ChangeDrive - Do You Need To Make Changes In Your Life?

If you have problems, can you change the situation?
Welcome to ChangeDrive. We advise most people to come here first because you get the whole concept of YouDrive from here. We firmly believe humans are creatures of habit from the moment we take air to our last breath we create and live by developing habits.

Our specialists have spent over 25 years working in organisations looking at behavioural change. YouDrive is all about you taking charge. We have designed the site to provide a place for educating and providing information that can help you with your physical, mental and financial wellness.

But first we say look below at examples of what change is and how habits are not easily formed, good and bad, whether it’s eating too much processed food, or not drinking enough water or managing your income and outgoings each month.

What we say is to get rid of a bad habit or a vicious circle and turn it into a positive virtuous one you need to recognise the habit, cut into it and start a new one . Over time with perseverance you will change it. It can be painful and the road can be long but if your mind is determined to do it you will succeed.

Change Facts


is said to be the average time for a new habit to stick – really it varies! Source: European Journal of Social Psychology on James Clear website here

1 %

every day are automatic – we’re not aware of them!

Source: ScienceDirect

1 %

30-50% better chance of changing a habit with a coach

Source: Psychology Today


is the average lifespan of a Top 550 company in the US – 50 years ago it was 60 years!

Source: CNBC

Can I change?

Some examples of change – good and bad

  • Many people still smoke even though the packet contains warnings and horrid pictures of what it can do to you. But yet people still smoke. It’s a habit and a strong habit with your body becoming nicotine dependent. People do stop when the doctor says you could die in ten years if you don’t.
  • A new year’s resolution is a promise we make and 90% break it within minutes, hours, days, weeks.
  • Passing a driving test has more positive benefits and outcomes – there’s an instructor there to help.
  • Exercise – start to exercise slowly and gradually build up. Humans don’t seem to have a measure and go like hell exercising in the week, then can’t wait for 2 days, ache all over, feel sick and then stop exercising.
  • Control spending – read some of the statistics on the fueldrive and drinkdrive and see for yourself how our impulsive buying keeps us poorer and stops us saving for the things we want. Or are you a type of person who thinks credit cards are to be used and it’s free money until you get the bill and the interest rate is 28%. So learn to treat financial wellness like physical and mental wellness.

These examples relate to our habits.  We spend half our waking days on automatic behaviour – doing things we’re not even aware of!

These are habits – we have good habits and bad habits.


We can create and break habits

albert einstein

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” – Albert Einstein

“The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” Warren Buffett

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.” – Charles Duhigg

  1. Up to 45% of our daily behaviours are automatic – we’re not even aware of what we’re doing – Duke study 2006
  2. Habits allow your brain to save energy – it automates small chunks of behaviours making them need less brain activity to do when repeated
  3. Habits are much more difficult to break – habits live in the core part of the brain used by our ancestors
  4. Habits are spiritual – AA’s 12 step programme is based on belief – sharing feelings creates common belief
  5. One key habit can trigger other changes – as long as it’s the right habit

Changing habits

You know you have good ones and bad ones. You are perfectly aware of the fact that you need to exercise but then you think of any excuse not to.

But how can you change something, if you don’t know how it works? When you have no clue that your car needs oil to run, how can you know it’s oil you need to put in when it suddenly stops dead in the middle of the road?

The key is to learn about the habit. Why its there, how did it get there, can I get rid of it, how long will it take me. Once you know how habits work, changing them becomes much easier.
The facts below are in the brilliant book called ‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg.

1. Half of the time you are awake is spent with automatic behaviours

This study from Duke University in 2006 found that up to 45% of all our daily behaviours are automatic.

2. Habits are a way for your brain to save energy.

Your brain is the most efficient processor on the planet. Your brain makes up only 2% of your total mass, but it consumes 25% of all the oxygen you inhale.
Automating behaviours in the form of habits is one of the best ways to save energy.

3. Habits are even tougher to break than you thought — way tougher

Sometimes I look at people who smoke and think: Does he have no clue how short life is? How can I take him even seriously, if he’s smoking?”
The reason habits are so tough to break lies in the structure of your brain. Based on evolution, the newer the parts of the brain are further away from the centre of the brain, . Your prefrontal cortex, where all complex thinking is done, is right behind your forehead.

Here’s where the basal ganglia is, the part of the brain where habits are formed. This little lump of tissue with the size of a golf ball has been around for a few thousand years.
It already made sure the caveman ancestor of your great-grandfather kept breathing, swallowing and running away from a saber tooth tiger. If that’s the kind of stuff that’s anchored in your basal ganglia, then you can imagine it would be fairly hard to get it out of there again.
It’s no wonder you can’t just quit smoking from one day to the next.

4. Habits are a spiritual thing — you better believe it

The reason why AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) is so efficient and has boasted about 2 million members each year, for the past 25 years, is surely not it’s 12-step program.
Alcohol addiction is a serious medical condition, people institutionalize themselves to get rid of it.

