Skip to main content

The Power of Habits

Lesson 6 of 34

Understanding Your Habits

Art Markman

The Power of Habits

Art Markman

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

6. Understanding Your Habits


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Dr. Art Plays the Sax Duration:00:57
2 Intro to Your Habits Duration:31:16
3 The Rule of 3 Duration:36:02
4 Taking a Step Back Duration:18:11
5 Habits: Creating & Changing Duration:31:50
6 Understanding Your Habits Duration:39:52
7 The Motivation System Duration:26:39
8 The Arousal System Duration:32:38
9 Commiting to Your Goals Duration:28:15
10 Goal Satisfaction Duration:19:28
11 Abstract to Specific Goals Duration:33:13
12 The Big Picture Goals Duration:27:08
13 Know Yourself Duration:23:43
14 Personality Dimensions Duration:28:27
15 Experiences & Brainstorming Duration:33:50
16 Advanced Personalities Duration:28:35
17 Risk Tolerance & The Workplace Duration:36:16
18 Influence: Use the Environment Duration:35:24
19 Creating Consistent Mapping Duration:24:23
20 Affecting Others Duration:23:55
21 People in Our Environment Duration:28:14
22 Silos Duration:29:01
23 Building a Reef Duration:18:06
24 Approach & Avoidance Goals Duration:25:01
25 Affect vs Emotion Duration:23:57
26 Attribution & Choice Duration:37:10
27 Finding Causes Duration:36:00
28 Learning Causal Knowledge Duration:27:08
29 Reusing Knowledge Duration:25:07
30 Analogy: Problem Solving Duration:33:40
31 The Power of Redescription Duration:25:39
32 Defining the Problem Duration:22:09
33 Tools to Define Problems Duration:26:48
34 Planning a Problem Solution Duration:29:32

Lesson Info

Understanding Your Habits

So uh so who has a who has a habit that they want to share you have a habit you wanna share so so we have come on up we have I'm gonna give you give you a little seat here so are hotting up on the hot seat who should have theme music I know we need not seek music so what's what's the habit uh well the habit is coming home from the farmer's market and not that they have it I want is coming home from the farmer's market prepping food and cooking for the week okay and what's happening now I come home from the farmer's market and the food ends up sitting on the counter for a while and then a little bit time has passed and I feel like okay I got to put it away and I put it away but I don't do anything with it so okay so it so you finally get it so so there are two problems here right? One as you get home from the farmer's market and the food stays out a little bit too long right and I choose to do something else other than prep the food right away okay and why is that um I think I have ah p...

