Habitually resolving to be curious

For many of us new year = new start. Our minds turn to the list of things we plan to do, change, improve and discard in our lives. At my gym a couple of weeks ago we were told by our instructor to get up extra early to book onto classes to ensure we don’t lose out due to the post-Christmas enthusiasm to finally get fit this year.

Even if you aren’t someone who tends to make new year resolutions you will have other habits in your life. Some of these are good and just reduce the amount of decision making we feel we need to do. Other habits aren’t so good. Some we are aware of. Others operate at the unconscious level.


In our book Risky Business we introduce you to eight characters that embody over 100 unconscious biases. We also explore how the habit loop initiates patterns of thinking that give voice to these characters. The Habit Loop is this: (1) There’s a trigger, followed by (2) a behaviour or routine, followed by (3) a reward. For each character we explore how changing elements within the habit loop can help us mitigate the work these eight characters and help us to develop new, more wholesome thinking habits.

We were therefore delighted to come across this short TED talk  by psychiatrist Judson Brewer. And, even more delighted that his studies into the relationship between mindfulness and addiction has cast a light on the importance of curiosity. So, if you are really intent on making some changes in your life, learn about the habit loop and get curious about what’s going on in driving and shaping your thinking and behaviours. It could be life-changing!

In response to this talk and what you have heard:

  • Is there a habit in your life that you want to change and could get curious about?   
  • If you are familiar with our work in Risky Business (and if not, you can get a quick overview here ) think about an important decision you are about to make and get curious about which of the eight characters is showing up, how they are steering your thinking and whether you want to change this.