How often have you tried to set a new habit that ultimately didn’t stick? We’re sharing a science-based way to create and sustain habits that’s often skipped – and it has nothing to do with willpower.  Joining me in this episode is my spouse, Dr. Andrew Downs, who is a psychologist and expert in behavior change and habit development. Listen in to learn about this super practical and simple way to create automatic and enjoyable healthy habits. 

here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [1:53] Last chance to sign-up for our Feel Good Effect Coaching Certification program that’s all about building a business grounded in and helping others achieve more calm, clarity, and joy through proven habit and mindset frameworks.  
  • [7:57] Understand that the first step for creating new and sustainable habits is to ask ourselves whether this particular habit is actually the right habit for us to add to our lives. 
  • [10:49] Consider that in order for a new habit to stick over time, it must be rewarding to our brain. 
  • [20:52] Learn how to determine what is rewarding to our brain and when to reward ourselves in order to create automatic habits.
  • [22:26] Dive into immediate reinforcement examples to better understand this concept.

links mentioned in this episode

The Feel Good Effect Coaching Certification

The Purpose Habit

How to Create Tiny Habits: Why Small Changes Matter with Dr. BJ Fogg

The Habit Loop, an Interview with Charles Duhigg

Want to Make Good Habits Stick? Here’s How with Gretchen Rubin

The 3 Habits you Need to Create a Simple Capsule Wardrobe with Ashlee Gadd

read the transcript

Robyn Conley Downs: (00:01)

You’re listening to The Feel Good Effect. This is getting in the way of creating healthy habits. And it’s not what you think. We’re gonna tell you what it is and how to change it right now. Let’s make it happen.

Robyn Conley Downs: (00:19)

Radically simple and ridiculously doable, The Feel Good Effect will help you redefine wellness on your terms. Hi, I’m your host Robyn Conley Downs. And I believe that wellness isn’t about achieving another set of impossible standards, but instead finding what works for you, drawing from cutting-edge science on mindfulness habit and behavior change. This podcast offers a collection of small mindset shifts that allow for more calm, clarity, and joy in everyday life and allows you to embrace the idea that gentle is the new perfect. I invite you to listen in, as we cut through the clutter and find the small shifts that create huge changes in your life, less striving, more ease. It’s time to feel good.

Robyn Conley Downs: (01:08)

Well, hey Feel Good fam, I am so glad you’re here for this episode about what’s getting in the way of creating long-term habits, healthy habits, those feel-good habits, those habits that move the needle toward the goals that you really want in life and help you get rid of the extraneous kind of stuff that’s not really connected to what matters for you. And I don’t see this being talked about enough. It’s a science-based way to create and sustain habits and it’s often skipped. So we’re really excited to bring this information for you today. Definitely one to share with a friend, I think it’s really useful and can, but put into practice right now and help you turn one of those behaviors into a habit that you are wanting to add to your life.

Robyn Conley Downs: (01:53)

Our guest today is Dr. Andrew Downs. He is the co-founder and director of The Feel Good Effect Habits and Mindset Coaching Certification. He has a PhD in psychology and is an expert in behavior change and habit development, as well as positive psychology. So we’re very lucky to have his expertise and knowledge here for this free episode today. And this is your last chance to enroll in our spring cohort for the coaching certification that we offer. So no false scarcity here, we’d really only open this up once a year for about a week is enrollment. And that’s because we put so much time and energy and effort into this group. We want you to do it together. We want you to have this supportive community and we really put so much into it that we only offer it once a year. So if you miss enrollment period, this time I’m, and you’re interested, definitely go to become a coach, and you can get on the waitlist for next year. But if it’s something that speaks to you at all, I would say, don’t wait to find out more. Don’t wait to connect with your purpose and with how to move the needle when it comes to habits for yourself, and then being able to use our frameworks and our models that we put years and years into developing, and basically shortcutting the line for your own work and your own business. Like take what we have. We did it all for you. We put it into the certification. Not only do you get to call yourself a Certified Feel Good Effect Habits and Mindset Coach, but like I said, you get all the years of work that we put into this to taking the science and turn it into practical, life-changing skills and strategies and practices. So last call on enrollment. If you go to, you can hopefully join us for this year’s cohort. We are so excited to welcome you in personally. I can’t wait. I know Andrew can’t wait as well. And if you miss the cutoff period, you can always join us on the waitlist as well.

