Why The Best Choice Can Sometimes Be An Imperfect Choice | Michelle Segar PhD

Context heavily influences our behavior (regular listeners of the show know our “context matters” mantra well!). Sometimes, because of what life throws at us, we have to re-evaluate our options. The best choice isn’t always the perfect choice.

For instance, in an ideal world, we might be planning a 5 mile run after work. But instead we need to collect our sick child from school early and have to settle for a 2 mile run on the treadmill in the basement, or some dancing in the kitchen while we unload the dishwasher. It’s the perfect, imperfect choice, or what our guest, Michelle Segar calls The Joy Choice.

Michelle Segar PhD is an award-winning lifestyle coach and sustainable behavior change researcher at the University of Michigan. For nearly three decades, she has pioneered methods to create sustainable healthy behavior change that are being used to boost patient health, employee well-being, and gym membership retention.

My approach to creating sustainable change is fundamentally grounded in changing people's mindsets. ~ Michelle Segar PhD Click To Tweet

In this episode, we are lucky enough to talk to Michelle about her new book, “The Joy Choice: How to Finally Achieve Lasting Changes in Eating and Exercise”. We discuss why Michelle steers away from habits as a way of framing behavior change, the role of the executive function, and of course, how music influences her life.



(3:20) Welcome and speed round questions.

(7:31) Why we all need to find The Joy Choice.

(14:26) Why do we beat ourselves up about missing exercise and diet goals?

(17:35) How our identity can motivate our behavior change.

(20:22) The shortcomings of the habit loop.

(25:10) The role of the executive function in our decision making.

(30:45) To what degree do mindsets, belief systems and branding play?

(35:58) How the TRAP and POP models help us with selecting The Joy Choice.

(43:36) How Michelle finds joy in music.

(48:02) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim on The Joy Choice.


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AIRDATE: January 23, 2023 EPISODE 340

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Why The Best Choice Can Sometimes Be An Imperfect Choice | Michelle Segar PhD

Featured Guest

Michelle Segar PhD