aradigm about myself but like I'll do it later or there's some sort of like procrastination laziness there so what's calling out to you when you get home without the couch yeah the couch so so so the habit seems too because this is what's important I mean if you think about changing behavior right the important thing is to begin to think about well what's actually happening right so okay so you're getting home to the farmer's market you had the best of intentions right you've got the great little bags got the reusable bags right about the reasonable bag and does a reusable bag itself just go on the counter yeah okay because again this is the level of detail right I mean think about this if you're going to really intervene on your behaviour you really need to be thinking about well what is the behavior not at the at the abstract level of oh I want to make sure I do this but specifically what's going on in my world because unless you get to the level of really what's going on in my world uh you can't actually you have no levers for making changes okay so you're getting home and uh your plop in the bag down on the counter and then what's the next thing that happens either I go to the computer or turn on the tv okay and what are you feeling at that moment that lets you did that that that leads to that are you tired uh yeah I think whether I'm tired or not I have a habit in my head that says I'm tired now, okay okay, so so you had this great intention, but now when the moment of truth arrives the computer or the couch call out louder uh to your behavior then so so notice right? We haven't we haven't we're not looking for a solution at this moment we're all we're doing is characterizing the behave so what we have what we've got is is the sequence of events great intentions um get home but you know, maybe maybe it was hot out maybe it was effortful, whatever it was you come in, you drop everything on the counter and you go off and do something else okay? And part of what you're feeling is I'm just I'm tired this isn't a good time yeah, now that you say that specifically to come, I walked to the farmer's market and then I walked back and to walk back it's I live in san francisco, so there's a lot of hills and then I'm on the third floor, so I'm going up the third floor with all the stuff to your tar yeah, so I'm tired and I just want it it's like I just want to get this off of me and be done with it I think is really like what's going through my head okay see, this is good now notice we're not going to solve this problem right now, but this is great because what you've done is to identify specifically what's happening you've begun noticed now to uncover some of the causes that are related to this each of these things now is going to provide a little lever for you as a potential place where you might intervene on this. So so so the idea behind creating thiss kind of a habit type hurry and again, I recommend particularly for behaviors that don't necessarily happen all the time to give yourself some time to monitor what you're doing and pay attention to it is that is that as you begin to go through this exercise, you'll begin to see some of the places where you might want to make changes, right? Because you can't just say to yourself, darn it, I'm going to just beam or adamant that next time I'm gonna I'm going teo get do do the right thing partly because there's a roll of distance that that gets played here so so when you're far away from something, then then you see everything really abstract lee it's so easy to to behave in the abstract, I'm going to do the right thing it's the specific situation that you find yourself in that's always hard tto act in right and so and so despite that wonderful intention, you know from the throne that from a distance in the moment because getting back from the farmer's market required climbing some hills and climbing up the stairs, and you're tired and there are other things to do, and you're probably going on the weekend, which, you know, which has other things associated with it, most of which aren't food prep, right? Then then all you know, so that's another thing is it it's the weekend, which made him and maybe you have to do that because that's, what the only time that the farmers market is, or maybe that's, just your habit to go to the farmer's market, but notice all of the things that have come into play here and what you want to do overtime is elaborate on those and observe those so that when you get to the point in our next unit, we're going to talk a little bit about about motivation and sort of how you can engage that motivation and then a tte the very end of the day, we're going to talk about building good plans. The more you understand about these habits, the more that you can now generate better plans that will actually engage the specific circumstance you're going to find yourself in so that you can see, well, it wouldn't work if I tried this, and so when we get to this afternoon, we'll check back in with you on this and figure out whether there are some specific things that you could do that would change that routine a little bit that would make you more likely to engage in the thing that you want to do cool. All right, thank you for coming up. So the lesson here, right, is that this is this really is the level at which we have to begin to do things right? Behavior change actually requires a lot of work. I, uh, this this habit diary that that you got actually comes out of what I call a smart changed journal, which I which I wrote when I put together this book smart change that I that I did that come that came out in january, and one of the things that I talk about is there are about a gazillion books on behavior change and habits, but very few of them actually forced you to do any work, you know, and wouldn't it be nice? I mean, one of the things I tell people as a psychologist who teaches psychology is that I'm here to confirm all of your worst nightmares and one of your worst nightmares is that it's actually a lot of work to change your behavior. I mean, I wish that there was a pill I could give you or you know, if you slept on your left side rather than your right side or if you listen to music at a sixty hertz tone or whatever it is that that that would somehow make you change your behavior and it's that doesn't work it's it is hard work but the the trick is to do the right hard work and not the wrong hard work and so um the beginning stage of that right hard work is just elaborating on what your life is now so that you begin to see where you can intervene on it where can I change my behavior right without making that mindless