Plus, setting the timer for 10-minutes and going for it in the bathroom will more often than not leave you with a completely sparkling room...even if you go over the time limit you set.  The key is making it small enough to motivate your "elephant" to get started!  Growing your people has more to do with creating a sense of identity and honing in on things people with that identity do or don't do.  Group think is powerful! 

I was aware of the Rider/Elephant way of thinking before reading this book, but I found the final target of shaping the path to be critical.  Shaping the path revolves around tweaking the environment, building habits, and rallying the herd.  As a runner, I know that it is much easier for me to make it out the door if I lay out my clothes/shoes the night before.  Something so simple can change the environment enough to make the difference between me getting out there or me staying in bed a little longer.  Similarly, if I can make something a habit by doing it long enough that my brain just operates on autopilot, it makes it SO much easier to complete those tasks.  Building tasks like eating breakfast as soon as I wake up or reading my devotional in the morning as habits frees up my mind to not have to devote energy toward thinking about or motivating myself to do them.  The power of habit is important - especially when trying to make a life change!  Rallying the herd is simple - we all know that behavior is contagious!  When making a change, you should rely on the herd to help promote and encourage others - even if it means seeding a few people in the beginning stages.

I definitely recommend checking out this book.  It has several extremely thought-provoking insights and examples throughout.  I would suggest it for absolutely anyone!

Which letters did you cross off your list this month?

Andrea :)

1 comment:

  1. This book is new to me, and it sounds intriguing. I think that, like you, I would enjoy the part that suggests on focusing on specifics. I definitely need more help in that area! Big hugs to you, my favorite co-host. ;)