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02/10/2012

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick of the Week

Jeanne’s Podcast Pick is a weekly First Person Arts blog post that lets Jeanne, the Marketing Intern, share with you a recent story that has sparked her interest from the World Wide Interwebs. Please feel free to comment if you are moved to do so!

In a favorite TedTalk of mine called Try Something New for 30 Days, computer scientist Matt Cutts inspired me to incorporate new healthy habits into my life. Cutts suggests that aspiring small and sustainable changes increases the likelihood that those changes will stick.

My first habit change: Have a glass of water first thing in the morning. Success! My next habit: Stretch for 10 minutes a day. Failure. One day, having not stretched before bedtime and feeling warn-out, I chose to sleep rather than to stretch.

It is easy to slip-up when no one is holding you accountable but yourself. To come out on top you

must have the capacity to finish a goal simply because you’ve defined it as such. Some find this process excruciating and look for other means of motivation like a Commitment Device.

Steve Levitt describes a Commitment Device as a deal one makes with the current self and the future self. It is an incentive to stay on track because the Commitment Device is a steep punishment should the current self flounder.

In the Freakonomics podcast episode Save me from Myself, authors Steven J Dubner and Steve Levitt explore the effectiveness of Commitment Devices. They present several case studies including Adam Scott, author of The Cold Turkey Diaries, who was determined to give up 42 vices for 30 days or else mail a check for $750 to someone he despises: Oprah.

My Pick of the Week: Save me from Myself

Jeanne Lyons

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