How Celebrating Small Wins Can Help Form a Lasting Habit


– First thing in the morning, after your feet touch the floor, you say, it’s going to be a great day. It starts your day in
an upward trajectory. It starts you with optimism. When you run into an opportunity, you take more advantage
of the opportunity. When you run into a roadblock, can you react to that more positively? Even if you don’t feel like
it’s gonna be a great day, at least it opens the door, it opens the possibility that
you will have a great day. (upbeat music) So my partner and I, who’ve been together for almost 30 years, we’ve had very different careers. He was in a career where
there was things to do and you could be finished
at the end of the day. Me, as a researcher
and as an investigator, and an innovator, my work is never done. So he would say to me, hey
are you done for the day? And I’m like, Denny, I’m never done. But what we had to figure
out in our own life is there needs to be a
time when I stop working, I stop checking email,
I stop thinking about the challenges I’m facing, and we chill together
as a couple, or we read, or I love playing musical instruments. So many people have told us for years that repetition creates the habit. Whether it’s 21 days, 66 days, 108 days, I’m here to tell you that is not accurate. What the research shows is that repetition correlates with habits. It does not show that it
causes the habit to form. What causes the habit to form? That’s emotions. The emotion you feel
as you do the behavior or immediately after is the thing that causes the habit to form. In other words, if your brain associates a positive feeling with
flossing or taking your vitamins or drinking water or snacking on broccoli, if there’s a positive
emotion associated with it, your brain takes notice. It’s like, whoa, that made me feel good. I wanna do it again and it will help you remember to do it again. (upbeat music)

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