Strategic Cheating


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The path to habit change is via repetition. The more you repeat a behavior, the stronger the neural pathway becomes (aka synapse) and the stronger the synapse becomes the more permanent it becomes.

Eventually, strong synapses will be marked as a candidate for a habit by the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia marks a synapse as a habit by reaching its neural tentacles ( dendrites) up and out until they touch the synapse. Once this occurs, the synapse becomes a habit and will remain so for most of your life.

It’s not easy to forge a new habit. Some habits take more time to form than others, depending on the complexity of the habit. According to a 2009 University College London study, this habit timeframe can range from 18 – 254 days, with the average being 66 days to forge a habit.

In the early going, forging a new habit requires the brain to work harder than normal. Energy, primarily in the form of glucose, is called upon to power the newly forming habit synapse. At times, during this habit formation process, the brain will fight you on habit formation when the stores of glucose run low. This is commonly referred to as decision fatigue – periods of low willpower.

The trick to habit formation, during periods of low willpower, is to trick the brain into believing there is no need to put up a fight. This is where Strategic Cheating comes into play.

Strategic Cheating is a habit formation shortcut that avoids decision fatigue and fools the brain into continuing the new habit formation process.

Here’s how it works. Habit formation requires repetitive behavior. Oftentimes, this new behavior requires a commitment of time. Thirty minutes a day of aerobic activity, for example, can quickly deplete the stores of glucose readily available and cause a loss of willpower, triggering the brain to send a signal to other parts of the brain to cease and desist from the new habit formation activity. The key to preventing this from happening is to cheat.

When your willpower energy is low, instead of engaging in 30 minutes of aerobic activity, cheat – only engage in 5 or 10 minutes of aerobic activity. This cheating stops the brain from sending out the cease and desist order and the brain will not fight you or prevent you from engaging in the new habit.

Strategic Cheating works in forging new habits by allowing the new synapse to strengthen, without causing decision fatigue. In time, the synapse will strengthen and eventually the basal ganglia will mark it as a habit. Once it is marked as a habit, the brain will no longer fight you when you engage in the habit.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit,, India TV, Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money,,, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider,, and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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