What fuels the success of AA is belief. Sometime during that first meeting, every newcomer looks around and starts thinking: “If it worked for that guy over there, why not for me?”
Getting together, sharing feelings and rallying together creates a common belief among the group that things can change. And to top it all off: belief works on top of belief.
Studies have shown that while no particular religion helped AA individuals reach sobriety faster, having any sort of faith at all made a huge difference over atheists and agnostics.

5. One keystone habit can change everything

Once we go further down the “habit hole”, we usually find dozens of things we want to change. Quit biting nails, stop drinking, don’t eat out so much and start running. This is neither efficient, nor even necessary.
It’s enough for you to change one habit, it just has to be the right one. Duhigg describes these as keystone habits, which cause a positive ripple effect and automatically infer changes in other areas.
You don’t have to start big, but you have to start with the right habit.

Who moved my chesse – summary

Who moved my cheese?

This is a well known  video about change.  Cheese represents what you want in life – whether it’s a relationship, success or career.  The full video is 15 minutes long, but the summary on the left is only 4 minutes long and gets the main points across.  Click below to watch the full video.

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
Michael Jordan
Former US basketball player

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See what other things can help

More info

Udemy have a free course on ending bad habits and developing healthy ones

Quora have a an article on breaking bad habits

The US News In Health (NIH) article from Jan 2012 on breaking bad habits

Have a look at an example of British holiday habits

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Examples of Vicious Circles

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Vicious circles (sometimes called vicious cycles) are when there is a complex chain of events which reinforce themselves through a feedback loop – vicious circles have a bad or detrimental impact.  Each cycle reinforces the previous one, and things get worse each time.

Examples exist in many places – the ones we show below are more likely to affect everyday people.  Other examples were evident in the subprime mortgage crisis or hyperinflation.

This simple example shows how simple frustration can lead to a spiral of despair.

This more general example shows how negative thoughts can start a process in your body and mind leading to bad outcomes.

ChangeDrive aims to show you how to break out of a vicious circle and move towards a ‘virtuous circle’, where the positive outcomes are reinforced. 

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Examples of Virtuous Circles

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Virtuous circles (sometimes called virtuous cycles) are when there is a complex chain of events which reinforce themselves through a feedback loop – virtuous circles have a good or positive impact.  Each cycle reinforces the previous one, and things get better each time.

Examples exist in many places – the ones we show below are more likely to affect everyday people.  Other examples are evident in the management of the ecology and economics.

A famous example was drawn by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, on a paper napkin, and this is shown below.

This simple financial example shows how if earnings exceed spending, things can get better and better, leading to increased happiness and improved performance.

This is a more general example, showing how being active and involved can lead to increased happiness and involvement.

Jeff Bezos drew this in 2001 – the overall concept has been updated a bit since then to reflect changes but the principle is the same.  

He started with the idea of a fantastic customer experience. 

This attracts more customers, which in turn attracts more third party sellers. This increases products available to be selected, which in turn lowers the cost of products and innovation, and the cycle goes on.

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Holiday habits

• A third of Britons who go abroad return to the same resort every year
• The average UK holidaymaker has been to the same place four times
• More than one in ten return to the same holiday spot ten or more times – and many even try to book the same hotel room.
• More than a third, 34 per cent, go to the same restaurant they ate at on their last trip, and more than a quarter, 26 per cent, don’t even bother trying to find new drinking locations
• Some 59 per cent of us go on the same holiday in successive years
• McDonalds and KFC are worldwide brands and people in a foreign city can always head to a McDonalds and KFC because you only need to point at the picture and with 3 fingers held up means you want 3 – language barrier overcome. No slight embarrassment not knowing the menu or protocol.
• Many go back because it is the easy option.

Fantasy and Reality

Difference between sexual fantasy and reality

Well for many fantasies are just that and are kept to the individual or partner. Those can sometimes be extreme in nature but that’s where it stops and it never gets to reality. Some partners want to go further and put the fantasy into reality.

Well in this case it requires thinking through especially if it involves third parties or doing things whereby you can get caught. There is nothing wrong with turning a legal fantasy into reality provided everyone is truly consenting and not coerced into it.

Pornography is now almost universally available - on phones, computers and tablets. It's no longer a case of 'top shelf' magazines! Can watching porn spice up a sexual relationship, or is it a sad addiction? Who watches porn anyway? How real is it? Is there a balance between a bit of spice and a compulsion?

Multi-partner, Group, threesomes, orgies, are not for everyone and need to be planned otherwise things could backfire. There are people who enjoy these types of sexual gratification but if a partner is reluctant then they should never be coerced or forced. Sex and sex acts do magical things to our bodies naturally but the brain has to remain in control and make sure the act doesn’t turn into an addiction.

Why not take the sex addiction test in the tabs below and see how you get on?

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OCEAN Personality Types

People tend to believe that each individual is different and unique in their own way. While that may be true to an  extent, it’s not entirely accurate.

It’s certainly not helpful when firms are trying to recruit people ‘of a certain type’.

When it comes to personality types, there are tests that categorise people into one of a few groups that describe their characteristics.

