What We Are Reading
June 2021

Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick by Wendy Wood

Wendy Wood, Professor of Psychology and Business at USC, draws on 30 years of research to explain the fascinating science of how we form habits. Why is it easy to make the decision to change, but difficult to persist in the long term? It’s because our minds are comprised of separate parts. The part that decides to change a habit, our conscious “executive function” mind, has little contact with many of the things we do (43% of the time, our actions are habitual, performed without conscious thought). Whereas our habitual mind is all about repetition, rewards and contexts. Recognizing, and then leveraging the difference, should bring hope to any reader looking to create long-term behavioral change. As the father of modern psychology, William James put it, “The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work.”

HIGHLIGHT(S): Until we have laid down a habit in our neural networks, we must willfully decide to repeat a new action again and again, thus draining a lot of brainpower. At some point, through setting context, removing friction and sheer repetition, the behavior becomes second nature, and we can sit back and let autopilot drive.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Habits-Bad-Habits-audiobook/dp/B07THBYNNS/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3P7NPN485D1V7&dchild=1&keywords=good+habits+bad+habits+wendy+wood&qid=1623163768&sprefix=good+habits+bad+habits%2Caps%2C145&sr=8-3

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