Robyn Conley Downs: (03:56)

And either way, whether you’re interested in work or not, I think you’re gonna get so much out of this episode, super tactical, super practical. We’re talking about the thing that might be standing in the way of habits that you might have not thought of and a very practical way to, to, to change it, to flip it around and to make it work for you. So here we go with Dr. Andrew Downs, Director of The Feel Good Effect Coaching Certification. Andrew, thank you so much for coming back on the show.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (04:26)

Yeah, thanks for having me again.

Robyn Conley Downs: (04:28)

So last time we just had you on a couple weeks ago, so I definitely recommend if people didn’t catch that episode, we were talking about the purpose habit. It’s always already been very popular episode, really giving you some tactical strategies to figure out your purpose. And it’s probably not the way you’ve been told to do it before. So definitely catch that one. It was episode 227 and Andrew gave us a good bio and background in that, uh, episode. So for this one, I wanted to ask you why habits because you have been studying them for all of these years. So what is it about habits and your, like your story that made you interested in that in the first place?

Dr. Andrew Downs: (05:10)

Oh, that’s a good question, Robyn. Uh, why did I get interested in habits in the first place? I think it’s be basically, I’m pretty pragmatic. Um, as you know, um, and I really like things that work very well. Um, and so I think it was back when I was in graduate school and we had our, um, intervention program for children with autism and just using habit science, just pure that’s really the one tool that we use was applied behavior analysis or habit science. And we were able to teach those little kids, you know, 3, 4, 5 years old, everything that they needed. Um, and so teaching them how to talk, how to every pre-academic skill they needed for kindergarten. Um, and these were kids who were not learning through the typical means, um, who were just disconnected from their parents and from others, and not even like responding to people, talking to them, that kind of thing. So that just really opened my eyes to how incredibly powerful habit science is, that you can use basic principles, uh, to intentionally build any behavior that you want and behaviors that last in the long term. And I just, I saw it with my own eyes. It was incredible, um, to see that happen. And it’s not magic though. It’s basic behavioral science. So I just saw how important, how impactful it was, how important it is and how useful it can be. And so, yeah, that’s just very appealing to me as someone who’s interested in helping people change and grow something that’s very effective at helping people change and grow.

Robyn Conley Downs: (06:52)

Yeah. In our marketing copy, we do call it habit magic, but that’s because it’s the, the science of it. And the practicality of making it work in life, I think is very rarely taught. And, um, so it seems a little bit like magic admittedly. You’re way more in the academic research sphere. And I’m a little more now out in the popular media sphere, but where do you think we’re gonna get into one really specific way that we think people are, that’s like one really specific thing that is getting in the way of your own healthy habits. Like you try to make a habit and it doesn’t work. And why is that happening? We’re gonna give you one really specific thing today, but in general, what do you think we’re getting wrong in the popular media when it comes to habits? Like, what are we, what are people missing a lot of the time when they think like, okay, I should have a habit, but I don’t know how to do it.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (07:50)

Yeah. That’s a good question. I mean, I think

Robyn Conley Downs: (07:54)

There’s a lot, I would say

Dr. Andrew Downs: (07:56)

Yeah, yeah.

