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.

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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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