E40: How to build habits that stick: expert tips from Samuel Salzer

Season #3

This episode features an interview with Samuel Salzer about building habits. Samuel is a renowned expert on the topic, and he shares his insights on how to effectively change your habits. This episode is a must-listen for anyone who wants to learn more about building habits and how to make lasting change

Quotes from Samuel:

  • “The whole idea here is that even if we give people the right information, they might go from knowing something to having the intention to do something. But that's still not enough. People have the best intentions. Doesn't really change the world. What changed the world is what people do.” Samuel Salzer


  • “Get comfortable with getting uncomfortably specific” Samuel Salzer


Three Aha Moments

(There are so many it was really hard to pull out three aha moments. Your Brainfuel newsletter has a greater breakdown so if you are not subscribed you’re missing out!)

But if we had to choose our top three insights

  • Habits make up almost 50% of our autopilot behaviour! Which makes changing habits especially difficult. Don’t take for granted your audience is aware of the habit you are asking them to change!
  • Reward matters when you are forming a habit but not so much when it has shifted into your
  • There is no neutral environment. We are always being influenced – intentionally or not. IKEA are a good example of intentional when we know it. Samuel shares a Google work project that increased water consumption 5 x and decreased biscuit consumption by 30%.

Extra one for luck

  • Social belonging is the key that can unlock the door to change. There are lots of ways to adopt social proof to increase the desire to belong. FOMO is alive and kicking.

The book that changed Samuel’s life


Useful links


[00:55] - The King of Habits Samual Salzer

[02:52] - Samuel Salzer working at improve

[06:48] - Understanding Habits

[08:00] - Components of Habit

[11:00] - The Role of reward

[13:00] - System 1 and System 2

[15:13] - Engaging with Long-Term Behavioral changes

[15:26] - Breaking down into steps

[19:11] - Duolingo Failing users

[20:30] - Easy or Rewarding

[26:09] - Understanding Motivation

[31:11] - The goal is not to motivate people

[32:20] - Autonomy Buy-In

[33:36] - Creating Intervention

[35:22] - Changing minds with Canvasing

[36:59] - Accessible Science

[39:26] - Dive into the driving forces of behaviors

[42:30] - Habitual Coach Professionals

[45:20] - The One Book