I was so excited when Rachel Hollis’ new book, Girl, Stop Apologizing, came out in March! I always listen to these sorts of books on audiobook (I have an Audible subscription and totally recommend it!) and this one was especially good. Rachel Hollis has a great way of speaking and is a very engaging narrator. Plus, I love listening to authors narrate their own books! They tell the story in a completely different way.
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Anyway: If I had to choose between both of Rachel’s self-help and personal development books, I would definitely choose Girl, Wash Your Face as the better of the two. But both are great listens, and I recommend both.
Now, let’s get down to business. The major takeaway I took from Girl, Stop Apologizing was: There is a better way to form habits than the way you’re trying to do it now. I want to share what I learned about breaking bad habits and forming new ones from Rachel.
Focus on one at a time.
It is really easy to start on January 1 and say: I am going to work out daily, eat clean, read for 30 minutes every day and cut out dairy. And it is really easy to do one of those things, maybe two – but harder to master all four at once. Is it possible to do all four at once?
Yes, but when they are new behaviors, Rachel Hollis advises that you focus on one at a time. For me, I’m working on being more dairy conscious in April – choose dairy-free options when they’re available, and take precautions in advance when they aren’t.
I tried to do this in January and February, too, but I was also juggling three other “habits” I wanted to form. It made it harder for me to focus, and easy to just pick one to focus on every day instead of consistently working at all three.
Do it for 30 days.
Rachel says if you can do it for 30 days, it will become a habit. That’s 30 consecutive days.
This is easy enough. But it’s not easy, at the same time.
I’m handling this by adding my new habit to my to do list every day for 30 days, and prioritizing it. I also have a habit tracker spreadsheet where I track my habits across 30 days – and each month, once I’ve mastered one, I can add another.
If you cheat, start over.
This is the hardest thing that Rachel Hollis recommends – if you are trying to be more dairy conscious, and you do a great job for five days… but on the sixth day, you drink a milkshake without taking Lactaid in advance… You don’t get to start again on the seventh day, trucking along.
Nope. Go back to square one.
This will be the hardest, but most effective, method for me. I am super competitive with myself, so I will hate to start back at square one!