uh habitual behavior mindful and mindful so that you were aware when you're doing it and and why you're doing it and what you're feeling and what you were thinking until you make all that mindful you can't you can't create the kinds of plans you need to create to make changes in your behavior so this is that first step there okay and and really you know, taking the time to do that don't rush through it remember the behaviors that you really want to change these really persistent babies you've probably been doing them for years years so why would you think that you can change them in a day? You know people I mean this is why new year's resolutions fail because on the thirty first of december I decide I am going to change this thing I've been doing for the last ten years overnight yeah, no, you're not okay. You are goingto if you if you truly make a resolution, what you are resolving to do is to engage in a process that might take you three months or six months to complete, depending on how persistent that behavior wass and it starts with making mindful the stuff that was mindless and that's really what this exercise is about, one of the things that I want you to bear in mind, another piece to this puzzle that we're going to come back to in the next unit, in more detail, but I want to give a little shout out to it is is the concept of willpower? Okay, um, it turns out that we often influence our ability to change our habits in a negative way immediately, just because we create situations in which habit change is going to require willpower. Now, willpower involves a bunch of brain mechanisms, most of which are located in those frontal lobes and as fingers of the boxing glove that we talked about, and we're going to talk about how that works a lot more in the next section, right after lunch. But but the thing we need to remember right now is that at the moment that you place yourself in the arms of willpower, a cz your saving grace for behavior change, you have failed okay and so um one of the things that you need to do is to remember that you want to create new habits you don't want to you don't want to spend a lot of your time just stopping yourself from the old habits that you've created so notice that when I gave you the example of my biting my nails there were two issues there, the first of which is I needed to know when I was going to when I when I was doing it where I was, what I was doing right because that that gave me the opportunity to intervene but ask yourself why was it so hard for me to stop biting my now? Well in large part because I framed the entire change of behavior and honestly my mom change framed it that way as well for me I framed it almost entirely negatively stop biting your nails well, what does that mean when you stop doing something? It means you stare wistfully at your nails thinking I can't bite you I'd like to, but I can't right it's so hard to change a behavior when what you're trying to do is to not do something because when you're not doing something you spend all of your time thinking about doing it and then not doing it and that's really hard to do and you can't stop yourself from thinking about something once once the idea enters your head right there's a great old example of this so here we go for the next fifteen seconds you guys can think about anything you want anything at all but do not think about white elephants no white elephants ready go a whole lot of white elephants going on here it's very hard not to think about something right? You can't just stop yourself in fact, the only way to not think about white elephants is to is to think about something else entirely that is, you know, run some song lyrics through your head preferably ones that don't involve white elephants but you have to you have to do something actively that's different not stop yourself cause otherwise you sit there going don't think about white elephant start what if it's dark you know? And it just you can't you can't force yourself not to do it and the same thing habits are part of memory, right? So the same thing is true in memory I can't not do things and I can't learn not to do something because remember this if habits are part of memory of habits are associating your environment with the behavior you can't learn when you're not doing anything, so every single time that I successfully didn't bite my nails, I didn't learn anything because I didn't do anything right, so why did not biting my nails fail when playing with desk toys succeeded because playing with desk toys is something different it's an activity I could learn oh when I'm sitting at my desk reading pick up the slinky right and for awhile I did that on purpose and after a while that just became my habit you know slinky on the desk book on my lap pick up the slinky I'm playing and now I'm not biting my nails all right that's a subtle change but it's a shift from not doing to doing okay now in order to make this happen we have to we have to go through this exercise enough to know where do I need to make that change in the environment when do I need to make that change in the environment and and what am I what am I thinking what what what what are some of the aspects of the context I mean maybe you know maybe what I need to do is not to change that specific situation but to make sure that that situation doesn't occur so often right the equivalent of well if I'm getting exhausted walking up the hill you know maybe what I really need to do is to exercise right who knows right I mean but it's but the idea is the more that I understand about the situation in which my behavior occurs the more levers that I have ultimately for trying to create these more positive changes in my behavior and so what we're going to see over the next, you know? So so again, right here's were beginning to identify the the problem, the problem of behavior change, the problem of behavior changes this I have these habits they've been created over time because I have consistent mapping is that I've repeated their deeply now ingrained in my memory associating environments with behaviours in ways that I'm not even aware of any more because I performed them automatically and now I want to stop doing that thing so I have all of these habits in memory and fortunately not only can't I do the the matrix thing of learning kung fu, I can't do the inverse matrix thing either I can't stick an electrode in and suck out the memory of the behaviour much as I might like to right there's no way of erasing what I have in memory in fact forever a lot of that stuff is in there, so what I'm trying to do instead is to override it to take all of those