How to Build Better Habits with Dr. Laurie Darling

In this episode of the Building Us podcast, co-hosts Erik Garcia, CFP® and Dr. Matt Morris, LPC, LMFT interviews Dr. Laurie Darling, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and Owner of HealthWise Psychology. Dr. Laurie talks about the system of developing and maintaining healthy habits and behaviors. She also shares her knowledge and expertise, in understanding the process of every habit and every behavior.

Episode Highlights:

  • Erik introduces Laurie Darling. (4:25)
  • Laurie shares her background. (4:43)
  • What are habits, and why are they powerful? (6:08)
  • Laurie shares that habits allow us to multi-task, and have more complexity to our activities. (8:21)
  • Laurie mentions that the development of healthy habits can help you reach your goals, and ultimately to be the person that you’re trying to be. (10:00)
  • Laurie shares that the nature of habits is trying to devise the right system that’s going to get you to your goal. (13:00)
  • Laurie shares that if you focus on the path over some time, rather than the end goal, you’re going to maintain the motivation to keep going. (17:31)
  • Laurie mentions that it’s very rare that anybody becomes an overnight success. (19:15)
  • How do Laurie coach people to develop better habits? (33:01)
  • Laurie shares that every habit or behavior has several steps and these are the Queue, the Craving, the Response, and the Reward. (33:28)
  • Laurie mentions that the best way to develop a habit is to have a plan. (35:19)
  • What are Laurie’s thoughts about the strategy of making habits known? (48:59)
  • Laurie explains the accountability coin and the supported coin. (49:25)
  • Laurie shares that on a neural level with the neurons in our brain. When you’re learning a behavior, it becomes more automatic over time through repetition, and it’s called long term potentiation. (57:26)
  • Laurie shares that success is a system to continuously improve, and a process to refine. (1:02:13)

Key Quotes:

  • “Habits can be helpful because every behavior that we engage in every action that we do, has an expense associated with it in terms of our mental energy. So you’re pulling on your mental energy every time you do something, every time you think about something, engaging in some sort of action, and habits by nature because they’re automatic, and they’re performed quickly and without even really thinking about them.” – Dr. Laurie Darling
  • “There’s something within that system of developing and maintaining the habit that is the difficult part for people to nail down and figure out.” – Dr. Laurie Darling
  • “When you’re learning a new habit or a new way of thinking, you’re susceptible to go in so many different directions. And setting yourself up for success by surrounding yourself with people who you want to be more like, who you look up to, who have the same goals and values that you have, is a much better way to go about doing it.”  Dr. Laurie Darling

Resources Mentioned:

About Erik Garcia

Hi there, I'm Erik. How you manage your money and other resources impacts practically every aspect of your life. I help individuals and families invest plan for a more secure and predictable financial future. Thanks for taking time on my site!

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