The ‘Big Five’ personality traits  characteristics are :

  • Openness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

Easily remembered as OCEAN.  You can find out what type of person you are by taking a free test here.  It’s from Truity and doesn’t need an email or login.

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No more seasonal fruit and veg - but at what price?

Years ago we had seasonal fruit, but not now. Strawberries were April to August – now it’s January to November under poly-tunnel. How can a plant produce so much fruit??? Artificial feeding. How can they be so big?  Artificial feeding. How can they look so pristine with not a mark on them? Artificial feeding and pesticides to keep the insects off. But because they are grown in artificial circumstances they can attract new types of diseases so chemicals are added to stop those diseases taking off. But, is there an alternative? Yes buy organic fruit and veg – at least there is an element of inspection and testing.

Fresh food could be as bad as processed food

What is becoming scarier than processed food is fresh food. The farmers and scientists and government are now on a mission to feed the increasing population, HOW? Well, producing fresh food that we can grow quicker, faster, bigger, disease free and more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But all these things come at a price.
The chemicals that farmers and growers put on the land to grow super-fast produce mean that the feed is so powerful it can double the growth and size in half the time. The pesticides they put on the plants kills everything and anything that lives on a plant, just so we don’t have a marked apple on the shelf. We do need chemicals to stop some diseases on fruit and veg but the chemicals on fruit and veg today go much further. This article in the Daily Mail on 1st November 2018 said;

On average, new research has found, a supermarket potato will have been doused with an astonishing 30 active ingredients (an active ingredient is the part of a substance or compound that produces its chemical or biological effect). Compare that to 40 years ago — when a potato would have been treated with just 5.3 active ingredients — and you start to see how mind-bogglingly dependent farming in Britain today is on chemicals.

Meat - is that healthy to eat?

Well years ago it was. When animals could go into the fields and eat grass and get normal supplements to keep them fit and healthy.  But then big business wanted more and started to produce feeds like rocket fuel, the sort of food body builders eat to accelerate muscle and weight. Can you blame them? Not really. If someone says; “Hey, here’s a food that will treble the size of your animal in half the time, which means you get it to market faster and it’s cheaper to feed, so less cost and more profit.”  Who wouldn’t?

But then you look at what they feed the animals and think it just doesn’t pass straight through the animal and out the other side – it is absorbed into the flesh. And then humans eat it. But, what’s the alternative? Locally produced, farm and grass reared, local butcher sold meats. Organic, just to add a bit of assurance nothing has been used on the land.

Out of date bread - where does it go after the supermarket?

Ever wondered where the old out of date bread goes when it comes off the supermarket shelves? Well it goes to a special company and it is all ground together into a giant mincing machine and ground up into crumbs. This includes the coloured branded plastic bag it came in and the tag on the end. As bread is yeast based it requires further chemicals to stop another fermentation process taking place.

It is then sold to farmers for winter feed to cows who eat the crumbs and plastic bag and tag. We then milk the cow or eat the beef. Just to remind you cows stomachs may be big but they are not designed to eat colour printed plastic. Yet again another Food Standards Agency and Agricultural Agency getting together to provide winter feed at a cheap cost with no regard for the cow or the consumer. But what’s the alternative – organic milk. Aldi, Co-op and Sainsbury sell organic milk very competitively.

Farmed fish / shellfish - is it good for us?

So what do we know, well firstly fish living together in huge pens in huge quantities attract disease. They also, in the case of salmon, lose their colour, so scientists created a food that has colour built in and contains chemicals that kill the fish lice and then we eat it. Take a look on YouTube at the investigations and make your own mind up.

The biggest fish farms in the world are now in the Baltic Sea. They farm pollock, haddock and cod and we also know the Baltic Sea is one of the most polluted seas on the globe. But, what is the alternative – fish caught in the open ocean.

Shellfish is a popular product in the UK but most prawns come from Thailand, Vietnam and South America. All are farmed. But, what’s the alternative – organic and ocean caught never farmed.

This recent documentary opens your eyes to fish farming and the issues they have  – click here.  

When is the best time to eat?

It’s not just eating the right food or drinking the right amount of water – it’s about when we do this. In the UK we eat as fuel and don’t eat for pleasure. We often push food down our throats as fast as we can – often late in the evening just before we go to bed!!  There is an old saying breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, dinner like a prince and supper like a pauper. Eating during the day gives our bodies the chance to work off the fuel we have put into our bodies. Many people have such busy days they don’t get time to eat during the day. If you’re that busy your body needs fuel so snack every hour or two if you cannot give up the time at lunch to eat. Little and often is recommended rather than a big meal at the end of the day.

We are creating a new type of member – the YouDriver.

YouDrivers will be able to build their own health dashboard – they will take health questionnaires to see how healthy they are, they will look at all aspects of their health and understand exactly what matters to them.

They will go on a journey to decide which health areas they want to work on, how they want to tackle these and then they will be able to build their own action plans. 

We’re also inviting more people to get involved – whether by contributing their own views or by offering support to our site visitors.

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