Flying alone at 14,000 feet Jim suffers a stroke. How will he land safely? Another man’s habits save an entire country from annihilation. These are stories you can’t make up! But you can make up the myths we believe about habits…like how long does it take for a habit to form (hint: it’s not 21 days).


Habits aren’t just about eating behaviors, exercise. They’re not about the big actions that we think make us successful. Instead, habits are thousands of tiny actions that require very little processing power. Enough so that, as researchers have found out. Half of our day is us performing a habitual action. That means half of our day we’re acting, without being consciously aware of our movements, thinking, or impact.

What behavioral changes have you wanted to make but had a hard time accomplishing? And Why? 

Try to consider your day, your routine, Walk yourself through the everyday habits that you haven’t had to think about for a long long time. You may be surprised how much of your day is actually done in the Auto Zone.

Choose one. Just one that feels like it’s begging for some attention.


Use the IF/THEN formula

If I encounter situation X Then I will do Y. 

Or it may be as simple as

If I come to an elevator Then I will take the stairs

If I feel lonely then I will put uplifting music on in the living room rather than snack on ice cream

If my coworker offers me those brownies again Then I’ll ask for an apple

Episode Sources:

NASA, May 1990. Human Factors of Flight-Deck Checklists: The Normal Checklist

Air Service. (1920). General rules to be observed at all U.S. flying fields (News Letter No. V1394- A.S.). Washington, DC: U.S. Government.

Bourke, Fionnuala. 2017. “Anupurba Is Nominated for Our Awards for a Great Reason.” Birminghammail. July 7, 2017. http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/brummies-2017-anupurba-signs-up-13287280.

By Paul Sims for MailOnline. n.d. “Help! I’m Flying Blind: RAF Hero Guides down 65-Year-Old Pilot Unable to See after a Stroke.” Mail Online. Daily Mail. Accessed June 3, 2020. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1083869/Help-Im-flying-blind-RAF-hero-guides-65-year-old-pilot-unable-stroke.html.

“Churchill’s Character: A Rigid Daily Schedule – The Churchill Project – Hillsdale College.” 2019. The Churchill Project – Hillsdale College. February 6, 2019. https://winstonchurchill.hillsdale.edu/churchill-character-daily-schedule/.

Gollwitzer, Peter M. 1999. “Implementation Intentions: Strong Effects of Simple Plans.” American Psychologist. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066x.54.7.493.

Gollwitzer, Peter M., and Paschal Sheeran. 2006. “Implementation Intentions and Goal Achievement: A Meta‐analysis of Effects and Processes.” Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0065-2601(06)38002-1.

Klobas, Mark. 2008. “The First Day of the Blitz: September 7, 1940, by Peter StanskyThe First Day of the Blitz: September 7, 1940, by Peter Stansky. New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 2007. Xii, 212 Pp. $24.00 US (cloth).” Canadian Journal of History. https://doi.org/10.3138/cjh.43.2.315.

Kruger, Justin, and David Dunning. 1999. “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.77.6.1121.

Lally, Phillippa, Cornelia H. M. van Jaarsveld, Henry W. W. Potts, and Jane Wardle. 2010. “How Are Habits Formed: Modelling Habit Formation in the Real World.” European Journal of Social Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.674.

Roy Baumeister on Self-Control & Willpower. 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RICxYzTL_Ps.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890).” 2005. The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, Vol. 3: The Picture of Dorian Gray: The 1890 and 1891 Texts. https://doi.org/10.1093/oseo/instance.00237311.

Wood, Wendy, Jeffrey M. Quinn, and Deborah A. Kashy. 2002. “Habits in Everyday Life: Thought, Emotion, and Action.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 83 (6): 1281–97.

Wood, Wendy, Leona Tam, and Melissa Guerrero Witt. 2005. “Changing Circumstances,

Disrupting Habits.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 88 (6): 918–33.

Webb, Dennis. Interview, Co Founder of Franklin Institute (Now Franklin Covey). November, 2020.

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