Building or shifting a habit

For a habit to become automatic—truly habitual—you need to keep at it for a while. 30 days is the number I've heard from many sources and that fits with my experience. Personally, I find the 1st and 15th of the month often line up with too many other things going on in life, so let's try starting those 30 days on the 23rd (or 24th if it's too late to start this habit today).

As I discuss in Chapter Four of the book, building a habit is a gradual process to which you commit effort and measure progress. It does not have a deadline or an end point. Making that effort and improving over time defines success.

The effort you're about to make is to try to have your new habit every day for the next 30 days. If you don't succeed one day, oh well; do better tomorrow. As we know, really changing our behavior takes time. Keep making this week more like how you want it to be than last week.

Don't try to establish more than one habit at a time; this is definitely an area where focus helps you succeed—and success will create confidence for the next habit you'll work on after this.

What would you like to do or do differently? Start now.

Author: dinahsanders

Author. Discardian. Defender of life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. she/her

9 thoughts on “Building or shifting a habit”

  1. I have been wanting to get up earlier in the morning since I started working at home many years ago. I now also have a newborn, and find it would be even better to start this habit so I can really get the most out of my days.

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  2. Hi Jennifer,
    What’s helping me a lot as I make this sleep time shift is to structure it so that I’ve created a plentiful night’s sleep, going to bed between 10-11pm and getting up between 8-9am. That’s probably a dream for someone with a newborn, I realize, but try to build in a better night’s rest so that you don’t associate the habit change with being tired. Good luck! And congratulations on your little one!

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  3. A morning routine that will help me be more productive through my whole day and allow me the feeling that “today’s job is done” instead of the nagging feeling of how “everything” needs done.

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  4. I decided to make wearing make up to work everyday my new habit. I noticed that making things real simple helps a lot and having a system to track how you are doing also helps. I’ve been using Joe’s goals http://www.joesgoals.com/ and it’s been working 🙂

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