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Changing Habits: Why It’s Hard, How to Do It

John Dennis, Edwin A. Locke

Presented at: OCON 2012

Date: Jun 30, 2012

Most people find changing unwanted habits, especially long-standing ones (e.g., smoking, succumbing to distractions, eating poorly, not exercising), to be difficult. This course examines some of the sources of difficulties and how to overcome them, from conflicts between conscious and subconscious goals to holding “shoulds” as a duty rather than as something you want because it is objectively good for you. Other issues to be discussed include: setting realistic goals, planning, building confidence, identifying problematic emotions, enhancing awareness, dealing with self-image problems, correcting mistaken causal attributions, and showing how changing behaviors may require changing one’s environment.

Drs. Dennis and Locke will clarify the fundamental difference between implementing new, desired behaviors and eliminating undesired behaviors, and discuss the implications for change.


Parts: 3

Handout: none