situations in which I used to engage in a particular behavior and now do something else in those environments I am reprogramming the system to associate the that environment that context, those feelings with a different action you don't change a habit that is you don't stop a habit, you can't replace something with nothing, you always replace something with something else right? And that is the core problem with with changing behavior is that we don't really take that into account we don't create a new set of habits for ourselves we don't take the old mapping and begin to associate that old situation with a new thing in this situation I'm now going to do this behavior not that one in general what I try to do a stop doing this thing stopping doing something will never work it is doomed to failure from the beginning so one of the core lessons of changing behavior is that we want to create positive of goals we wanna have a positive thing we're going to do in a given environment and the more positive that we are the more and I don't mean positive is unhappy you be what I mean by positive as I'm going to engage in a behavior because I can on ly learn a new habit when I do something so that's going to be one very critical part of changing behavior and then the other thing that we're gonna want to do is is we're going in addition, teo creating a positive statement about our behaviour is that we want to make sure that the that the new behaviour we create is focused on a sustainable process for living our lives okay, so there are times where people create behaviors that are focused on a short term outcome that isn't sustainable and I'll tell you a story so I have a friend who who was getting married and her mom decided she wanted to be a thin mother of the bride, okay? And she was not thin in the six months leading up to the wedding she wanted be a thin mother of the bride and so she engaged in a whole series of behaviors in order to create the thin mother of the bride effect and so I don't know what she did, but it involved lots of starvation, I think and maybe diet pills um however, right? Because she was focused on that outcome and not really a sustainable process for living her life while she was successfully a thin mother of the bride she was not a thin mother in law because she did not engage in a set of behaviours that could be sustained beyond the wedding. Okay, and ultimately that is not a particularly effective way of changing your behavior. You can't focus just on outcomes you really need to focus on what is the process by which I'm going to live my life that is a side effect has the influence that I want. All right? So you know, if a rather than focused on the at being focused on the outcome of losing a particular amount of weight, be focused on changes in your eating behavior right, I'm gonna eat in a different way jack elaine had all these great sayings and I think I think he was the one who kind this it's one of my favorites, right. The best exercise you can do is pushing yourself away from the table and what's nice about that is it has two components that are nice first vaults in action, you can perform right, finish my portion, push myself away from the table and the second is it's a process that you can live by. You can live your daily life by that. And so as a side effect, you'll eat less and in feet less you you end up losing way but it but it's not focused on the outcome, it's focused on the process and I and I really like that. The other thing is that if you focus on the process of living your life, then it allows you to do certain things in a somewhat more natural way. And I'll give you another example of this to anybody ever met somebody, who's decided it's time for them to get in a relationship right is that I hate that I hate hanging out with those people because they evaluate every person they meet for their mate value. You know who this there is a person I could meet and the prod there's two problems with that the first is it's really annoying? Because you can tell that everything is kind of being evaluated through the single lens and the other is that it it creates a particular goal that presumably ends at the point where you found your, you know, life partner, at which point I guess you move on to some other goal, which which, you know, you say, you wonder sometimes, why does somebody meet somebody? And they're all excited about him and their life is all wrapped up around them and then it's, like, okay, check that box off, and now I'm going to go start a band or something, right? And so they're no, they're no longer really focused on the relationship, and then they wonder why it falls apart, right, as opposed to say, ok, look, when I'm in the situation where I want to meet somebody, what I'm going to do is engage in ah, whole other set of behaviors that might, as a side effect, put me into contact with people who might make good romantic partners, right? So I'm going to volunteer at a particular place or get involved in a in a charity group or religious organization, or whatever it is something that fits your interests and might, as a side effect put you into contact with people who are potential romantic partners, and you're just living your life. Right, and so because you're just living your life, then you meet somebody and you get involved in this relationship and your life can continue, which is, you know, kinda nice. So when your life continues on, it continues on in the same mode in which you met somebody. How awesome is that, right? So, again, not that I'm saying, ok, everybody should only be paying attention if you're trying to get involved in a relationship, but notice that the beauty of this is your focused on doing something else and the thing you really want, the outcome you really want is a side effect of the thing that you're doing. The same thing is true for people looking for jobs, for example, I mean, looking for jobs, and, you know, it could be really demoralizing sometimes because you're just focused on I got to get a job, I got to get a job. But maybe what you could do is actually to engage in lots of other activities, some of which bring you into contact with people who might be hiring. Right? So rather than just spending every day assuming, oh, I've got to get up, check the ads to see who's hiring, prepare for interviews and things like that, you know, you could engage in volunteer activities or hanging out in in, you know, in coworking spaces or spending time with other people who are engaged in the same industry and actively working towards things that that might ultimately bring you to the attention of people who are hiring all