Robyn Conley Downs: (07:56)

Pick one.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (07:57)

Yeah, there there’s a lot. One is, is it the right habit? You know, and that’s a lot of, a lot of the advice we get from other people is telling to establish habits that aren’t necessarily right for us. So that’s step number one. Is, is this actually the right habit for you to try to add to your life? Second, we also tend to identify the here’s the thing that we wanna make a habit. We, I wanna, you know, eat vegetables, eat vegetarian dinners three nights a week. I want to work out five days a week for this amount of time. So we we’re pretty good. And other people are pretty good at telling us the things that we should try to make a habit in order to be healthy, be happy, et cetera. So that’s great. That’s step one. But one, is it, is it the right thing for you? Maybe, maybe not gotta think about that and get that right. And then, okay. There’s the behavior, but how are you going to get that established? How are you going to do that behavior consistently enough? That it becomes a habit in the long term when we see over and over again, people identify. And I think in the health theory is a good, good example. People identify a healthy habit, um, and they do it for a few weeks, maybe even a month or two, but then over time, they go back to what they were doing before they tried to establish the new habit. And to me, that’s really the biggest problem is just identifying this behavior that you wanna make a habit, but not really attending to the habit science that surrounds, and that will support making that behavior a habit that last in the long term.

Robyn Conley Downs: (09:37)

Yeah. And I think a lot of what we’ve done with the coaching certification is integrating all of those steps. And particularly that first one we found and felt like that first step of is it the right habit is grossly missed across the board. Like a lot of people are diving into that second. Like how do we make this stick? How do we make it last? But very little pay attention being paid to, how do you know it’s the right one? We talked a little bit about that in our last episode. And again, a lot of that’s in coaching certification, but let’s talk about that stuff that you just mentioned. Yes. It’s kind of easy to change a behavior in the short term, but the longer-term sustainability of it is really, really challenging for folks. And there’s ano quite a few reasons. We’re not gonna go on into all of them today, but there’s one that I felt like was really, I write about it in the book, but I think it’s not one that we’ve talked about enough here and is not taught across the board and other places for folks. So can you tell us like one reason that our habit, that our behavior, that we’re trying to turn into a habit why we can do it for a short term, but why it’s much harder to get it to turn into a long term habit?

Dr. Andrew Downs: (10:49)

Sure. Yeah. One, so one of the keys to making a behavior habit is based in our brain and when our brain likes something, it releases dopamine. Um, and so there’s specific neural systems for this release and uptake of dopamine, which makes us feel good. Um, and when our brain gets that dopamine hit whatever we were doing right before that, we’re gonna do it again. That is what makes something into a behavior that we are driven to repeat over and over and over again. Um, and which becomes a habit. So this is true for healthy habits, but also for unhealthy habits. Uh, for example, people who, um, have substance abuse problems with drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine, those drugs result when someone ingests those drugs, they, their results in a massive, massive release of dopamine. And so someone is then driven by that dopamine to engage in that behavior of taking that drug over and over and over again, even if their life is falling apart around them and they’re losing everything, that’s important to them. That’s how strong that dopamine is in forming a habit. Um, so that’s an example of an undesirable habit, but the same is true for healthy habits that we wanna add to our life, um, that it has to be rewarding to our brain. Otherwise, it’s not gonna stick in the long run. It won’t become automatic. It won’t become something we’re driven to do day after day after, day after day. Um, and so the behavior that we’re trying to has to be rewarding, it has to be something that makes us feel good in our brain in order to turn it into a habit.

Robyn Conley Downs: (12:43)

Yes. So we could end the episode right there. Like that’s very important. And I think I’ve talked with other habit experts on the show about this. I think we had BJ fog. We’ve had Charles Duhigg, we’ve had numbers of people who we’ve talked about this with and Gretchen Rubin. I think that people, the whole willpower discipline American perspective is that you shouldn’t have to need a reward or reinforcement that you should just do it because you’re motivated and you should just do it because you’re disciplined. But like, that’s not, it’s just not true. You, you have to have a, some kind of reward and that hits that dopamine else. It’s not gonna stay like, that’s just science, right.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (13:32)

