The Power of HABIT

Today, we wanted to talk about HABITS. As inspired by the book I’m currently reading The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. I’m not even all the way through and it has already had major inspiration on me.

Let’s dive into a personal examples that will help you:

A lot of women have sent messages saying: I WISH or I WANT to have your will power. Teach me your ways!

This is often in response to a post of me doing a workout during nap time or late at night. Now, prior to reading the book…I often believed that I was talking myself into working out. Of course there were times I didn’t exactly feel like it, but then I would think of all the reasons why it mattered to me and start getting ready for my workout. Before I knew it, I was in my basement or headed to the gym.

When I started reading the book, it gave me greater understanding that this is a HABIT that is now instilled into me. While giving credit to willpower is an awfully nice storyline, the truth is that my BRAIN is seeking the REWARD I get for working out. If I have to put into words what I’m seeking from a workout, it is pretty easy and probably not what you’re thinking. I CRAVE the peace of mind that working out gives me. If I start to feel anxious (referred to as a cue), overwhelmed (cue) or stressed (cue) my mind then CRAVES to workout. I feel an immediate sense of my thoughts calming down as I begin the workout. I’ve also put systems in that add cues to my habit loop. If I don’t feel like working out, I start getting ready by putting my workout clothes on (cue) and start making my way to the place I’ll workout (cue).

As the book points out, this is no different than someone that drinks a glass of wine for the same reasons. They might feel anxious (cue), overwhelmed (cue) and stressed (cue) and they SEEK the release that wine gives them from those feelings.

I’ll provide another example of how you can change a habit, by building a new one.

When I went back to work after my maternity leave with Trey I was TIRED of having to dig through my stuff to find my nursing badge and keys everyday. I had heard all of this buzz about habits and decided I needed to implement a new one to make my “where is my badge? where are my keys?” routines much shorter. After maternity leave I HAD a bunch of stuff I was carrying to and from work (hello lunch bag, tote, and breastfeeding bag), so it would’ve been an even longer process to see where I had put these items if I had kept my old ways.

I decided that I needed to always put my badge in the front pouch of my pump bag. I would also put my Jeep keys in there. This helped because I had a cue right when I got to the parking ramp. I needed to put my keys in the front pouch and then get my badge out for work. Instead of simply tossing the keys into my tote, I made myself put them into their new spot. At the end of the day, I lock my locker and reverse the routine. My reward? I was PUMPED that my badge and keys were super easy to find. I didn’t have to spend any extra time or worry, it was an efficient system. This example might sound small to you, but it has been AMAZING and is now an engrained habit.

I would highly recommend The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business if there is a habit you’ve really wanted to MAKE or BREAK. It uses RESEARCH to tell you WHY/HOW you are doing things and how to change. I kind of nerd out on research. 

I’m a believer, now let me get to these 545 other habits that I need to tweak.  If you haven’t checked out my book recommendation page, head over there. I saw one of my favorite fashion bloggers Olivia Rinkasked her tons of followers for book recommendations and there top 5 were ALL on my list. That tells me that women are finding SO much value in these books, just as I have!

Mom LifeKrystle Howald