right and the and the beauty of that is now your focused on doing these other things and is a side effect you may also end up with a job. So, you know, I think this this broad strategy is one that can be can be applied in lot of different ways, so your habits when you're creating new habits, okay, you really want to be focused on what are the behaviors that I can engage in that will create new, consistent mapping sze between my environment and the behaviors that I want to perform, and if I do those things often enough now they will become a new set of habits, and this will now just be the way that I live my life, okay, um remember that we're not erasing our old habits, okay? We're overriding them, which means you don't replace something with nothing you replace something with something else so that's a that's an important part of this and and one one thing I'm going to say is as a side note here for now, because we're going to return to this tomorrow afternoon is that because we are dealing with consistent mapping is between the environment and behaviors every once in a while, what we're really trying to do is to change the environment itself, to make the desirable behavior easier to do than the undesirable one, to break a habit by just making the habit itself impossible to perform, right? Um, and so if you can find ways of disrupting the environment so that the old behavior can't be done anymore, that's a great way of influencing your behavior. So I give you a simple example of this. Um, and this was this was a behavior change that was forced upon me so several years ago, I got my first car that had a, um a button that you press instead of ah ki that you put in the in the steering column. And so what happened was for the first week or two, I pulled my key out and I jam it against the steering column and then realized that wasn't going work it all there was actually a slot that I had to put it in on the dashboard and then press a button and so and so for, you know, and so really, what happened was the environment itself made the undesirable behavior completely unproductive. And so within a week, I had changed my behavior from jamming it into the steering column to putting it in the right place in pressing the button, okay? And that was forced upon me by the car manufacturer, but think about this you have a fair amount of control over your own environment. What are the changes that you can make to that environment that are the equivalent of removing the key from the steering column? You know, what can you do to disrupt the environment in ways that will make the desirable behaviors uh, easier to perform and the undesirable ones hard to do within the set of habits that you have and that's a topic we're going to return to tomorrow, but I just just a kind of little little seed to start thinking about this for, uh, for when we get to that. Any questions on habits so far, we've had some coming in in the chat room. This one is from katie nixon photography, and they say when you try to change a habit at what point do you have to start thinking about the idea that you might be forcing something on yourself that you don't really want? Mmm. When do you have to think about that? Well, so that's a great question I guess I would say you know, behavior change is a is a really difficult sport it's a contact story, you've got to really want to do it in fact, that old joke about psychologists is true, right? How many psychologists does how many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb right on ly one but the lightbulb has to want to change right and that's really true, right? You actually have to I really want to engage in this level of effort so it's a commitment you have to make and we're going in the next unit we're actually gonna talk a little bit about, you know, under what circumstances are you willing to make that commitment because you're starting off in the front end of a long journey when you when you, uh when you commit to change in your behavior that said, um, you also have to remember that changing your behavior is going to be uncomfortable for a while. So you have to enter into this knowing that for some period of time it's going to be unpleasant to be engaged in the process of bayview change I mean think about anyone you know, who's played a sport so somebody has played golf, for example, and they've developed bad habits in their golf swing when, when they go to a golf pro to change their swing for awhile, what they're being asked to do to change their swing is going to feel completely unnatural it's going to feel wrong because it's, not their habit and the golf pro has to stand there and say, I know it's going to feel wrong do it anyhow, because when you internalize this new habit, it's going to make you a better golfer and I think the same thing is true with any kind of habit change, it's going to be uncomfortable for, you know, the amount of time it takes to create a habit, you know, conservatively, give yourself a least six weeks to feel uncomfortable and recognize that that's part of the process, the part of the process, and you might be crabby while you're going through it, hanging out with people were trying to change their behavior is never a fun thing to do. Um, so so you know, the alert the people around you that you're not going to be the most fun person to be around for a while, but but be ready for that, you know, and and and be ready that you may start to question yourself, writes us hope so. Part of what's implicit in this question is that after a couple weeks you might be thinking castro, I really want to go through the effort to make this change um at those moments think back to the impetus that you had to change your behavior in the first place right? Do you really want to go back to where you were? You know, do you really want the equivalent of red and sore nails? You know, and hopefully the answer to that is no, but you know what? Every once in a while you may wake, wake up and think, you know what? What was going on before wasn't really so bad and in those moments, you know, another thing we're gonna do tomorrow is talk about the importance of other people in your life and how you can use other people before you make that the decision to give up on a behavior ah, phone a friend, write and and find out whether you really were a better person before, you know, use other people great. We have another one here from sam koch and they say are their psychological abnormalities that manifest themselves in the form of habits may be okay for example yeah, okay, yeah that's a really interesting question. So o c d is really fascinating and o c d is a set