The Power of Habits

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Charles Duhigg, New York Times staff writer and author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, joins us to talk about the importance of habitual behavior and the role it plays in our lives both on and offline.


Charles Duhigg

Comments [13]

amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

As someone who is very familiar with water-related issues, I just want to give Charles Duhigg his proper due for an excellent investigative series on the deterioration of water quality and water infrastructure in the United States called _Toxic Waters_.

Things have only gotten worse in the year since his last article.

From my perspective, Duhigg deserved a Pulitzer for his work. Big ups!

Mar. 08 2012 12:49 PM
Grant from Harlem

My good habit--Flossing! After getting reamed out a few years ago by my dental hygienist, I vowed to floss every night for 30 days. I think I had heard how it took 30 days to make a habit.. So I did. Now like Brian's running habit, I crave/need to floss every night--I can't go to sleep without flossing. Now I just need more good habits!

Mar. 08 2012 11:51 AM
Alicia from Long Island City

I listen to WNYC instead of watching some inane morning TV program!

Mar. 08 2012 11:42 AM

habits created other related habits

Mar. 08 2012 11:39 AM
Tom from UWS

@ simpsonsmovieblew
Try "Get the party started" - I like the Shirley Bassey cover

Mar. 08 2012 11:39 AM
Tom from UWS

"The first thing I do in the morning is to make my bed and while I am making up my bed I am making up my mind as to what kind of a day I am going to have." - Robert Frost

Mar. 08 2012 11:37 AM
Tom from UWS

See also:

"Happy Habit", the song by Arthur Schwartz and Dorothy Fields, from the show "By the Beautiful Sea"

Mar. 08 2012 11:34 AM
Susan from Upper West Side

Here's how I started my habit of Martial Arts classes. I watched my son's classes for years. He alone among his friends continued all the way to the black belt level. I started to get bored while watching him train for his black belt and felt sorry for him doing so many push ups. So, every time he did a push up, I did a push up. I worked my way up to 80 push ups and then I figured that was good enough to finally give the adult classes a try. It was right after his class. The first time I took a class I was so sore afterwards that could barely walk down the steps. I was AFRAID my legs would stiffen up to the point that I couldn't walk so I went back the next day to work the stiffness out of my legs. I've continued with the classes for three years now because I'm afraid if I stop for too long it will hurt too much to start up again. I'm now at the high brown belt level. If I keep it up, I have a couple of years to go to become a black belt.

Mar. 08 2012 11:23 AM
John from Fanwood

For longer than I can remember, I do 100 stomach crunches and 25 push-ups befor my shower on work days. I'm semi-retired and only work 3 days a week, and I can't seem to do the exercises on my days off. I'll be 65 in April, so I guess it's not such a bad habit.

Mar. 08 2012 11:23 AM
Dan from Hamilton, NJ

I have been trying for years to stop biting my nails. I seem to do it in stressful situations, but what behavior could I modify to stop? I usually do it unconsciously, and I don't even realize it until it's painful or my wife yells at me. Chewing gum 18 hours a day doesn't seem like a great alternative....

Mar. 08 2012 11:21 AM
Susan from Upper West Side

LMAO. Our Martial Arts instructors really messed up our brains. We had a habit of doing a 6 punch sequence of jab-cross, hook-cross, uppercut-cross. They just switched it up to jab-uppercut-cross, hook-uppercut-cross. Those of us that are upper belts really had a much harder time then the lower belts. It was so incredibly frustrating!

Mar. 08 2012 11:16 AM
Tom from UWS

I am a strong believer in the power of habit, good ones and bad ones. This ranges from diet, to TV watching, to exercise ... more important, it includes the habit of how one thinks of oneself: the bait of self-denigration or that of self-respect; the hhavit of success or the habit of failure.

This great power is proven by how hard it is to change them ... which is a good thing as regards "healthy" habits, bad or at least challenging as regards the bad ones.

Mar. 08 2012 11:13 AM

I start every workout with "Make Some Noise" by the Beastie Boys.

It has served me well -- but can anybody recommend a different "start every workout" song?

I think the reward is that starting the workout w a specific song eliminates the need for me to seek out the soundtrack for that day's workout. (although it could just be my daily time to connect w mah boyz!)

Mar. 08 2012 11:13 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.