How to Create Habits That Stick [Updated]

create habits


Habit is a cable; we weave a thread each day, and at last we cannot break it.  ~Horace Mann

Isn't it amazing that every day, we have the ability to reinvent ourselves? We can learn new skills and create habits that make us healthier, more interesting, more productive, and more valuable in the eyes of those around us.

New habits can improve our careers, our financial success, and our relationships -- and they give us a huge boost in self-esteem and confidence.

I'm sure you have a habit in mind that you've been attempting for several years. Maybe it's exercise, losing weight, eating better, learning something new, meditating, writing, or de-cluttering your house. Maybe you've wanted to take a course or add a new professional skill.

The only problem with self-reinvention through habit creation is this: it's really hard.

As much as you want to create habits and sustain them (and you really, really do), your desire to keep at it begins to fade away after a few days or weeks. At first it's fun, then it's challenging, then it's work, and finally it's forgotten.

Why does this happen?

It has nothing to do with your will power or energy. It has to do with brain chemistry. You haven't given your brain enough time to fully rewire itself to incorporate your habit as part of your daily routine. And that's what has to happen -- you actually have to retrain your brain.

This may feel like a Catch-22. How can you give your brain enough time to rewire itself if you can't sustain the motivation to give it time?
<  

 

It comes down to understanding exactly how habits are formed -- and this is truly an art and a science! (more…)

5 Holiday Traditions You Should Absolutely Break

The holiday season is all about traditions. Every family has their own. We have a tradition in our house that the kids get pajamas every year for Christmas, and they always open them Christmas Eve to sleep in that night. Since my daughters are dancers, going to their Nutcracker performances has always been part of…  Continue Reading

Your Strengths and Weaknesses: Where Should You Focus?

One of the main reasons we have a hard time creating the happy, passionate life we desire is because we are so highly-focused on our weaknesses and how we’ve screwed up in the past. Failing, doing something poorly, being chastised for messing up, seeing others perform far better than we have — all of these…  Continue Reading

4 Healthy Living Habits I’ve Recently Adopted

Recently I calculated my “real age” through one of the life expectancy assessments. I was pleased to see that I’m expected to live to the ripe old age of 104 — if I continue the same healthy lifestyle choices I currently practice. Some of the healthy choices that contribute to longevity are obvious — wearing…  Continue Reading

Habit Creation: The 7 Deadly Sins

Creating new habits is hard. It’s so hard that we fail at it repeatedly. And that does a number on our self-esteem. We feel like losers. So we pretend we don’t need the habit. Then we live a life of lesser-than . . . Lesser than the person we dream of being. Lesser than the…  Continue Reading

Body and Mind Fitness: 3 Ideas for Artful Exercise

If you exercise regularly, or even if you don’t, you’ve  probably tried all kinds of fitness programs. Exercising the body is vital for maintaining weight, building strength and stamina, and for overall health and well-being. We all know the importance of exercise, but for most of us, exercising is a chore — and a bore….  Continue Reading