Articles Tagged ‘Behavior change’

Book Review: “Thrive” by C.J. McClanahan

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Review by John Gifford

On the front cover of C.J. McClanahan’s book, “Thrive,” is the statement: “Seize your extraordinary life with five simple strategies.”

The aim of “Thrive” is something that few, if any, self-help books accomplish: enable the reader to implement the self-help changes that the book proposes. And in fact, McClanahan’s book is also different in that it doesn’t suggest particular goals. Those are left up to you.

What he does give you is a schema that enables you to design a destination set of goals for the “Extraordinary Life,” a simple group of strategies to enlist in reaching these goals, and a four-step process that helps to embed your actions towards these goals into habits that strengthen over time and become second-nature. The power is in the details.

In the grid below, along the top are shown the six life categories under which you generate your Extraordinary Life goals through answering the questions that he poses to guide you.

To the left of the grid are the five strategies you are to pick from to help you reach the specific goal you are working on. Below the grid are the four steps in the process you should use with each strategy to ensure that the behavior change sticks and becomes a valuable habit in your behavioral repertoire.


The four-step process that you use with each strategy you employ includes:
1. Create visual reminders
2. Map out your day
3. Find some accountability
4. Reflect

Here’s how the slow, step-by-step process (C.J. didn’t say it would be easy) of achieving the Extraordinary Life would work, using C.J.’s example in the book (for a CEO of a manufacturing company whose company morale is at an all-time low and there is the threat of losing their best customers). The CEO has gone through and answered all of C.J.’s questions that has helped him generate his goals for the Extraordinary Life. Now he begins on behavior change and habit formation:

1. Work on only one behavior change or new habit formation at a time, utilizing just one strategy.

2. Answer each of these three questions in turn:
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