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Description: Yah yah, I know, it is New Year’s and we all have to make some resolutions, we all have to beat ourselves up about some of the things we regularly do that we should not do and we need to decide we are not going to do them any-more. How does that usually work for you? Not so good right? So how about this year you just don’t do that? By “that” I mean telling yourself to stop doing something that you have, likely been doing habitually for a long time, … so long that the habit is deeply ingrained. But wait, … I am NOT saying give up on changing for the better. What if, before trying to change your behavior, you take a few minutes and develop a better understanding of what habits are, how they are formed, how they are maintained and THEN how they can be changed? Why not? Can’t be any worse than your previous efforts at behavioral change through New years resolutions! Get started on this new resolution direction by reading the article linked below, there has been a LOT of research done that can be of great help.

Source: Out with the Old, In With the New: Use the Science of Habits to Make Your Goals Stick This Time! Karen F. Deppa, MAPP Magazine.

Date: January 2, 2022

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Article Link:

No, it may not be easy to change a habit. However, if you start with a better understanding of what habits are, how they are formed and maintained and what they do for us, you significantly up your odds of habit change success. So, read thew science, understand the science and then apply the science and you might actually be able to keep one or two of your New Year regulations.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What are some reasons for why we seem to be so bad at keeping our New Year resolutions?
  2. How are habits formed and maintained and what about this makes them hard to get rid of or change?
  3. Pick a habit you would like to get rid of and write out an understanding of that habit based on the information in the linked article and then write out a plan for changing that habit (then go do it)!

References (Read Further):

Barnett, M. (2019).  Good habits, bad habits: A conversation with Wendy Wood. Behavioral Scientist. Retrieved on November 10, 2021, Link

Galla, B. M., & Duckworth, A. L. (2015). More than resisting temptation: Beneficial habits mediate the relationship between self-control and positive life outcomes. Journal of personality and social psychology, 109(3), 508. Link

Houten, R. V., Nau, P. A., & Merrigan, M. (1981). Reducing elevator energy use: A comparison of posted feedback and reduced elevator convenience. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 14(4), 377-387. Link

Neal, D. T., Wood, W., & Drolet, A. (2013). How do people adhere to goals when willpower is low? The profits (and pitfalls) of strong habits. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104(6), 959. Link

Neal, D. T., Wood, W., Labrecque, J. S., & Lally, P. (2012). How do habits guide behavior? Perceived and actual triggers of habits in daily life. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48(2), 492-498. Link

Woolley, K., & Fishbach, A. (2017). Immediate rewards predict adherence to long-term goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43(2), 151-162. Link