How to change — 5 top tricks of Katy Milkman

Michael Van Den Reym
2 min readJun 30, 2021


Katy Milkman is a professor at Wharton University, host of the Choiceology podcast and an expert in Behavioral Sciences. In her book “How to Change” she shares her tips for changing your behavior. The book is grounded in science but written so that even the most casual reader can understand! In this blog post I share my personal top 5 tricks.

Look for a fresh start

You’re not alone if you’ve already broken a New Year resolution. But there’s good news: some people keep theirs! We can consider a new year as a new start.

But there are more fresh starts than calendar dates. Why not consider starting a new job or stage of life as an opportunity to create good habits?

Use a commitment device

As humans, we often overestimate our willpower. Luckily there are some tricks that can help us limit this problem — such as browser extensions which block out Facebook or apps like “Stayfree,” a smartphone app which keeps you updated on your phone usage and blocks certain sites for periods of time; or the app “Stickk” in which people have to pay their friends if they don’t keep up with goals set beforehand.

So make commitment devices that will set goals or limits on certain behaviors are very useful to change behavior if willpower alone is not enough.

Temptation bundling

A diet is not all or nothing. One way to keep a diet on track is by eating tempting foods once in awhile. For example, if you only eat your fast food meal when you have exercised, then it will be healthier for long term weight loss instead of banning all dietary temptations at all. This way you will eat less fast food and exercise more at once.

Make small goals instead of large goals

If you’re feeling inspired to write a book, but don’t know where or how to start on such a large project, try breaking it down into smaller goals by writing four pages per week. This way it is much more manageable because with the shorter time frame and small goal in mind there’s less pressure that can prevent success from happening at all.

Be confident

Anyone can change! If you have the confidence and a growth mindset, then you will be more likely to become better than thinking that your behavior and capabilities are“fixed”.

If you are looking for a good book to read, then look no further. This one is sure to be informative, entertaining and will change your behavior.