Changing Old Habits

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

by Charles Duhigg

There’s been a great deal of research over the past several years about how our habits shape us. Charles Duhigg’s book, “The Power of Habit,” is a very comprehensive overview of this topic, and I found his practical tips extremely helpful in allowing me to take small steps forward to change old habits.

Most of my coaching clients tell me they believe that it is impossible to change old habits. One of my assigned readings is Charles Duhigg’s book, “The Power of Habit,” and after reading the book, we are able to talk with a greater sense of hope. After leaving full-time law practice or any other life-long career, this is an excellent time to begin to establish new habits that may better serve you for the new journey.

Habits are easy to complete. As Duhigg wrote;

Habits are powerful, but delicate. They can emerge outside our consciousness or can be deliberately designed. They often occur without our permission but can be reshaped by fiddling with their parts. They shape our lives far more than we realize—they are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense.”

Once we develop a habit, our brains actually change to make the behavior easier to complete. After about 30 days of practice, enacting a habit becomes easier than not doing so.

Habits are for life. Our lives are structured around habits, many of them barely noticeable. According to Duhigg’s research, habits make up 40% of our waking hours.