It is just science. Yeah. And it’s weird. It’s kind of, I don’t know, it’s sort of like an part of the American, you know, cultural myth is that we are, you know, we’re tough and go-getters, and you know, no pain, no gain. And just, you know, you just gotta work, work hard and, um, you know, dust yourself off and go back onto the field, even if you’re injured and just power through, and this is how, how we’re supposed to live,

Robyn Conley Downs: (13:54)

Um, and how we’re supposed us to change, like how we accomplish some goal or how we, you know, change the way that we are in the world.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (14:01)

Right? Yeah. We just gut it out and just put our head down and keep grinding and then we’ll end up getting what we want and reaching our goal. And it’s unfortunate that that’s this cultural myth that we all work on our operating under. I mean, yeah, of course working hard is fine, but if you’re trying to change something in your life and it’s all struggle and you’re not getting anything out of it, when you’re trying, when you’re doing that, then it’s just, it’s just not gonna last. It just won’t. And there’s tons of research done backing that up.

Robyn Conley Downs: (14:34)

Right. And so it’s why, for example, social media becomes such a habit so quickly because they have engineered the platforms to give you tiny dopamine hits, right? So for example, if you open up Instagram, you get an instant dopamine hit of novelty. Like there’s always something new to see or any social app for that matter. There’s little hearts that are bright red, there are new notifications. And that right-hand quarter that are in bright red that is purposely designed to give you tiny little dopamine hits, because the faster that you can and associate that activity, that behavior with dopamine, then the more likely you are to do it to the point where it’s just automatically, you’re opening your phone multiple times a day, right?

Dr. Andrew Downs: (15:21)

Oh yeah, absolutely. And that’s not a mistake. You’re right. Yeah. They, the social media companies, uh, invest a lot in behavioral engineering. Um, so psychologists like me who are using habit science to get you to pick up and look at your phone as often as possible and for as long as possible. And the data suggests that they’re very good at that.

Robyn Conley Downs: (15:41)

And because of that, we might, you know, find that our, our goal is to like read more or to go on a walk or I, in my business I don’t wanna spend so much time on Instagram. I wanna work on something like a long-term project that won’t pay off tomorrow. It won’t pay off in a year from now. And yet I find myself continuing to pick up the phone and go on social media or for check my email or, you know, any other quick hit dopamine versus something that I’m not getting an immediate reward for. And so that’s what we wanted to talk to you about today, um, was not just to be aware to start the awareness is the first step of change always. So when you have that knowledge, it is power. Um, there’s nothing wrong with you. This is like fully just how the brain works. But beyond that, there is something many things we can do. Not all of them we’re gonna talk about today, but one that’s pretty interesting and helpful is called delay discounting. So you wanna tell us what that is?

Dr. Andrew Downs: (16:42)

Yeah, sure. Delay discounting is a pretty basic principle that the reward, you know, in order for a reward and that dopamine hit to be most effective, it has to, it should come right after the behavior. Um, so you, you do the thing. You’re trying to make a habit and you get rewarded immediately. That’s not often true. Like the example you just gave Robyn that you’re, you know, working on something that you’re not gonna complete for a year. If you are not gonna finish this project for a year, that reward is so far out in the future. That is not gonna have any impact on your day-to-day behavior. So delay discounting means a reward tomorrow is much more valuable than a reward that you’ll get a year from now. Um, so if I were to offer you a hundred dollars and say, I’ll give you a hundred dollars right now, but if you wait until tomorrow, I’ll give you 150. Most people would say, okay, I’ll wait till tomorrow for that extra $50. But if I say, I’ll give you a hundred dollars right now, or in 10 years, I’ll give you $150. Most people would say, I’m not gonna wait 10 years. Just give me the a hundred dollars now. Um, so that’s delayed discounting that that hundred, that extra $50 becomes much less valuable to us the further away into the future it gets. Um, and so that’s why when we’re working on a long term project, that we’re not gonna get the reward in a, for a year, we’re constantly distracted by all those little immediate dopamine hits that we can get when our email notification dings or our social media prompts us to pay attention to it. Um, those are, those are the rewards that are our brain likes, cuz they’re right then. And right there. Not a year from now.

