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Home » How to Break Away from Habit & Follow Through on Your Goals: Sabine Doebel (Transcript)

How to Break Away from Habit & Follow Through on Your Goals: Sabine Doebel (Transcript)

Sabine Doebel

Research shows that brain’s executive function has a profound impact on your life – it correlates with academic achievement, mental and physical health, making money and saving money, and even staying out of jail. In this informative talk, Psychologist Sabine Doebel explores the factors that affect executive function — and how you can use it to break bad habits and achieve your goals.


Sabine Doebel – Psychologist

So, I have a confession to make.

I only recently learned how to drive. And it was really hard. Now, this wasn’t an older brain thing.

Do you remember what it was like when you first learned how to drive, when every decision you made was so conscious and deliberate? I’d come home from my lessons completely wiped out mentally.

Now, as a cognitive scientist, I know that this is because I was using a lot of something called “executive function.”

Executive function is our amazing ability to consciously control our thoughts, emotions and actions in order to achieve goals, like learning how to drive. It’s what we use when we need to break away from habit, inhibit our impulses and plan ahead.

But we can see it most clearly when things go wrong. Like, have you ever accidentally poured orange juice on your cereal? Or ever start scrolling on Facebook and suddenly realize you’ve missed a meeting?

Or maybe this one is more familiar: Ever planned to stop at the store on the way home from work and then drive all the way home instead, on autopilot?

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