of habits actually, um people with o c d are generally speaking really anxious people s o they have ah tremendous amount of anxiety and what they do is they engage in what are called safety behaviors and a safety behavior is something you do to make yourself feel better when you're really anxious and a lot of us have these on a smaller scale you know someone might be really afraid of public speaking and so they always wear the same belt when when they when they go speaking you know they have you know we engage in rituals like this all the time baseball players for example, are famous for for the kind of bizarre rituals that they go through you know they might wear the same shirt over and over again many of them never step on the foul line when they uh when they go on to the field these rituals are safety behaviors there just ways of reducing anxiety when and they create habits overtime and that's one of the reasons that they feel uncomfortable to stop right? So so a baseball player who's never stepped on the foul line when when when walking onto the field would feel really uncomfortable about doing it now because it's just a habit to avoid stepping on it. So with o c d you get that in the extreme there's a high level of anxiety and these behaviors compound themselves and and and often become more and more elaborate to the point where they really get in the way of of normal functioning, normal life. And so actually one of the mean one of the one of most effective treatments for o c d involves exposure therapies where you basically forced people to face that thing that scares them if the source of their anxiety without any safety behaviors, and recognize that it's not so bad. I have a colleague, a tte university of texas mike kelt who actually has pioneered a number of these therapies. He's got one for claustrophobic ce that ends with them lying in a coffin, you know, in which which would be tough even for most of us who aren't claustrophobic to begin with, right? But, you know, the idea is that if you can face these these kinds of fears without engaging in one of these other behaviors, then you then then you quickly learn to realize that, uh, that this situation should never have been that anxiety provoking to begin with. So so there certainly are some disorders that involve, you know, these kinds of habits. And o c d is one of them, right? Thank you. Anything else? Yes. How important are things like commitment and discipline and support from others to keeping a habit going? Yeah, that's a that's a great question, in fact, all I'll make a plug here which I don't normally do but a lot of what I'm talking about today is you know emerges out of this book I did called smart change and one of the things I mean the book the book he's focused around five sets of tools for changing your behaviour and one of the one of the things that I say in the book is it's actually very hard to change your behavior if you don't do it in a comprehensive way so already we've talked about the importance of the way that you frame your goals doing them positively and creating a process in the in the next section we're going to talk about the way your motivational system works and we're going to be focused on how does it work and how can you fit within the structure of that and they'll be two other sets of tools that go along with that one that deals with the system that engages behaviour and one that deals with system that helps you to avoid behaviors and then the the other two sets of tools deal with some of the stuff we're going to talk about tomorrow afternoon which is how to engage with the other people in your environment and how to engage with the environment itself and all of those things have to be put together in order to change your behavior so ultimately if you don't engage with other people uh, effectively, you're gonna have a very hard time changing behavior, which, you know as well see, tomorrow is going to require overcoming a lot of cultural bias because we live in a society that prizes great things, great people doing great things in difficult situations, right, which is a very individual piece of it, and one of the lessons were going to draw from tomorrow is changing your behaviour is the prize you don't get extra points if you do it alone, right? So so we're definitely gonna want going to want to find ways to engage with other people, to help us in that process, and this one comes from shrew me and they say, are their subjects or topics that are easier or harder to create habits around? Yeah, are there are there are things that are easier or harder to create habits around? Yes, there certainly are. I mean, for one thing, there are certain things that we are biologically wired to want to do, right? So there's a reason why it's easier to get people, for example, tow want to take drugs than tio who want to study calculus, right? Which is not to say that we can't create habits to study calculus, but but it's, you have to you have to indirectly work yourself into the desirable things to do you know, in order to get people to study calculus, whereas other things air arm or directly wired into the things that we that we naturally enjoy on dh those of course differ person by person, right? Which is why I mean, one of the one of the things you have to do is to recognize that when somebody else is having difficulty changing their behaviour around something that you had no trouble with and vice versa, that isn't a sign that you're better than they are that they're broken write what you what you need to realize is that each of us is set up a little bit differently. There are certain things that some people love to do and other people really don't love to do and, uh and if they want to, you know, begin to learn toe love to do something that they didn't love to do before it takes you know, this whole process of of of habit change, which which can definitely be do a little for people. But if there's something that the happy answer to this, though, is just because you don't like to do something now doesn't mean that you could never learn to enjoy doing it and never learned to make this a habit that makes your life enjoyable um and and one example of that is I used to be a night person you know, I couldn't be in graduate school, I could never understand how there were people who didn't see, you know, uh, late night tv, right? How how could somebody not be awake for this? Right? And over the years, I shifted, and partly because I made this interesting discovery that if I got to work by eight o'clock in the morning, I could do four hours worth of work by noon and that there was no other four hour