Curious & Curiouser Podcast, Episode 30: Willpower is a Lie & Other Truths About Habit Change

Today’s episode of Curious & Curiouser is all about habit change. Specifically:

How do you change a habit? How do you replace an old habit with a new one? Is habit change about willpower?

In this conversation, Tracey and I bust the myth of willpower and explain why we don’t actually think it has that much to do with habit change. We talk about what really matters when it comes replacing an old habit with a new, healthier habit, and discuss some of our own attempts at habit change.

Tracey and I also offer some advice about how to get started with meditation, explore how small actions can lead to big change, and talk about how technology and social media play into all of this.

As always, reviews and 5-star rating in iTunes are appreciated. So please hop over to the show page to leave one. Your support is very appreciated!

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Highlights from this episode:

  • Do we believe in willpower?
  • Momentum vs. motivation and the concept of inertia
  • The importance of identifying the “why” behind habit change
  • Changing a habit and making a different choice is always going to be uncomfortable and challenging at first
  • Our brains like to be efficient, which is part of why changing habits is so hard
  • The golf swing metaphor for habit change
  • The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin
  • There’s not one right way to change a habit
  • How getting curious about yourself can facilitate successful habit change
  • Liz Winters of Sprout Wellness
  • How knowing ourselves has helped Tracey and me with habit change in our own lives
  • How does believing in your own worth affect habit change?
  • What happens when other people in your life have negative responses to the changes you make, especially when it comes to making healthier choices?
  • Social pressure to stay the same
  • How our identities change as we build new, healthier habits
  • Familiar discomfort vs. unfamiliar discomfort
  • How family systems affect and are affect by changes we make as individuals
  • Changing our habitual patterns of thinking
  • What happens when your partner isn’t on board with your desired habit change?
  • Most of what we do is habitual and automatic
  • Three stages of change
  • Can new habits become automatic?
  • How do you set yourself up with success with habit change?
  • Some advice on getting started with meditation
  • The Art of Taking Action by Gregg Krech
  • How taking one, small action can be therapeutic for both anxiety and depression
  • Turn Off Your Phone. And Other Tips for Making Magic on my website
  • Habit change as it relates to technology and social media, and why I am thinking about getting off of Facebook
  • And more!

Piquing Our Curiosity:

Mari Andrew, a writer and illustrator, whose Instagram might just be my favorite out there. She posts a new illustration almost daily, and they so simply and beautifully express a wide variety of emotions and experiences to which most of us can relate. I have cried more than once seeing her work, as so much of what she creates resonates in expectedly profound ways. I’m certain you’ll love her work, too. So check her out on Instagram, and visit her online here.


Remember, if you have any topics or questions you’d like us to address in a future episode, comment here or email us at our joint email account: We’d love to hear from you!

Finally, one more request for you to please head over to iTunes and leave us a 5-star rating and/or review if you’re enjoying the podcast. Please note that you have to search for Curious & Curiouser in iTunes in order to leave a review — even if you’re already subscribed. Thanks so much for the support and for taking this annoying extra step to rate us. We really appreciate it!