Robyn Conley Downs: (18:22)

Yeah. That’s we have that example in the book and the research plays that out. They’ve actually done research on people, offering them money now or money in the future and across the board, people will take one day to get a little more money, but they won’t, they will take a hundred dollars today versus waiting 10 years for 50 more dollars, even though it shouldn’t matter, right. $50 should be the same value whether you get it now or in the future.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (18:46)

Yeah. I guess, you know, when we talk about money, you factor in inflation, all that too, but you know, the principle stands for, for anything, you know, give a kid, Hey, if you’re, if you’re, if you’re, uh, eat, eat your whole dinner, you’ll get dessert right afterwards. Or if you eat your whole dinner, I’ll give you dessert in a month, that has zero impact on, on the child. Right?

Robyn Conley Downs: (19:04)

And we don’t have to go into whether we should be using dessert for finishing dinner. That’s a whole nother conversation on the podcast. But to, to give a productivity example that I kind of started, and we could give a wellness example too. If I am working on something that’s a year out, which I often do in my job, I’m working on something at all, almost all the time. That’s, that’s not gonna be completed for a year. And I have a project going, that’s not gonna be done for three years. When I wrote my book, the book wasn’t gonna come out for two years. And so it’s not for me a matter of discipline or willpower because that just doesn’t work. And because listen, why do I check my email when I should be working on that project that’s three months out? Why do I pick up my phone when I’m working on a webpage That’s not gonna be live for three months or to a year? Because one gives me a quick dopamine hit and the other doesn’t and the dopamine hit isn’t just likes and comments. It’s also for me, checking something off my list, like a closed loop, you know, an email it’s like, okay, I answered it. I can check that off my list. Or I responded all, all my comments on Instagram, check it off, but working on like an open-ended project, much less rewarding. And, and I think wellness is the same way. If I say, I wanna change the way I eat. And then I say, I’m gonna add more vegetables, every meal. Am I getting a dopamine hit? Every time I add a veggie to my meal? Probably not. So give us some tips. Now, if we know that delay discounting is real and that we know that for open-ended, long-term things, we’re gonna have a lot. It’s gonna be more difficult to make those habits because we’re, we’re competing with all of these other dopamine-intensive habits in our lives.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (20:52)

Yeah. That’s a really good question. So yeah. So let’s, um, take the example of you wanna write a book and it’s gonna take you a year to write this book. Well, okay. You’re not gonna access that reward. That really huge reward of completing the book and that sense of satisfaction. That’s gonna be a year from now, so that will not impact your day-to-day behavior. So what’s the day-to-day behavior you have to engage in, in order to end up accessing that huge reward at the end? Well, you have to sit down and write and you have to write words that are gonna eventually equal a book. So what you can do is very intentionally reward yourself each time you write anything, and it doesn’t matter how much you write, you just write. And that is making progress towards that goal. And you must reward that progress right then right then as you’re doing it. So you can make your writing station a pleasurable place to be somewhere where you enjoy. And of course only, you know, what’s really rewarding to you what your brain really likes. But as soon as you get done with that writing, you should pause and reward yourself. Um, whether it be like a treat that you like or giving yourself a high five, or just doing some positive self-talk or get on social media, cuz you find that enjoyable and relaxing, whatever it is, every time you do that daily behavior, that’s gonna bring you towards your goal. As soon as you’re finished pause and reward yourself with something that you like and something that your brain likes and that makes you feel good.

Robyn Conley Downs: (22:26)

Even if it’s a check bot, like if you, like, if you’re getting dopamine from checking things off your list, then like make a checkbox for every time you complete an hour task. And I know that this sounds perhaps a little silly, but it, it, it works. So it’s not silly at all. If a checkmark or a checking things off is you’re a little bit of a dopamine hit, like by all means set up a system where you get to check the box. You know, I think that’s one reason people actually enjoy things like fitness trackers. They can be used positively or negatively, but things like fitness trackers or veggie tracker on your phone. Like if, if, if that checkmark is the thing then, and you know, that works for you, that alone can be a little bit of a dopamine hit for you.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (23:14)

Oh yeah, absolutely. Um, yeah. And it’s yeah, we, we tend to think of rewards, you know, something you alluded to before like, oh, like this is something we shouldn’t need, or this is a bribe or of some sort or it’s an external motivator that’s I, I should be internally motivated or intrinsically motivated. Yep. You know? Yeah. I’ve heard all of those things from so many different people and it’s just, yeah, sure. You can look at it that way, but you can also look at what actually works and what our brain needs and the habit science and it is a critical, critical part. Um, and it doesn’t have to be a treat or something tangible. It can be something as simple as, like you said, checking that off. If that brings you a deep satisfaction, which it does for me, that’s a huge reward for me putting something on a to-do list, finishing it and crossing it off. That feels really good to me. My brain loves that. And so I’m driven to do it if that’s works for you then yeah. Then that is a reward and that’s something you should use to increase that behavior.

Robyn Conley Downs: (24:13)

I was thinking about a guest we’ve had on the show who talked about capusule wardrobes, which is not at all Ashley Gad. It’s not what she does professionally. She’s a writer. And um, one of the things she’s trying to write a well, she is writing a book and I notice that one of the things she does is light a candle every time she’s writing. And then eventually the, a candle burns all the way down and then she saves the candle and she has a box of candles that she’s burned while she’s writing. And that is a way to reinforce the behavior. Like that’s giving her a little dopamine hit because it’s showing her that I made this much progress today. Right. I burned this much down on the candle and then she can actually look and see at the time that she spent. And that obviously is, is, is motivating to her rewarding to her. So it doesn’t have to be a piece of candy or buying yourself some kind of fancy thing, but it’s knowing yourself and back to kind of how we started this conversation. Like what’s the first thing that matters is picking the right habit. And then the, and then it’s also like knowing what works for you. But if you can start to hone in on those things, you can create, it’s not even artificial motivation, it’s it is like an intrinsic reward, but it’s an intentional reward because if you just hope that it it’s a reinforcing enough without adding anything in intentionally, it probably won’t turn into a long term behavior or your behavior will not turn into a habit over the long term.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (25:48)

Right? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, yeah. Think about someone who’s, who has been inactive, like hasn’t done any physical activity for a long time, cause maybe they were sick or had an injury or they just have been sedentary for a while and they’re trying to start exercising. You know, usually that’s a pretty unrewarding experience at first. It’s too hard they’re they can’t breathe very well. They, they get sore, they might, you know, strain a muscle. So there’s, there’s pain involved. There’s a lot of discomfort typically for people. And so all of that is very unrewarding. So it’s really unrealistic to think that someone’s gonna put themselves through something unpleasant over and over and over and over and over again until they get to the point several weeks later, or even months later where it actually starts to feel okay on it or maybe even starts to feel good. So there has to be something to bridge that gap, um, because physical activity and exercise is, does re result in a Domine release for someone who enjoys it and someone who is feeling good while they’re doing it. But for those initial stages, to getting to that point, you have to have a reward after right. You engage in it in the behavior and you also have to do the behavior at a level that it’s not so unpleasant that your brain is telling you don’t do this anymore. This hurts. And I don’t, I don’t want you doing this. So it’s starting at a place where it’s not so unpleasant and ideally making it so at actually feels kind of good starting at that level. But if you can’t quite get there, then it’s intentionally putting that reward right after it. Um, whatever works for you and whatever make gives your brain. That little bit of dopamine, that little bit of feel-good that I accomplished this, I did this and now I’m driven to do it again tomorrow.