stretch of the day where that was true because they were always too many other people around later in the day who would bother me? So on dso, I shifted my schedule, and now, you know, I can't sleep past seven thirty in the morning if I wanted to, right? And so that's now, the way I live my life, so you can certainly, um, create new habits that now make that the way that you live your life in an enjoyable way living in, but takes some effort. Now we have another one here you mentioned sort of the drug addiction and those questions, says he's, breaking a habit kind of like a withdrawal from an addiction where you have to break yourself of that, um, yeah, I think they're very similar I think that I think that they're not identical, but but there are, but but addiction takes co ops a lot of the mechanisms of habit formation a za part of it and so you know, part of and in fact you know the sense of I mean, there is actually research on this the sense of craving that an addict addict feels they don't explain there's a there's a belief sometimes that the way cravings work is you have like you have an addiction to something let's say ah smoker for example addicted to nicotine and so the way that smoking works is I need a cigarette I feel a craving I have a cig that that would be right it turns out actually most addicted smokers if they engage in their normal routines don't experience cravings instead their internal environment begins to tell them it's time to smoke and then they engaged in their routine to smoke whether it's pulling out of pakistan gretz lighting in having cigarette or you know, these days having to step outside and you know, smoke whatever it is but they engage in that routine without thinking about it and as long as they engage in that routine, they don't really experience a craving it's on ly when they're blocked from their their ability to perform the behavior that they experience the craving so it's on ly uncomfortable when they want to do it it can't do it as if the craving is like somebody pulling out your pant legs saying remember me right? And so and that's the same thing that's happening with habit change right? Is that you you want to perform this behavior? Your habit is telling you to perform this baby her and you're not performing this behavior and then you feel really uncomfortable and you get the same sort of craving so that's sort of mechanism I think works in exactly the same way you know the issue is that that there's somewhat more of a physiological basis for where the goal is coming from to do the behavior, whereas with with habits there's there's somewhat mohr of ah memory basis which is still physiological cause it's it's still in your brain, but so they're they're very similar. We talked about the development of habit, so habits right are created by a system that is looking for consistent mapping is in our environment that we repeat that system is always looking for those repeated matt behaviors in the in a consistent environment. And when you get those when it is faster to retrieve the memory of what to do in a situation than it is to think about the behaviour, then you have a habit. Okay, we love these consistent mapping sze we crave them in our environment and when and when they get disrupted, we feel uncomfortable because we can't do what we normally do automatically and remember that habits aren't really broken right, that is, we don't just stop doing something. What we do is replace habits with something else. You don't replace something with nothing, you replace something with something else, so that's where we were with habits, but this afternoon we're going to continue on. So remember, we really started with our habit diary here thinking about, well, here's a behavior I'd like to change this afternoon. What we're going to do is start thinking about how does our motivational system work? And it turns out our motivational system has two components, which I call a ghost system and a stop system, and we need to understand the way that works so that we can begin to figure out how to change our behaviour in an effective way. And so we're going to talk about that right after lunch, and then after that, we're going to talk about how do you create the kinds of plans that will engage the motivational system in the right way and will enable you teo toe add those new behaviours in so that you create those new consistent mapping a few comments that we want to read before we head to the brake and this is coming from twitter and keep in mind we do have a special hashtag setup for arts course it is dr art live! And my bliss office on twitter used that hash tag. And they said, I'm loving the power of habits with art, markman, genius stuff here, for sure. And in our chat rooms here. This is from a cia. Hotsy. They say this course is great, because I want to use this for my clients. I think it's a great way to help them understand their habits and why they do what they do and how to help support healthy change in the habits that they want to change.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available here as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers. 

Setting a goal is one thing, but actually doing the work to achieve that goal is a totally different endeavor. If you want to hit your targets and make lasting changes in your life, join author and psychologist Art Markman, Ph.D., to learn what it takes to build and maintain healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

This course won’t serve up superficial self-help tips; instead, you’ll dive into the latest cognitive science behind behavior change. You’ll learn how to build new, positive habits and break the cycle of existing negative ones. You’ll explore what it takes to sustain healthy habits over time and increase your chances of maintaining new habits by empowering your friends and family to make positive changes, too.

Don’t waste another day simply wishing you could make a change that really sticks — equip yourself with the techniques you need to transform your life in measurable, powerful, and positive ways.


Tanya Johnston

Fantastic! I'm loving this course and am so grateful to have the opportunity to listen to Art's great insight on behavior and ways to tweak it. Thank you, really awesome.


Wow. Very engaging, entertaining, and enlightening. Art Markman is so much fun to watch and listen to during the entire 3 day class. His brain dump has zero fluff. The concentration of so much information is incredible, and how he gets it into your head is mind boggling. He's whipped my brains into a spongy soufflé. I am so happy I discovered this class. Thank you!