390: Habits different from what you read on social media with guest expert Wendy Wood

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Wendy Wood, author of Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick

Bill Ringle and Wendy Wood dive into the distinctions of what habits are so that with accurate detains and understandings, you can select and upgrade your habits for success as a small business leader.

>>> Visit MyQuestforTheBest.com for complete show notes and more expert advice and inspiring stories to propel your small business growth. My Quest for the Best is a top-rated small business podcast with over 350 episodes of thought-provoking and insightful interviews with today’s top thought leaders and business experts. Host Bill Ringle’s mission with this show is to provide the strategies, insights, and resources that will unlock the growth potential of your business through these 

Interview Insights

Top 3 Takeaways

  1. Our habit-memory comes from actions we repeat because they reward us with the desired result.
  2. People in decision-making positions should lead less from the gut and more from conscious thinking.
  3. Avoid overexerting yourself through willpower and form better habits faster.

Read the Show Notes from this Episode

  • Wendy was inspired by her father, who had high standards in everything he did with his children. [01:44]
  • The value of setting up high standards resonated throughout her work. Wendy explains how our standards influence the repeated behaviors we create. [04:16]
  • What role do habits play in running a successful business? [07:07]
  • While the job may be different and the context may vary, there are reasons why we always go back to what’s familiar. [09:25]
  • How are habits and rituals related but not identical? [13:23]
  • Why asking questions is a great habit. [14:55]
  • How do our habits make up for our limited decision-making ability? [17:10]
  • Is wearing Michael Jordan’s go-to brand every day a habit or a superstition? [18:19]
  • The research found that firefighters, especially experienced ones, don’t really have a plan and instead rely on habits. [21:31]
  • While habits are important, decision makers must dedicate the energy and the time to make better decisions. [22:52]
  • What are the details of the relationship between habits and willpower? [25:09]
  • What is your best advice on forming habits? [28:01]
  • My Quest for the Best lightning round begins.[44:54]

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Expert Bio

Wendy Wood is a research psychologist who devoted the last 30 years to understanding how habits work. She is Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at the University of Southern California, where she also served as Vice Dean of Social Sciences.
A 2008 Radcliffe Institute Fellow, and 2018 Distinguished Chair of Behavioral Science at the Sorbonne/INSEAD in Paris, Wendy has advised the World Bank, the Centers for Disease Control, and industries such as Proctor & Gamble and Lever Bros.


Wendy completed her graduate degree in psychology at the University of Massachusetts. She went on to be the James B Duke Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. Having published over 100 scientific articles, she received numerous awards for her research and teaching. For the past 30 years, her research has been continuously funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, and the Templeton Foundation.

Contact Info and Social Media for Wendy Wood

Resources Mentioned During the Interview

Below are key people, places, books, quotes, websites and other resources that we discussed so you can explore further.

Books Authored by Wendy Wood

Good Habits, Bad Habits by Wendy Wood
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