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  • theluciemitchell


Ah, habits… we all have them, but are yours working for you or against you? Chances are, you wake up around the same time each day, take a shower, brush your teeth, make coffee, etc. Every day. Even if you’re an adventurous person, your days are likely somewhat routine. Because whether you like it or not, you are a creature of habit. We all are.

Our habits may seem individually small, but together they make up our days and ultimately determine the trajectory of our lives. Fortunately, we get to determine the habits we develop, which to keep, and which to change. Your dreams and goals are just daily habits away from accomplishment! It’s just a matter of setting goals and determining the habits you need to reach them. The tricky part is, as inherent as habits are, forging new habits doesn’t feel as natural.

Luckily, we now know a few things about habit creation that makes it a little better to navigate. First, we know that habits are created formed and continue with cues, responses and rewards. When you wake up, your morning breath (cue) reminds you it’s time to brush your teeth (response), so that your breath is fresh (reward). We also know it’s easier for our brains if we focus on adding something into our routine than it is to remove something. For example, if you want to drink less soda, it’s easier to focus on adding more water intake. When you start drinking more water, you’ll naturally lower your soda consumption, but the focus is on getting more water in.

Another thing we know is that it takes about 21 days of doing something to create a habit. You may have to consciously think about it every day and set yourself reminders, etc. But after about 3 weeks, it becomes something less conscious and more habitual. After 90 days, it becomes a full-on lifestyle change! How exciting, right?!

Do you have goals you are struggling to accomplish and actively work toward? If so, maybe you could benefit from a reevaluation of your habits and a few new ones! Here’s how to get started:

Make a Plan

First, set some goals. Make a list of habits you currently have and determine which ones are serving to your current aspirations and which are not. Decide on any changes you want to make. Then, decide what additional habits could help you in your pursuit of those goals.

Start Small

Don’t try to change too much too quick. A whole life overhaul may sound like a great idea if you’re feeling ambitious, but making extreme changes can cause you to become overwhelmed and quit or go backwards. Choose one habit at a time to be your focus. For example, if you want to eat healthier, begin by adding a serving of veggies to every meal. That’s a great change! If your goal is to get more organized, start by utilizing a planner. As one action becomes a habit, you can add on others. This is not a race!

Develop the Habit

Repeat, repeat, repeat! Keep in mind, habit creation is a process, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Repeat the action over and over and slowly it will become a habit. One way to remind yourself is to connect an action to an action. Take your daily vitamin when you put your makeup on, finish and refill your water each time you get up from your desk. Seek out reasons to enjoy the action (reward), that way you’ll be more likely to keep it up!

Talk About It

Write it down in a place you look often–leave yourself reminders. Tell the people close to you, let them know the changes you’re making to help stay accountable. Talk in absolutes, not maybes. “I drink a gallon of water every day” is much more powerful than “I’m working on drinking more water”.

Keep in mind that habits are harder to create than to break, let this inspire you! Once you’ve worked hard to create a new good habit, it will become hard NOT to do!

Cheers Babe,

Lucie Mitchell, CTNC, CTLC

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