Saturday, January 5, 2013

Jeremy Dean

Jeremy Dean's new book is Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don't, and How to Make Any Change Stick.

From his Q & A with Jasmine Elist for the Jacket Copy blog:

What inspired your book "Making Habits, Breaking Habits"?

It's got to be one of the oldest questions we ask about ourselves: why is it so difficult to change? Say you want to change your diet, start practicing the piano, stop checking your email so much, or do anything else that requires sustaining a behavioral change over time. Why do we feel so strongly that we'll do these things, and yet, when the moment arrives, old habits take over? It's the answer to this question that makes the psychology of habits so interesting.

How do bad habits form?

In just the same way as all the good ones! All our habits form through repeating the same actions in the same situations. Each time we repeat an action (or thought) in the same situation it gets stronger. Over time the unconscious takes over until we perform habits automatically, with little input from our conscious selves. This is part of the reason habits are so hard to change: We do them without thinking.

Why is it so difficult for us to form and consistently repeat healthy habits? And similarly, why is it so difficult for us to break bad habits? (Seriously, why can’t I stop biting my nails?)

Making habits is...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue