What Does It Really Take to Build a New Habit?

By Kristi DePaul

Our habits govern our lives, literally. Research shows that around half of our daily actions are driven by repetition.1 This is probably why behavioral scientists and psychologists have spent so much time writing about how to establish and keep positive habits. Regular sleep and exercise, a healthy diet, an organized schedule, and mindfulness are just a few examples of practices that—if done regularly—can improve our work, relationships, and mental health.

But what if those things don’t come naturally to you? What does it take to build a new habit?

While there are plenty of hacks on the internet competing to answer these questions, the neuroscience behind habit formation doesn’t ...

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