Happy Monday, Story Artists!

Did you know that once you form a habit, it will stay in your brain forever?

The problem is: Our brain cannot distinguish between good and bad habits. The good news is: You can!

You can deliberately destroy bad habits and form good ones, and benefit from them your whole life.

Our brain is an amazing construction, but as much as we are dependent on it, isn’t it marvelous how we can also influence it? If we form a new habit, we can build paths in our brains that will always remain there.

So this week, I want to encourage you to form a new habit. Start with the one you have always wanted to form: a daily workout, a writing routine, healthy food, getting up earlier.

To learn more about this amazing process, read “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. But I want to lay out a simplified version for you.

There are three components to a habit:
1. Trigger
2. Routine
3. Reward

What most of us start and end with is the routine, but to form a sustainable habit, you need to start with a trigger first. It can be anything, ranging from a song you listen to every morning, to a hot lemon you drink or a chair you sit down into before you write. But make sure you never miss the trigger to ACTIVATE the habit loop. This makes it easier to plunge into the routine, without having to rethink whether you really want to this now.

Then, you follow a routine. The important thing about the routine is that you know in advance what you will be doing. Don’t go to the gym, clueless about what machine you want to start with. Don’t sit down to write without a plan of what you want to do today.

End with a reward. Never forget the reward. This signifies to the brain that the effort was worth the pain.
The reward can be anything, from a nice meal to a snack to a great feeling.

As I am doing intermittent fasting, I always have my tasty first meal and a coffee after the workout. After I have written a certain amount of words, I have lunch (lots of my rewards have to do with food, I admit).

So again, when forming a habit, think of those three components:

What habit do you want to start forming this week?
Let me know in the comments below!

I’ll start by going to bed in time, which is a hard one for me 😉

Those are the resources that will rock your week:

  1. Want to crush it in Medium? Here are 7 great ways how. I thought they were really surprising and interesting, and I intend to try them out.
  2. Check out JK Rowling’s 8 Rules of Writing. Rule One is amazin g, especially coming from her.
  3. Free courses at Reedsy – I’ve already subscribed and am excited to see what the content brings.
  4. Publishing strategies for fiction authors: here’s something like a case study that we all can benefit from “How a New Fiction Author Made $109,000 in 10 Months”.

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