Last year, at the end of a virtual presentation to participants in the Year Up program (a wonderful program I have been speaking at, and donating to, for many years), the event moderator read questions posted in the chat. They were good ones, so I’m sharing them here, with my responses.
Q: What was the hardest habit for you to break?
A: Stopping biting my nails. I wrote about breaking that 40-year-habit here. I went on to say I now realize it took me so long because I simply didn’t care enough to focus on it – that if it had been more important to me, I would have made the change sooner.
Q: What was the easiest habit for you to make?
A: Eating certain healthy foods that are tasty. For example, blueberries most days as part of my breakfast, and eating a small amount of dark chocolate.
Q: What would be the seventh rule if you had one?
A: All the ideas I’ve come up with since writing the book seem to fit into one of the six. If I wrote another book, it would be all about creating habits that stick. I also have noticed since writing the book how much less bad stress we can have in our life if we adopt habits that help us to be happy, healthy, nice, and more organized.
Q: How long does it take to lose a good habit?
A: The earlier it is in your habit, the easier it is to quickly fall off. As time goes by, habits become super sticky. For example, in the early days of my exercise routine, I used to worry, “If I skip today, I may lose the habit,” but now I know, if I miss a day, I’ll jump right back in the next day.
Q: What is the best way to make time for habits, for example, exercise?
A: The morning is the key. Sleep is important, so make sure to get enough sleep. And then wake up earlier than you would otherwise need to, in order to make time for new habits, like exercise. It’s much harder to make time once the regular routines of the day begin.