CHANGE ANYTHING by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler, The New York Times bestselling authors of Crucial Conversations and Influencer

“A strategic, step-by-step guide to breaking longstanding bad habits…a smart, sensible work… a highly detailed holistic plan, illustrated by encouraging case studies, for making systemic changes that approach problems from every angle and promote active change.” –Publishers Weekly

Provo, UT – April 11, 2011 – Is willpower overrated? Most people blame lack of willpower for their inability to change a bad habit. But it turns out willpower has surprisingly little to do with whether or not people succeed at changing their bad habits finds CHANGE ANYTHING: THE NEW SCIENCE OF PERSONAL SUCCESS (Business Plus; April 11, 2011), a book based on the latest psychological and medical research and a study of more than 5,000 everyday people at the award-winning Change Anything Lab in Utah.

When it comes to kicking bad habits, the three-time New York Times bestselling authors prove that we have far less control over our behavior than we think we do. That’s because our behavior is governed by outside influences that make us susceptible to bad habits. For example, if your fridge is stocked with junk food, your likelihood of eating fruits and vegetables decreases significantly, and the friends you meet at the bar aren’t friends at all, but rather accomplices who sabotage your goal to quit drinking.

The good news from these findings is that while we don’t have as much control over our behavior as we’d like, we can affect the influences that govern our behavior and that puts the power to change back in our control.

Whether trying to amp up your career, get your finances in order, lose weight, or save a struggling relationship, the authors identify six sources of influence that are working against you. Once you understand these influences, you can knowingly counteract them with these four strategies proven to create enduring change:

  • Identify crucial moments: Find what specific temptations distract you from your goal.
  • Create vital behaviors: If you establish rules for avoiding temptations in advance of the crucial moments when you encounter them, you are more likely to change your behavior.
  • Engage all six sources of influence: For example, change your environment and turn your enablers into allies in accomplishing your goal.
  • Turn bad days into good data: Don’t look at failures as an opportunity to fall off the wagon, instead, learn from your failures and adjust.

With these proven strategies, anyone can escape the trap of willpower and create a robust change plan to kick any habit.

For example, reduce your plate size by three inches and consume 33 percent fewer calories, improve your workplace performance and avoid getting passed up for a promotion that will cost you nearly $60,000 in salary over the course of your career, change a bad behavior at work and save your organization $10,000 or more annually, or turn a few accomplices into friends who support your goal to quit smoking and increase your odds of success by 60 percent.

The book highlights real changers who used these principles to overcome life-long bad behaviors. Readers will also find out what happened during fascinating scientific experiments including the distraction techniques four-year-olds used to avoid the temptation of eating a marshmallow, how plate size affected the appetites of hungry ten-year-old soccer players, and on a more serious note, how real adults conquered alcoholism, addiction, weight loss and saved careers and marriages at risk.

The book was inspired by the author’s article, “How to Have Influence,” which won the 2009 Beckhard Memorial Prize by MIT Sloan Management Review for the most outstanding article on planned change and organizational development. Their research behind the article reveals people who use the model in CHANGE ANYTHING increase their odds of behavior change tenfold.

Debunking the myths about willpower and clarifying the real forces that shape our actions CHANGE ANYTHING will guide readers to make better decisions, change their outlook and replace bad habits with good ones.

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Authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler are the leaders of VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and organizational performance that has trained more than 600,000 people worldwide. VitalSmarts has consulted with more than 300 of the Fortune 500 companies. This book is the fourth major work by this team of authors. Their previous works, Influencer, Crucial Conversations, and Crucial Confrontations were immediate New York Times bestsellers. They have appeared on “The Today Show”, CNN, Fox News Channel and other programs. They live in Utah.


CHANGE ANYTHING: The New Science of Personal Success by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler Published by Business Plus Publication date: April 11, 2011 Price: $26.99; Page count: 248 pages ISBN: 8-0446573917

CONTACT: Laura Ashby of VitalSmarts, L.L.C. +1-801-724-6269, or

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