Tag Archives: habit

Taming My Financial Beast

A very cool thing happened today; I was quoted in a New York Times article! A few months ago I spoke with writer Sally French about how credit cards can tempt people into spending more money than they should, and some behavioral science-based tips to mitigate the damage.  I hadn’t known exactly when the article would come out, so it was a nice little surprise. Continue reading Taming My Financial Beast

Engagement Powers the Habit Cycle

At this week’s Habit Summit in San Francisco, I talked about the role of engagement in creating new habits. I called my talk “Highway to the Habit Zone” not just to reference Kenny Loggins,  but to emphasize that if you don’t engage people in an experience, they won’t experience enough repeated exposure to the cue-response-reward cycle to truly develop a habit. Continue reading Engagement Powers the Habit Cycle

Where You Are Is Who You Are: Personality By Geography

I came across this sort of goofy article about how people’s personalities shift depending on where they live. Why do I call it goofy? Because insofar as “personality” refers to stable characteristics of an individual, it shouldn’t be especially mutable based on location. But what the article does capture is that the environment we live in goes a long way toward determining how we express those personality traits through behavior. Continue reading Where You Are Is Who You Are: Personality By Geography

Early Birds, Night Owls, and Getting It Done

Early BirdsI hate mornings. I pretty much always have (see photographic evidence below). That said, as an adult I’ve had to force myself to shift my natural sleep cycle quite a bit earlier than I’d like it to be, on account of pesky factors like “having a job.” Lately, as my evening commitments have grown more intense, I’ve even been able to bang out the occasional a.m. workout. It makes me feel like I don’t even know myself anymore. Continue reading Early Birds, Night Owls, and Getting It Done

Does Habit Tie Us Down or Set Us Free?

Does Habit Tie Us Down or Set Us Free-Habits can set people free, in some ways. By automating desired behavior patterns, we can make it easier to accomplish goals without conscious daily effort. Forming habits is a goal of many behavior change protocols, and something I personally try to incorporate into my self-improvement attempts. But recently I came across a line in a novel that made me wonder if it’s really that straightforward. Continue reading Does Habit Tie Us Down or Set Us Free?

Treat Yo’ Self: How To Use Rewards to Effectively Promote New Habits

Treat Yo' SelfMost of us are familiar with the idea of a self-reward. If you want to lose weight, you might decide to give yourself a new pair of shoes when you hit a milestone. Maybe you only watch your favorite tv show after you finish doing your least favorite work task. Or, to borrow a provocative example from Kathleen Milkman, maybe you only eat your most favorite hamburger when spending time with your least favorite person (for those of you with cranky relatives). If you do use self-rewards, psychology can help make them more effective for you. Continue reading Treat Yo’ Self: How To Use Rewards to Effectively Promote New Habits

My First Streaking Experience

My First Streaking ExperienceA few months ago, I spoke with Shape.com about a phenomenon they dubbed “streaking.” Streaking refers to performing a specific health-related behavior every day for a certain period of time (a week, a month, a year).  As an example, Runner’s World facilitates season-based run streaks including social media posts and badges that can be shared on one’s profile. I’ve also seen people commit to some type of exercise every day for a month, often during January or February when New Year’s resolutions abound. Continue reading My First Streaking Experience

Why I Miss Wearing Glasses

Why I Miss My GlassesIn 2004, I had Lasik. Let me start off by saying, that procedure is the bomb. My vision wasn’t too bad to start with–I could navigate my apartment without glasses–but I had to wear them if I left the house, drove, or wanted to watch a tv that was more than three feet from my face. Plus, glasses are annoying. They irritate your ears and nose, fog up when you cook or exercise or move from air conditioned areas, and get super-dirty all the time. Continue reading Why I Miss Wearing Glasses