Episode #5: Why we watch too much TV (and other “bad” habits)

Episode #5: Why we watch too much TV (and other “bad” habits)

In today’s episode Professor Koestner and I dive into the research around bad habits. We all have them and wish we didn’t. So what can we do about them? First we can think about changing habits at optimal times in our lives called “fresh starts”. Second, we can rethink how much “relaxation” we really need from things like TV, maybe it is less than we think? Third, we can make implementation plans so that we replace “bad” habits with new, more helpful habits (and experiment to see what works!). And finally, we can figure out how to go beyond the present moment, a concept called “transcendence” to think about a more important and meaningful goal or value.

Production by Jodie Richardson. Co-production, mixing and music by Pat Bourdon.

To listen to our podcast on iTunes, click here.


Show Notes

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (2008) by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 

Baumeister, Roy F., and Todd F. Heatherton. “Self-Regulation Failure: An Overview.” Psychological Inquiry, vol. 7, no. 1, 1996, pp. 1–15. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1449145.

The power of habit (2014) by Charles Duhigg

Katherine Milkman and the Fresh Start Effect:                                              

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Episode #4: Weight loss: why is it so hard?

Episode #4: Weight loss: why is it so hard?

In today’s episode Professor Koestner and I put our heads together on the subject of weight loss. We try to shed some light on why losing weight is such a difficult challenge for most people and then look at how we might apply Professor Koestner’s 3 secrets for goal success to this challenge. Too many people are intensely dissatisfied with their weight & believe happiness is just on the other side of some number on the scale. Unfortunately, it is not. That pursuit is never-ending. But we believe it is possible to find happiness, meaning and body satisfaction through a healthier and more enjoyable lifestyle geared towards finding and maintaining your "best weight".

Production by Jodie Richardson. Co-production, mixing and music by Pat Bourdon.

To listen to our podcast on iTunes, click here.


Show Notes

The Fat Trap, Tara Parker-Pope, New York Times.

Read the New York Times article by Gina Kolata: After the “Biggest Loser”, Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight.

Read this piece by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, MD and obesity expert to learn more about managing expectations and successful weight loss: I’m an obesity doctor. I’ve seen long-term weight loss work. Here’s how. Vox Media. 

I highly suggest Dr. Yoni Freedhoff’s blog and in particular this one blog post: Is it Really “Scientifically Impossible” to Keep Your Weight Off?

If at First You Don’t Succeed: False Hopes of Self-Change. Janet Polivy and C. Peter Herman, 2002, American Psychologist.

Listen to: Public Webinar #1: Why Obesity is a Chronic Disease (Feb. 2016) by Dr. Arya M Sharma.

Check out Dr. Arya Sharma’s Ted Talk on Obesity & weight loss here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9hRhsaopz4

Koestner, R. (2008). Reaching One’s Personal Goals: A Motivational Perspective Focused on Autonomy. Canadian Psychology, 49(1), 60-67. 

Also visit the website of the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.

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Episode #3: When SMART is not enough... How to overcome our naturally limited capacity for self-control.

Episode #3: When SMART is not enough... How to overcome our naturally limited capacity for self-control.

In today’s episode we dig deep into Professor Koestner’s research and experience to share three keys to goal success. The main reason most of us fail at our resolutions is likely due to our naturally limited capacity for self-control. Goal success is not about proving that we have the willpower to do it, that’s a good way to set ourselves up for failure. Those who succeed at their goals are those who find ways around their need for more self-control by creating personally relevant and meaningful goals, by devising a personally friendly plan of action for carrying them out and by seeking the support of empathic, interested people in their lives. Find out how you can stop trying to prove you can achieve your goals and start figuring out how you can help yourself achieve your goals! 

Production by Jodie Richardson. Co-production, mixing and music by Pat Bourdon.

To listen to our podcast on iTunes, click here.

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Episode #2: Struggling to keep your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Tune in and find out how you might get back on track. Let’s get SMART for a start.

Episode #2: Struggling to keep your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Tune in and find out how you might get back on track. Let’s get SMART for a start.

In today’s episode we kick off the season with the basics in goals setting. Professor Koestner talks about SMART goals, a well-known method for goal setting among organizational and sports psychologists. He gives some examples from his own life and the lives of others to help us better understand how to set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable and how to boost our self-confidence in our ability to reach our goals. Even if your goals are SMART self-control might still be an issue so don’t get too down on yourself if you feel you’re doing everything right and you’re still struggling. We’ll get into how to overcome limited self-control next time, so stay tuned. 

Production by Jodie Richardson. Co-production, mixing and music by Pat Bourdon.

To listen to our podcast on iTunes, click here.

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Episode #1: An introduction to Professor Richard Koestner and the why, how and with whom of goal pursuit.

Episode #1: An introduction to Professor Richard Koestner and the why, how and with whom of goal pursuit.

Richard Koestner is a Professor in the Psychology Department at McGill University where he has conducted research on human motivation for the past 27 years. He has published over 125 scientific articles and has received several awards for excellence in teaching. He first inspired my love of psychology when I attended his undergraduate class at McGill and in this episode he shares some of his expertise with you. We talk about his journey to becoming a professor and researcher and dive into a little research on teaching and parenting related to his earlier work. We move into a discussion about why it is difficult for people to successfully make changes in their lives; why we usually fail 6-7 times before we make changes last. Professor Koestner has dedicated his research to understanding what helps us beat these odds and in this episode he talks about three important ingredients for success related to the why, how and with whom of goal pursuit. We also discuss when we should think about letting go of some of our goals. This episode is a must if you've made New Year's resolutions or any resolutions for that matter. Hope you get as much out of his teachings as I have over my years of knowing him. 

This episode was recorded in January 2016 with the New Year's resolution of keeping it going but it soon fizzled out as resolutions often do. So this year is Take 2 and we have Professor Koestner back with us for the full season so that we can dig deeper into all of the topics discussed in this episode to bring you concrete, actionable information for you to apply in your life. So if you like this episode stay tuned for more to come! 

Production by Jodie Richardson. Co-production, mixing and music by Pat Bourdon.

To listen to our podcast on iTunes, click here.


Show notes

Drive, Daniel Pink

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids will Talk, Faber and Mazlish

Self-Determination Theory, Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan

Edward L. Deci, Professor of Psychology, University of Rochester

David McClelland, Professor at Harvard University

Wayne R. Halliwell, Professor and Sports Psychologist

Peter M. Gollwitzer, Professor of Psychology, Implementation Intentions

The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg

The Importance of Goal Disengagement, Carsten Wrosch, Professor of Psychology at Concordia University

Jutta Heckhausen, Professor of Psychology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Why We Do What We Do: Understanding Self-Motivation, Edward L. Deci

Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, Roy F. Baumeister, John Tierney 

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