The Psychology of Building Habits with Dr. Heather McKee



Today on Better! we’re joined by Dr. Heather McKee, the UK’s leading lifestyle behaviour change specialist, keynote speaker and founder of Heather’s mission is to offer a sustainable, evidence-based alternative to an industry saturated with quick fixes and health fads. We talk about changing your behaviours to achieve your goals, building habits using “Skillpower” instead of willpower, and the importance of flexible habits. Dr. McKee takes us on a deep dive through the ins & outs of behaviour change, and how to use science to tackle your goals. This conversation is a true masterclass on habits and goals, and you’ll leave feeling excited to take on your New Year’s Resolutions…whatever they may be!


0:00 – Intro

8:45 – What is a behaviour change specialist?

15:14 – The challenge with achieving “outcome” goals

19:30 – Creating intrinsic goals

23:04 – Why motivation doesn’t work & how to stop relying on it

27:00 – Debunking the 21 day habit myth

30:14 – How long it actually takes to build a habit & how to do it

33:23 – A word from our sponsors

38:17 – Setting flexible habits

47:00 – Dealing with temptation and competing motivations

56:55 – Using “skillpower” instead of willpower

1:03:36 – The COM-B model of behaviour change

1:07:18 – Using a temptation tracker to understand your bad habits

1:10:30 – Building your environment to support your habits

1:15:13 – Why change happens when we feel good

1:24:30 – Outro


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Heather’s Links:

I’m Dr. Stephanie

Part geek, part magic, and all the way passionate about being a well-lived woman.

I want to throw my grandkids in the air in my 70’s. I want to be squatting even more weight than I am now, and putting my OWN luggage in the overhead bin. Sound like weird goals? For me these are just some of the little things that represent a life well-lived.

My health is MY job – I’ll be damned if I rely on luck, ‘good genes’ or a cocktail of drugs that over promise and under deliver.

The Betty Body is my first book-baby, and a collection of what I’ve learned after thousands of clinical hours, hundreds of conversations with the world’s top experts, and most importantly…

This book is an outline of what took ME from “rock-bottom health” at 38, to being my own version of a Betty in my perimenopausal mid 40’s. A woman who is physically strong, full of energy, enjoys mental clarity, great sex and a joyful family life. Is it all roses? Of course not. But I have the stamina and tools to deal with the push and pull of life so that it doesn’t turn into chronic stress.

I want this for you too. Let’s go Bettys!