Do One Thing Different

O’Hanlon, Bill. Do One Thing Different. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1999.

Confessional: I didn’t read this book word for word, cover to cover. To say that I browsed is inaccurate. To say that I skimmed might be closer to the truth.

I like the idea of doing one thing differently. Pick a habit, any habit and you can change it according to Dr. Bill. In the very first chapter his advice is simple: identify a pattern you would like to change. It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant the offending routine. Once you have identified the pattern, scrutinize it. Analyze it within an inch of its life. Be observant and get to know every detail of what you do and just how you do it. Then, change one thing. Just one little thing. It could be how you put on your socks or how you hold a toothbrush, if that is part of the offending pattern. Just change one thing related to the pattern and you will have broken the cycle. Seems simple enough, right? Or how about this approach? Connect something negative to the offending action. Say you want to stop picking your nose (note: NOT an actual example of O’Hanlon’s). Okay, so back to the nose picking. For every time you pick you nose you must an equally abhorred task, like cleaning the hair out of the shower trap. If you hate dredging up slimy, stringy, soap-scummed hair THAT much, you will stop picking your nose. O’Hanlon’s techniques and examples of these techniques actually working are far more interesting than my description. You just have to read the book.