Over breakfast with a friend where we were talking about getting the most out of our busy days and making time for things we sometimes don’t always want to do, she imparted valuable advice: Take decision making out of the equation.

It’s a simple but effective concept on habit forming that she gleaned from Gretchen Rubin’s book Better Than Before. Do you want to be healthier? Pick four days a week to work out at the same time and treat it like brushing your teeth — you don’t think about it, you just do it. Tired of arguing with the kids about what to eat for breakfast every morning? Assign a food to each morning, repeat weekly.

Significant life changes take hard work, of course. Rubin calls habits the “invisible architecture of daily life” and says research shows “about 40% of our existence is shaped by our habits.”

In the “messy middle” of life — caregiving for those young and old while working on oneself, change feels even harder or scary, and like every second matters. Habit forming — and breaking — can be a tool to set you up for success.

One habit I’ll keep are conversations like these with friends that help me live better. I make time each week to connect with a friend one on one. It keeps my friendships fresh and I always learn something new.

It’s a habit worth forming, and a great one to challenge yourself to during the summer. People’s schedules are more free. The timing is good and it will set you up for a successful Fall.

Who will you reach out to first?

~ Stacey

Après is your savvy friend who sends you a weekly email to help you navigate the exciting, challenging and momentous journey that is Career + Motherhood. 

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Photo by Seemi Samuel on Unsplash