I've always been a creature of habit. As a kid, I ate the same breakfast every morning before school. I'll listen to the same songs over and over in the car until my passenger gives me the side eye. I'll want to go to the same restaurants to eat. Heck, I even like taking vacations to the same destinations.

The deck in Laguna Beach
I'd been wanting to go there for years. Finally I did.

There's nothing wrong with being a creature of habit. I think most habits are convenient for people, and they make sense for that person's lifestyle. But I do think that there's a huge difference between good habits that keep me on the right track and bad habits that just keep me stuck. I go with what feels comfortable for me, and I realized this Summer that I wasn't allowing myself the risk/reward that comes with trying new things and possibly creating new and better habits for myself.

One example is in exercise. I hit a wall and wasn't working out at all. I was beginning to not only see the result of that on the outside, but I was feeling sluggish and knew that my insides couldn't be much healthier. I had coffee with a friend about a month and a half ago, and she suggested that I try yoga. I was nervous about taking it, but I signed up that very same day and didn't think twice. Until of course the time came to actually go to the class, and then I had a little mental breakdown. I texted Gina and Caryl, and they were the push I needed to just go! So I went, and you know what? I actually like yoga. It's all about being in tune not only with your body, but with your mind and that's something I have desperately needed for ages. So while I'm not quite doing handstands and only last week could do downward dog without tumbling to my butt, I feel like I've created a new positive habit that really didn't require too much scary change. And I've been feeling good again.

I should mention that I read The Power of Habit, and that was the catalyst for some new habits. I highly recommend it, although it is rather slow and reads like a textbook at times. Another habit I've created for myself is taking a few minutes each morning to mentally prepare for the day. You know, like a little pep talk. I create a mental checklist of my goals for the day, and tell myself some positive affirmations to keep me calm and grounded. I never used to do this, at least not regularly. I would just hop right out of bed, get into my car, and immediately join the rat race better known as life. It felt like a race, and now I can see why I was always so frazzled.

Small changes can lead to big changes, and that's the one takeaway I hope you'll remember. You don't have to give in to the pressures of drastically changing something, you can start with baby steps and still feel like you're heading in the right direction. So much of our daily lives is born out of habit and routine. The tiniest shift can make a huge impact. Don't set yourself up for failure by taking on too much at once.

What habits do you want to break? What would you like to put in its place?


  1. This is awesome Noelle, creating new healthy habits is not easy but so rewarding.


  2. This is such a great post Noelle! I'm so happy you challenged yourself to try something new and that you felt the positive rewards! I'm so glad the book was a good motivator for you.
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  3. I am such a cardio girl and love running, but hear so many great things about yoga! Good for you for trying something new. It sounds like it was a positive experience, too. Reading this will certainly help me to try something new in the future!

  4. Love that you share your though process - I definitely have lots of habits - and tend to stick to things I consider "safe" - often it's common sense but it can also be limiting. Two things I did this year (which weren't huge but things that I thought about for a while but would have 100 reasons not to do) was to go visit Greece this year (it was unfamiliar , expensive ... one of those *someday but not today* dreams) and do our wedding anniversary photoshoot (so much to arrange - would it be worth it). I'm so glad I just decided to go ahead and do it! And am going to try do more of these things I want to but put off <3

  5. I'm happy you started doing yoga. I try a kit if different exercises but yoga was the only one I never got bored of. Been doing it now for 5 years and my fave is hot Vinyasa yoga...the best!! I'm loving kettle bell training at the moment too and TRX but yoga will be forever my love.

    Love posts like this when you share more about you. I'm a bit like you with habits, I almost always eat the exact same thing for breakfast, lol! However I almost never go to the same place for vacation. The world is too big and much to see. I intent to see as much of it as I can :)

  6. I love the idea that a small change can lead to a bigger, positive one. It makes things seems less scary and overwhelming. So cool that you have taken up yoga!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style


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