Ashdin Doctor’s debut book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life: Your Guide to an Awesome Life, will help all those who want to become a better version of themselves
The human mind is a treasure trove. Every time you search for something in it, you come out with something new, replacing old, irrelevant ideas, thoughts and habits. Why do we need to keep tapping within to find new thoughts that become new habits? Well, change is the only constant in life and why would we want to keep things that do not serve our higher good.
I have read just a handful of self-help books and none of the famous ones like The Secret by Rhonda Bryne or Atomic Habits by James Clear. However, Ashdin Doctor’s book took me by surprise. His writing style had me hooked–conversational, loaded with personal examples, giving the reader a compassionate path to self-care and success. More like mindful living. I read the book in a day. And I also began to speculate what it must feel like being a ‘habit coach’ and explored the author’s official website and listened to some of his podcasts as well. Based in Mumbai, India, Ashdin Doctor is the founder of Awesome 180, a habit coaching programme.
The book is divided into six parts, with very concise and short chapters in each part. From diagnosing disrupting habits, facing the roadblocks, fully understanding the myths and beliefs around that habit to successfully dissolving the habit and forming a new productive one, it’s all been explicitly substantiated. There are tips, truisms, myths and facts and an exercise at the end of each chapter to get us rolling into our new life.
The crucial part is that this is not just theory, it’s practical. The author has shared his transformational journey and then penned the book. In a much happier frame of mind and better health, he even went on to do some tough treks and rolled himself out of the rut by taking baby steps consistently. Despite the stumbles and the temptations to let go, he held on, becoming his own tracker, finding accountability partners and finally reaching the goal.
I like the coinage of terms in the book, tiny things that prelude change and the need to focus on long-term gains. After reading the introduction, I actually checked the way I wore my shoes—whether I wore socks on both feet first and then shoes, or one sock and shoe and then the other foot. This is so deeply ingrained that we have never thought about it. But this simple habit defines our train of thought and subsequent behaviour. Habits inculcated in childhood become like breathing, they just happen on their own. Some are genetic too, but Doctor has given ways to work around all these aspects.
Each habit forms a chain of habits and Doctor calls this a habit train. Obviously, to change the habit, we will need to derail the train. Doctor doesn’t suggest that we jump off the bridge; we dismantle slowly, compartment by compartment. These ‘stupidly small’ things make up the three ‘Golden Rules’ that will take us on the road to an awesome life.
If the body, mind and soul are balanced and harmonious, life becomes bliss. And some of that harmony is certainly achievable by conscious habits. These are: exercise, nutrition, sleep, movement, hydration, sleep, breathing. There are no excuses for letting onself go for we need to live with the body as long as we are on the planet.
The book also took me back in time and how that phase had helped in my professional and personal evolution, albeit without conscious realisation. From 2001-2007, I was the editor of a magazine, Training & Management, and the name is self-explanatory. We focused on training, coaching and other skills meted out by corporates to up the productivity of the employees. Each training had a process with various steps within the process. In mechanised industries, machines are designed for this, but in service industries, people do this. For us to perform optimally, we also need to know the steps to complete the process in a smooth way. I did imbibe several of those practices without realising that I was walking the path of change. Doctor has worked on all these minute details in the book—even listing how many steps go into the simple act of brushing the teeth.
I liked the book because it adopts a compassionate approach to becoming a productive and happier you. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you didn’t get these habits in a day, so the change won’t happen in a day. As the famous Persian Islamic theologian, scholar and mystic poet Rumi said, “Recognize that unlearning is the highest form of learning.”
I have taken out a new journal and started doing all the exercises that are given in the book. I would certainly like to shorten my digital and screen time, get up early, go for a nature walk and enjoy the day without pains and aches and ring in more profits from my career.Going by the author’s suggstion, I have kept the book as a visual cue in a place where I see it easily and bookmarked the exercise page.
Are you also ready for the change?
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Paperback: 232 pages
Price: Kindle Edition: INR 140, Paperback: INR 250
This review is powered by Blogchatter Book Review Program.
5 thoughts on “Book Review: Change Your Habits, Change Your Life”
Good habits help bring about a positive change in our life. They give us the power to take control of our lives, build confidence, and make progress.
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Habits can change a lot in a person’s life. I believe it can change or break you. I am curious as to what this book has to offer.
Habits can make or break a person, I believe. Being mindful of your choices and making sure that you’re open-minded enough to change what you’ve been used to to make your habit a better one is also important.
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Habits are an essential part of life
It can make or break a person
That being said I look forward to reading this book
Most ofter we hear, “Change your Habit, Change your life”. I am glad to find book over the same proverb. There is no doubt that habits are the make of our future and life. We should make them diligently, and carefully. I have an opinion about the title/proverb already and I truly believe it. So, would love to read.
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