mixed-up monday: changing habits

on 08-06-2012


Last week, I wrote  about how I’d stopped exercising, and today I have to admit that I started biting my nails again. Sounds like I’m falling apart, right? Since I’m using both momentary lapses of reason as springboards for momentum and renewed focus, I’d like to think that I’m “falling together.” {At least I haven’t reliquinshed my role as  the eternal optimist of spin doctors, right?}


My nail-biting relapse has been especially maddening because I don’t even realize I’m gnawing away until someone tells me, and I’ve already kicked this habit to the curb once. Last time, a random “your hands are the dirtiest part of your body” comment combined with a creepy pinworm story made me stop the insanity.


This time around, instead of focusing on breaking the habit {again}, I decided to focus on making a habit — taking care of my nails. I know, I know — six of one, half-dozen of the other. But perception is everything . . . that and this foul-tasting cream that makes my nails taste so bad I can’t imagine putting my fingers anywhere near my mouth. I just completed Day 3, and I’m feeling sassy — not a nibble!


In my quest to focus on making habits instead of breaking them, I discovered two apps. The first, Habit List {$1.99}, was designed to
help people take little steps toward big changes. The second, SuperBetter {free}, was invented by a best-selling author and world-renowned designer of alternate reality games  to increase resilience in the face of any illness or injury, or health and wellness goal. {You can read more about inventor Jane McGonigal in this Forbes article.}


Is there a habit or two you’d like to cultivate — anything from reading more to worrying less? Step one — write it down. I believe that any goal not captured on paper is just a wish. Then, tape that bad boy onto your bathroom window, refrigerator door or car dashboard — wherever you’re going to see it. Next, give that new habit 30 days to take root and become part of your daily routine — part of you. You can read some other  habit-helping tricks here.


While you’re at it, click on the image below to give this week’s Spotify playlist a listen.

Did you miss one of these mixed-up monday playlist themes? It’s not too late to tune in!

elemental truths

silver screen soundtrack

olympic tracks

page turner playlist

graduated dreams

solstice eve sounds

rejection injection 

sky tones 

rainy days & mondays

yearn, burn & churn

making waves

it’s a colorful life

sounds like shakespeare

golden state

the choice is yours 

Get Your Hope On 


  1. Happy Monday Morning to you, Yvonne!
    In the spirit of making changes, do you know the book “Write it Down, Make it Happen” by Henriette Anne Klauser. Although it has long been one of my ‘should reads’ (talk about habits!), the book comes highly recommended from some friends who read it and started writing stuff down. My new habit? Spending a quiet time each evening before bed to make the next day’s to-list. I’ve found that this works better than on the morning of. There’s something delicious about checking an item off the list early in the day, and for some inexplicable reason, the satisfaction is deeper if the list is ready and waiting for me, with a cuppa joe, of course.

    • I don’t know about that book but can’t wait to get my hands on it! Thanks for sharing, Lisa.

      I recently started experimenting with the list making app TeuxDeux. It’s visually appealing, and I especially love the “someday” category for capturing ideas that aren’t on the front burner in a place where I remember to assess/ revisit them.

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