Robyn Conley Downs: (27:42)

And that could even look like for those of you who are, you know, need more external accountability or social support, like that could be a text to a friend that says like, I did it today and they text you back. Good job. You know, like it can be something that’s simple or that’s why the communities are so powerful being part of a community of other people who are doing it too, so that you can say, Hey, I did this, um, and get that social support. So there’s many ways that you can build in that immediate reinforcement and it can look many different ways. But the key here that we wanted to share was just this concept of delayed discounting and how it’s often overlooked when you’re trying to turn a behavior into a habit.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (28:28)

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it is. It’s, it is overlooked for so many reasons. Um, and it’s very important and very, very impactful, um, when people can just embrace the truth of it and just intentionally build that into their day to day life, um, to do more of the things that they wanna be doing and that they want to have as a part of their life.

Robyn Conley Downs: (28:51)

Yeah. Unless it’s the things that they don’t like, which we won’t go into today, but I think this is really, really helpful. And uh, it’s always really fun. We teach this in the certification, we teach it, it’s in the book, there all kinds of places and it never gets old. And it’s always helpful for me to remember where I’m like, Hmm, how can I be using this to my advantage in my daily life? Like, I’ve kind of, you know, I, I learn it and I forget it and I learn it and I forget it. So I’ll definitely be reevaluating, a few things in my own life with this lens here in the next couple days. So super helpful. Anything else you wanna add as we wrap up here related to delayed discounting?

Dr. Andrew Downs: (29:32)

No, I think that pretty much covers the most of it.

Robyn Conley Downs: (29:35)

Good. Okay. Well then how we’ve mentioned before Andrew does not, Andrew’s like the very like intentional behind-the-scenes person. He doesn’t have a social media account. He has very little presence on our front-facing on our websites. He does many, many things, um, behind the scenes, but there is one way to work with him. And that is through our Feel Good Effect Coaching Certification, which is enrolling pretty soon if not right now. And we’ll, we do enrollment once a year. So if you miss the window, of course, that would be another opportunity. But do you wanna tell us like real quick, what, what you’re excited about with the certification related to like this habit work?

Dr. Andrew Downs: (30:16)

Yeah. In some ways, you know, the, the habit stuff is at the core of, of the certification program and, you know, from helping people identify, is it the right habit? Is this going to help me get where I want to go? And then in my day to day life, how am I going to insert this behavior and build it into a habit? Um, a consistent habit that I’m driven to engage in day after day after day. And that is gonna take me where I wanna go and is gonna be sustainable and eventually effortless in the long run because it becomes automat it’s automatically cued by the environment and then automatically rewarded by our brain with that dopamine hit. Um, and so that is one of the most fun parts, um, of, you know, working with clients and, and as a coach and just helping them see, okay, here’s something that would really, really move the needle for me and make my life better. And here are some real strategies that are going to take me way beyond willpower and motivation and help me make this part of my life in a way that actually one works and is sustainable and lasts in the long run.

Robyn Conley Downs: (31:35)

Awesome. Yeah. You can tell, we, we get kind of excited about it because it’s life-changing and it’s a, as we kind of started, it’s, it’s practical and it’s pragmatic and it’s something that you can actually take action on. And it’s really cool to be able to share that with our coaches and then for them to be able to go out there and share them with many, many more people than we could have on our own. So thank you so much for coming today and talking to us about the science of habits and how we can make it work better in our lives.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (32:06)

Thanks for having me. It’s fun.

Robyn Conley Downs: (32:09)

That was Dr. Andrew Downs Director and Co-founder of The Feel Good Effect Coaching Certification. We focus on habits and mindset that will move the needle in your life, help you feel really good and help you change the lives of others. So, so excited about that. So if you are interested, go to and you can either find out about enrolling and join us for this spring. I really cannot wait to welcome you in, or if the timing’s not right, you can get on the waitlist as always. I wanna thank you so much for listening for being part of this conversation and this Feel Good movement until next time, here’s to feeling good.

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