The Power of Habit


Not many books fit in the category of life-changing.

This one does.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg changed my life.


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This past year, I’ve been trying to implement a number of systems into my life to get it running more smoothly.
The Money Makeover. Flylady. Trim Healthy Mama. Getting Things Done.

But, there just weren’t enough hours in the day to implement everything, and it was hit and miss at so many of the systems.

After reading the Power of Habit, I thought through my daily routines and realized staying in bed too long in the mornings was sabotaging everything. I have trouble moving in the mornings. Physically moving. It literally takes an hour or two after waking up before my blood starts flowing.

I didn’t realize that one of my basic principles of life was self-defeating.

“Do the worst first,” I tell the kids. Get that over with and you can enjoy the rest.

However–Do the worst first– made me not want to get out of bed.

After reading The Power of Habit, I realized that the reward has to come after the action.

So, here is my reward. One hour of fun reading after I get up at 5:45. Fun reading includes Facebook or whatever books I’ve got going that I’m really enjoying. (Ironically, I have had a lot of trouble finding good books to read. I finally got my lists going at Goodreads, and that has helped me a lot. I also follow a few bloggers that give good recommendations. Modern Mrs. Darcy is my current favorite. I used to read Jack Covert Selects often. Kari Patterson is a new one, and I still check in with Ann Voskamp.)
Sometime in the last year (I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Power of Habit), I read that 21 repetitions to form a habit is a myth. Most people need 28. So, I’ve put it on my calendar. 28 days of getting up at 5:45 rewarded by one hour of fun reading.

It’s working! I’ve done it 17 days in a row. I don’t always get my reward, because, believe it or not, sometimes there are demands on my time before 6:45. But I have gotten up. Out of bed. Every. Single. Day.

Pairing habits is also a good plan. Flylady recommends this. So, most days I’ve also taken my (chewable) vitamins and drink a liter or two of water before 7.

I am very hopeful that I will be able to make further adjustments to my morning routine and get all my other systems under control. It’s hard not to be impatient and try to do it all at once. But, slow and steady wins the race.  Baby stepping . . .

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