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The Importance of Habit

23 April 2020
A woman sitting on a tree stump in the woods

By: Ali Schulze, Director of Healthy Living

Have you thought about why you do the things that you do each day, or why you do them? According to Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habits, about 40% of the things we do every day are habits that we do not even realize that we are doing. When we repeat something over and over, it becomes a habit. Are there habits you would like to change? These daily habits can be essential to maintaining a sense of normalcy right now. However, some of the habits that we have worked to change may be finding their way back into our daily lives due to the triggers that are around. There are different types of “cues” or triggers that cause us to respond in a certain way. These triggers can be a location, time of the day, our emotions, and what other people say or do.

The first thing to do is to identify a trigger. Have you found yourself going back to old habits during this time? Identify why you have gone back to those habits, and find the trigger points. Have you felt anxious and responded by going to the pantry for a snack? Can you try going for a walk instead? Once we start to respond to those cues in a new healthy way, we are on our way to creating a new habit.

Research says it can take 21 days to create a new habit. What habit can you create in your daily life now? This change or improvement in habit can be small……making your bed or preparing a healthy meal. The things that we can accomplish now will allow us to be stronger for the things that come later. You can make any change that you set your mind to. You are strong! You can do this! Maybe you have slipped back into some old habits…..give yourself some grace. You can get right back up and on track today. Don’t wait till this quarantine is over to say you will take care of yourself. Do it today!