Wendy Wood, PhD wrote a fantastic book,
Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick that can help us live a better life. I strongly encourage you read this book. If you do, please share your thoughts.
As listed on
Goodreads and Google books, I posted this review.
We all now live in what seems like a very busy time. More than ever before, we are constantly bombarded with more information on a regular basis through our phones, TVs, and other media platforms. The constant onslaught of information causes us to be distracted or not fully focused on what we are doing. It is when we are not consciously determining what we are doing that habits seem to play their biggest role. Habits, according to Dr. Woods book, are what happens, or what we do when we are not thinking, distracted and or otherwise occupied. They are what we do automatically.
She documents that much of our life, upwards of 50% or more comes automatically, or are habits we can do without thinking consciously about the act. These are the things we have done over and over, and because we have done them over and over we have come to favor these acts. These acts are ones we will now defend and use because they are familiar and easier to do than to consciously think about what should be done. As she continually documents, we rely on habits because consciously thinking or developing new behaviors is exhausting.
The book especially resonated with me because my work focuses on health and or working on lifestyle behavior changes. While doing healthy actions once is not hard, it is difficult to regularly engage in healthy behavior. It is hard because society often encourages us to make less than optimistic choices. For these reasons and many more, this emphasized to me why it is vital to have healthy habits so we can be healthier from good life behaviors we automatically choose.
While that sounds simple, she did not sugar coat the idea and lead us to believe it would be easy to create habits. She explained habits take a lot of time and effort before they become automatic. According the research, on average it would take 66 days of repeated behaviors to make actions automatic. That means 2 months and 1 week is the needed time to create habits and will be needed for our actions to become automatic.
Although it takes time an effort, she provided a strong argument for why making the effort to create good habits would be worth the effort. At the end she says we should create habit because, 1. It helps people get more done and 2. It creates a more integrated and simple way to live. I think these are things we all want and are why I strongly recommend this book
Overall, Dr. Wood helps understand how can AUTOMATICALLY take actions that can generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. I look forward to hearing how habits improve your life – please share.
Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!
Please share your thoughts and questions below. C ontact me: BeWellr@gmail.com
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Researcher and professor in North Carolina. My focus is on the development of positive health and creating a better life for all. I want more to engage in selfish, selfless, synergistic acts which I call practicing paneugenesis. Paneugenesis is creating interactions from which everyone benefits.
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