Building Good Habits

with Wendy Wood

Wendy Wood is a best-selling author and Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at the University of Southern California. Given her research over the past 30 years, she is widely considered the world’s scientific expert on habit formation and change. She has published over 100 articles, and her research has been supported by Proctor & Gamble, National Science Foundation, the Templeton Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute. She is the author of Good Habits, Bad Habits. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, Washington Post, on radio shows like Freakanomics, and in podcasts like the People’s Pharmacy. A 2008 Radcliffe Institute Fellow, and 2018 Distinguished Chair of Behavioral Science at the Sorbonne/INSEAD in Paris, Wood has advised the World Bank, the Centers for Disease Control, and industries such as Proctor & Gamble and Lever Bros. In 2018, she gave the inaugural address in Paris for the Sorbonne-INSEAD Distinguished Chair in Behavioral Science.

IN THIS EPISODE…Wendy and Joe talk about her research and ideas in her book, Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick. Wendy Wood describes the “what the hell” effect when it comes to dieting and so many more case studies she shares with us. The best part of today’s episode is you will take away so many actionable tips you can start using today.

🔍 Breakdown with Wendy Wood:
Chapter 1 (0:00): Introduction
Joe introduces Wendy and sets up the episode.

Chapter 2 (2:54) Relationship with resolutons
New Year’s resolutions have a tendency to fail and Wendy explains to Joe why and the science behind it.

Chapter 3 (5:09) Making new habits stick
You need to create habits that are not just occasional practices, but ones that will become second nature.

Chapter 4 (9:23) Instant gratification
We are a society of instant gratification and instant results. Habits take time to form and that is important to understand.

Chapter 5 (15:30) Time for a habit to stick
There are many conflicting anecdotal thoughts on how long it takes a habit to stick, however, Wendy has significant research to answer this question.

Chapter 6 (26:08) Eliminate friction
When creating a new habit, one of the most important aspects is to remove friction. Understanding your environment and removing obstacles is best.

Chapter 7 (34:47) Consistency and bad habits
You need to stick with it. Consistency will help you with your new good habits but can also keep you stuck in bad habits.

Chapter 8 (42:29) Vietnam study
There is an incredible study around drug use and soldiers from Vietnam. The research shows the importance of the environment.

Chapter 9 (46:56) Influences around us
Social media can be a major influence and habit in our lives. It can be so important to make sure we are putting up boundaries.

Chapter 10 (50:11) Closing Remarks
Joe wraps up the episode and shares his final thoughts

Material Referenced in this interview:
→Good Habits Bad Habits by Wendy Wood

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