inspiration

Habitual

I’ve always been a disciplined person. I think it’s written in my internal code. I mean, I was waking up on my own with an alarm clock in second grade and packing my own lunch for school because I wanted to no deviation of when I woke up and no surprises of what I would be eating for lunch every day.

Even with a predisposition to discipline, sometimes I wish I could be better about breaking bad habits and starting new ones.

Habits

Over the past year, I have felt like my good habits were really in full swing. But I couldn’t articulate why this year it was better than others. I was waking up at the same time, drinking so much water (a habit I’m always working on), meditating every day, working out consistently, saving even more money than usual, etc. I could sense a difference– without having to really even think about it.

Earlier this month, I listened to the book The Power of Habit and all of a sudden it all started to make sense. It’s an excellent book. If there’s ANYTHING you want to be better about (which I think we can all agree there are areas in our lives that could benefit from a little tweaking), you should definitely give it a read. It’s research backed and anecdotally led so it reads quickly but is full of substance– not fluff. Eating healthier, working out more, saving more money, reading more, losing weight, quitting smoking, watching less tv, sleeping more, etc. Whatever it is, this book will give you the tools to do it.

Even with all the good habits I had, it was inspiring me to be even better and I swear in the few weeks since I’ve read it, I’ve already started on new good habits and breaking old ones. One great example is putting on sunscreen every day. I would definitely say I wear it more than the average person, but I skipped some mornings simply because I forgot. After reading the book, I quickly realized an easy way to never forget it was to put the sunscreen by my toothbrush. I already brush my teeth every morning, duh, but now I linked the sunscreen with tooth brushing and I haven’t forgotten a single day. Literally so easy. But it’s an important habit considering the alarming rates of skin cancer diagnoses.

And one bonus that I learned from the book was that there are certain keystone habits that once you start doing one, it spills over to encourage even more healthy habits. Like if you decide you want to start working out four times a week, you might also find that you make better choices with your spending. This is where I had my big “aha” moment. By making a few changes to some parts of my life, I was seeing a greater impact everywhere else, too.

I will, of course, be including this book in my end of the month recap, but I had to do a full post for it so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. It’s just that good.

(I’m not sure if it’ll be overkill or not, but I’m also interested in reading Atomic Habits– I’ve heard great things about that as well.)

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18 Comments

Karen

I loved The Power of Habit too! Though my favorite book about habits is Gretchen Rubin’s “Better Than Before.” It has truly changed the way I approach habits in my life. It is big on determining strategies that work for you and your tendency rather than trying to mold to a one-size-fits-all approach. Highly recommend!!

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Alexis

I read Atomic Habbits at the beginning of the year – I really loved how it was structured, and the author also has a bunch of worksheets to tactically help you build habbits.

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Nina

Now I’m finally able to describe the type of non-fiction book I like… “research backed and anecdotally led” more please!

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Lauren

I think you (Carly and previous commenters) would also like Essentialism by Greg McKeown. It’s basically about “do less, but better”. He was on the Goop podcast, but the book is (obviously) more in depth

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Meg Greer

I can relate to do everything yourself so there’s no surprises! I love my habits, so I will definitely look for this book!

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Carla

I used an audible credit in this about six months ago and haven’t listened to it yet- it’s on my to read list this month for sure now!

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Payton

I’m picking this up today! Hoping it’ll give me the boost I need to be better about working out consistently. Thanks for the reco!

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Lauren G

Putting this on hold at the library today! Woke up this morning thinking about how I want to train myself to get up earlier everyday without having to force myself… This felt like the perfect sign to start my Tuesday!

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Hagen Carmichael

I can’t wait to read this book. Something about Spring makes me excited and ready to develop better habits – I feel like I have more energy to be motivated. Agreed with the sunscreen too! Thanks for the tip to keep it by the toothpaste 🙂

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Marcella

That’s a good tip to put the sunscreen by your toothbrush! I feel like habits are also easier when it’s a priority – my boss at work said one time “it’s only a priority when it’s a priority.” I was really bad about flossing until recently when I went to the dentist and found out I had FIVE cavities 😭 which I obviously do NOT want to have to deal with that ever again so I’m now very diligent about flossing every night!!!

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Meagan R.

I have been thinking a lot about habits recently and evaluating the ones I have and the ones I want to put into place (especially before I start law school!). I read this post and immediately put the book on hold at the library. Thanks for the tip!

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Janna

Lovelovelove habits! Study habits brought me here in the first place 😉
Have you read anything by Gretchen Rubin? She knows everything about habits and how to work with who you are to get what you want. She has fantastic books, audiobooks, and the best podcast.
I would love to know which tendency you are according to her framework. My guess is upholder 🙂

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Andrea

Yes Carly! After reading this I downloaded the book on amazon (free w/ my audible trial). Definitely enjoying it thus far thx xoxo

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Emily Godoy

Thank you for sharing this book. It sounds like a game changer and I would love to read it.

And wow… I was literally the same way in second grade. I would wake up with an alarm clock on my own! haha

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Michele

I love the idea of putting the sunscreen right by the toothbrush. Thanks for the tip!

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