067 – Dr. Amy Johnson: How to Break Up With Bad Habits: The No Willpower Approach!

by | Jun 25, 2017

how to change habits

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If somebody asked you how to change habits, you’d probably tell that person that he or she had better have strong willpower. That’s because habits are usually associated with willpower, whether you want to ditch a bad one or develop good ones. This is why ditching or acquiring habits is harder than it needs to be.

This episode, I have Dr. Amy Johnson, psychologist and author of Little Book of Big Change: The No-Willpower Approach to Breaking Any Habit. Yes, she’s here to show us how to change habits without having anything to do with willpower! Change is all about having the right perspective on habits.

Here are the some of the main points we discussed during this episode:

  • First off, Dr. Amy defines habit as recurrent way of thinking that we take seriously. Behind every single habit is a thought that shows up in our head that we take as true. In other words, a habit is what we do based on what we are thinking and believing at the moment.
  • The thought processes that influence our habits include those that are at the subconscious level. In fact, we’re not aware of some thoughts until we notice how we’re feeling or what we’re doing.
  • The brain is plastic and malleable. Through our behavior and our thinking that we take seriously, we get our brains habituated to things. The reverse is also true. When we choose not to act on certain thoughts, our brains go the other way.
  • Thoughts show up; we don’t make them happen. They are a stream of energy going through us. We shouldn’t be judged or blamed for them.
  • We are not bad people for having habits. Most of our habits stem from our attempts at making ourselves feel better.
  • You are in a position of power when watch your thoughts from an observer’s standpoint. You realize that thoughts just come and go. You can choose whether or not to act on them — that’s how you change habits. See urges as any other thought. You don’t have to act to make it go away. It will just pass.

We can have power over our habits. It’s less about discipline and self-control and more about having a deep understanding of how the mind works. I hope that this episode on how to change habits has helped you gain some valuable insights that will empower you to master your habits so that you can change your life for the better.

Last week’s episode was all about self-sabotage. In this coaching session, I share three simple steps on how to stop sabotaging yourself permanently. I highly recommend this episode particularly if you’re trying to kick a bad habit. You check it out here.

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Links mentioned in this episode:

Dr. Amy’s website: http://www.DrAmyJohnson.com
Little School of Big Change: https://www.TheLittleSchoolofBigChange.com
The Crave Cure: https://www.stephaniedodier.com/cravecure
Community: https://www.stephaniedodier.com/community
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Got a question for Stephanie you’d like her to answer on how to change habits, or just want to join our community of women?

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If you haven’t yet downloaded my guide to emotional eating, you might want to do this while you listen this week’s episode.


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I’m Stephanie Dodier – Non-Diet Nutritionist and Coach. I help women fight diet culture by reshaping their mind not their body. I have been hosting a million downloads podcast- It’s Beyond The Food for over 8 years and created the Going Beyond The Food Method™️, which was born from my own journey with a 25 years dieting career  and has since grown into a global movement.

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