The Habit Factor

By Martin Grunburg

What it’s all about: Most of us think of ‘habits’ as bad things (i.e. smoking, eating too many potato chips in front of the TV, creeping on random people on Facebook), but ‘habits’ are actually the backbone of all behaviors and the best way to achieve our goals is to create the right habits. Mr. Grunburg presents plenty of evidence why this is so, and lays out a system to help readers develop the habits necessary to make real changes.

Who it’s good for: Those of us who always try to achieve a goal and find ourselves fizzling out after a week or two.

The good stuff: If you want some in-depth analysis of what habits are, why they are so deeply ingrained in human nature and why real change or achievement is impossible without harnessing the power of habits, you’ll love this book. Grunburg has done his research and he knows his stuff. He’s also given readers a concrete method to choose a goal that has value to them, adopt habits that will help them achieve this goal, and track their progress.

The not so fabulous: Like many authors in the field of self-help and development, Grunburg tends to go on a bit too much about himself and in some cases comes across as inaccessible (especially when using big words just for the sake of using big words). The application section of the book (the nuts and bolts of his tracking system) is also in the middle of the book, when it seems like it would have served the reader better to be at the end.

Best takeaway: The tracking form will help readers put all of the concepts into practice and the author allows for free downloads on his site. I also loved learning about Benjamin Franklin and his habit of tracking his virtues weekly for the majority of his life.

The epilogue: If you like knowing the ‘whys’ as well as the ‘hows’ and are tired of setting goals you never seem to accomplish, you’ll likely be able to gain a lot from reading The Habit Factor. Just be ready to read a lot about paddleboarding.