Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Power of Habit

 I was going to post on The Power of Habit yesterday but Carole Bouquet took precedence.
 I tend to stick in my studio more than I like to admit. There are days when I don't even go downstairs to get the mail.
 But since I've been reading Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit.
 Doing the stairs are my new exercise (wish these were my stairs).
 The author had a daily 3:30 pm chocolate chip cookie habit he wanted to break. He talks about it on Fresh Air.
 I have an anytime-of-day daily ice cream habit I want to break.
 There's a neat little film on Amazon that clearly explains the cycle of cue-routine-reward process of our habits.
  Vacations are the perfect time to change habits and to form new ones Duhigg suggests. We can brush our teeth a new way if we're on vacation. Here's hoping au revoir to daily ice cream cones!
 Climbing stairs (32 steps) in my building hourly has become a new habit. Plus going outside for a gulp of fresh air while I'm at it. It's an easy habit to form and takes just 2 minutes. Then I mark it on a dry-erase 'hourly' chart. That's my reward + the gulp of fresh air.
 Will I continue to climb stairs while in Paris? Do I have a choice? Paris is never short of stairs to climb.
 Have I lost weight since I started 2 weeks ago? I don't have a scale but redistribution is going on. I can button my coat all the way these days. Plus I feel terrific.
 More energetic and not so cloistered in my studio.
At least I'll be in good fighting shape to cope with Gerard Mulot chocolate stairs. Take a look at The Power of  Habit and tell me what you think. I have to go do the stairs.


  1. What a great idea about the stairs...If I was not in the habit of reading your blog, I would have never known! Have a great trip and document everything!!!!!!!!

  2. Ahhhh; good old serendipity!
    I heard a brief snippet of DuHigg's interview on NPR as I happened to be driving to Barnes and Noble. Try as I might I could not recall the title, so the clerk could not find it.
    So a BIG "Thank You", Carol, for this post.
    Our long standing friendship sometimes puts us on the same wavelength, it seems.
    Looking forward to your blog-missives from afar in the coming weeks.

    1. you do have a habit of forgetting book titles...
      maybe you could write them on yr wrist with dry-erase?

  3. I do this at work--I get up and walk up and down 3 flights of stairs several times during the day to get me moving and thinking about things. Our campus has such hills and stairs all over, and I do try to take them as often as I can. Instead of just putting letters or bills I'm mailing in the mailbox, I walk up the hill and head to the PO on campus for the exercise. It's a good habit. As for an ice cream cone a day...hmmmmm...I don't do that!

    Good for you!

  4. The film won't work. It hasn't got anything to click.
    Have you another link Carol,

  5. Lucinda11:34 AM

    the steps are so 'romantic' in Paris...
    who could resist?

  6. It makes sense - break the bad habit with something more healthy and/or productive.
    I guess the test will be to see how long you do the new behavior.

  7. Of course you can do it Carol....where there's a will there's a way.....but's just change the habit slowly! And have a fantastic time in Gay Paree...I know you will!

  8. It takes 21 days to get into a good habit.. it only takes one bite of Ice cream for me to be OUT of the habit of eating it. :) Good ideas on doing the stairs and getting fresh air.. it does refuel the creative energy too.

  9. Anna-Maria A.6:55 PM

    Is that YOU on the chart after 10 trips up and down the stairs..ahem?

  10. Sitting in front of a computer will be the death of me. Stairway to Heaven...nope, it should have been Stairway to Living. Good for you. Keep it up.

  11. Carol! Are you already in Paris? We must meet up! Maybe next weekend?

    x Milsters

  12. ooh, you've inspired me now - that sounds so much more manageable (and less daunting) than committing to a gym session.
    And you did have me gasping for a moment "Omg are those her stairs??" before you disillusioned me :(

  13. That's too funny Carol. Was waiting for the lift in Glasgow yesterday and 2 huge posters were stuck to the doors asking if it wasn't just easier to get fit and use the stairs. So I took the lift with a heavy suitcase (otherwise I would have, honest!) Great idea. I do love it when we we're told to break habits and take a vacation, don't you? Sounds a good book - should tempt it past hubby.

    1. I shall have to go to Glasgow to fetch those posters for here
      You, my dear, run around enough to not need the stairs as it is.

  14. I am a follower and until today, didn't realize that you don't live in Paris!
    I love your perspective and your thoughts.
    I spent a week in Paris on the Il St. Louis and fell madly, deeply in love!
    I was even inspired to start a new business while visiting!Paris has transformed me.
    I really do enjoy waking up each morning and reading your posts while sipping my coffee!

  15. Oh Wow. A daily stair habit? You're amazing!

    I used to work in a 3-story building and vowed to never take the elevator. Now we're in a one-story. I have to find another daily penance!

  16. I read the first chapter last night! Looking forward to ditching a few of my culinary habits! So enjoy reading your posts...and a huge fan of your artwork. Thanks so much for sharing!

  17. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your studio "pin up board!!!

  18. I couldn’t help but to admire and laugh at your post today, as, I live in NYC and have visited 7 museums, and, I am obsessed with photographing staircases wherever I go!
    I was so sore at the beginning of the week, that my knees could hardly bend!
    Have a great day.


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