creatures of habit

We are creatures of habit, and sometimes that works against us.  Creating new habits often feels frustrating, because it means rewiring our brain. We gravitate towards doing what is familiar, or what we are already good at. Even if we know that a habit we have isn’t serving us well, or that creating a better habit is what’s best, it sometimes feels futile.  The old adage that it takes 7-10 days to create a new habit pattern is only partially true.  

habit stacking

Sometimes the problem isn’t that we aren’t sticking with it long enough, it’s that we aren’t starting it in the right place.  “Habit Stacking” is taking a habit that is already ingrained, like brushing your teeth twice daily, and adding a new habit right before or after it.  You are taking advantage of the neural pathways already there!  They just  expand a tiny bit to encompass a new habit, rather than having to create a whole new aspect to your routine. 

For example

Let’s stick with the tooth brushing example (because, let’s be honest, if that isn’t a habit yet you have some deeper work to do…). Feeling stressed and want to add 5-10 minutes of yoga or meditation to your day? Commit to doing it right before you brush your teeth, even if it’s only a few minutes at first. Trying to get better about washing your makeup off before bed? Add it in as a non-negotiable evening routine, right before brushing your teeth before bed. For more motivation, stack a new habit right before a habit you really look forward to (like your morning coffee).  Do the new habit right before your coffee, so that you are rewarded when it’s done.  

Is there a skin care habit you want to start (or a bad habit you’d like to stop)? Ask us for tips at your next appointment!