Summary of Small Move, Big Change

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“I will lose weight. I will be more organized. I will get out of debt.” Despite your best intentions, you often fail to keep your resolutions. Technology expert Caroline L. Arnold shows you how to improve your life with “compact and powerful” resolutions that “nail a precise behavioral target exactly and deliver benefits immediately.” Unlike traditional resolutions, “microresolutions” work because you focus on doing, not being. Instead of pushing yourself to somehow become different, you pledge to carry out a concrete, sustainable action. One of Arnold’s first practical, successful microresolutions was “to put all her notes in one notebook” instead of jotting things on scattered pads. She made this pledge because her previous resolution “to be organized” didn’t bring about any substantial change. Arnold lists seven microresolution rules you can apply to any category of self-improvement. She gears chapters 13, 14, 16 and 17 toward solving business-world problems, including clutter, office relationships, tardiness and disorganization. Her easy-to-read, inspiring manual includes numerous motivational examples. getAbstract recommends Arnold’s guide to people who want to make positive, enduring life changes, one powerful microstep at a time.

About the Author

Caroline L. Arnold, a managing director at a Wall Street investment bank, received a Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award for designing the auction system for Google’s IPO.



“How to Make a Microresolution”

Do you want to solve a problem in some area of your life: improve a relationship, clear out clutter, lose a few pounds, or the like? These are vague self-improvement goals. If you want to make some changes and keep them going, specifically define how you plan to accomplish each change and start by promising that you will take just one small step. Make a “microresolution.”

For example, you can apply a microresolution if you always toss your clothes on the floor, let the dishes pile up or accumulate stacks of paper on your desk. Rather than attacking all the problems that lead to clutter, for instance, pick one or two realistic, viable, small changes. Research shows that if you simply think about changing your behavior, you are more likely to actually do it. William James, a 19th-century psychologist, noted, “Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” Small, subtle shifts in behavior can lead to major life changes if you follow these seven microresolution precepts:

1. “A Microresolution Is Easy”

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