We are all Creatures of Habit. It’s not only a figure of speech, it is science. Neuroplasticity tells us that what we do repeatedly gets laid down in the wiring of our brain through the development of new and reinforced neural connections. These connections economize energy use and help us build mastery. Neurotransmitters like dopamine and oxytocin reward us through the process. This is how we build habits, both good and bad ones.
I’ve found myself getting sloppy over the past few months. Some days I skip the exercise despite a surplus of time on my hands. I’m not reading as much. My meditation practice still exists but it is less consistent. I find myself more reactive and prone to impulse. Perhaps I stay up later or
have a bowl of ice cream late at night. I’m not beating myself up for it but would I feel better in the morning if I took a different approach? There are plenty of books and Netflix documentaries that can provide advice but I find the most effective tool is the power of community and its associated accountability. And I’ve done it before. Accountability and community have been particularly effective when it comes to my phone (over)use, caffeine consumption, time spent reading and more. So I decided to try again. And invite you to join me.
Creatures of Habit is a 31-day virtual community dedicated to exploring the principles of habit change, discussing the challenges, and driving intentional action toward a goal of one new good habit and the elimination of one bad habit. Sign up today and begin with us on January 1. Sign-ups accepted through January 8.
Each Monday, you’ll find a short video on the week’s topic in your email. It will include a teaching and some homework. As the week continues, I’ll provide access to resources including daily reflections, thought questions as well as two guided meditations to try out on your own. In our second week, you’ll be connected with an“accountability partner.” This is where the magic happens! You won’t be providing each other advice or encouragement but instead acting as a witness and sounding board on a habit change journey. In five years of teaching this class, I’ve found that many partners end up being friends for life!
Video 1: Identifying Habit Patterns
Video 2: Accountability and Reminders
Video 3: Harnessing Self-Control
Video 4: Patience and Self-Compassion
Video 5: Sustainable Change
You get out what you put in. I’ve found that dedicating 5-15 minutes to this work each day goes a long way towards sustainable habit change though some dedicate as much as an hour. This curriculum is time-tested and draws deeply on the work of James Clear (Atomic Habits) and my guided teacher Jonathan Foust. You won’t want to miss it.
Creatures of Habit is offered by donation but no one will be denied access for lack of resources. You are invited to contribute any amount but might consider $20-50. Your gift in excess of $20 supports our work while allowing it to be accessible to those that don’t have resources to pay right now. Payment is also accepted via Venmo, @Center4SelfCare or PayPal, firstname.lastname@example.org.