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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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How to Quickly Change Your Bad Habit to a Healthy One

Change can manifest in many ways. Sometimes it’s about embracing new challenges, pursuing major life choices, or altering perspectives. Not always but often, breaking unhealthy habits, and developing positive ones are integral to our path to change. Our bad habits can revolve around addictive behaviors like smoking and stress eating. Habits can extend to other forms such as continually checking our digital devices, being chronically late, or perpetuating our disorganization

In this short Ted Talk video, “A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit,” psychiatrist Judson Brewer talks about the relationship between mindfulness and addiction. He explains how habits develop and shares a profound discovery, which will help you alter your actions. Brewer’s strategy uses a combination of mindfulness and curiosity to generate a better mind/body awareness, which ultimately can result in healthier habits.


Watch this video . . .

A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit – Judson Brewer, MD, PhD


What is your experience with habit change? Is this an area you struggle with? What has worked for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Join the conversation!





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Reader Comments (14)

Wow... a couple of thoughts that really resonated with me. The idea of feeling the downside of a habit at a visceral level, and also the notion that curiosity feels good. This idea of feeling the urge, getting curious and then feeling the joy of letting go sure would work well with decluttering! I am so glad you posted this. I might share it with a group I am speaking to next month about dealing with sentimental items. Having something new to put into the moment is the best way to dislodge and toss out a bad habit.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

An important reminder for people who want to make a change. I recently read, 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear. He went through this process deeply and I found it was one of the easier guidelines to follow for people wanting to make a change. Thinking of the habit in small changes that can be added to existing good habits work really well.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina Quairoli

This is a fabulous TED Talk! I love the idea of being curious about the habit and really experiencing it. I agree with Seana, this could be a very helpful way to ask my clients to look at the clutter in their homes. Thank you very much for posting this, Linda!

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

I love this. Being mindful of what is happening in that moment with how you are feeling is the perfect time to become more aware of what we are doing and what we don't need or want to be doing. I was reading about goal setting recently and I learned that it isn't about discipline at all, it is more about changing habits. That was an interesting Ted Talk. I had to listen to it twice though as I have some pressing things on my mind right now. Well, there you go.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKim

@Seana- I love what you teased out of the video. I had debated how much information I wanted to include in my post, as opposed to allowing Judson Brewer to do the explaining. I opted for less than more. I also thought it would give people a more direct opportunity to see which concepts resonated most with them. Like you, I was blown away about how well curiosity can influence habit change AND that it feels good to be curious. And as Judson explained, habits get ingrained because of that "feel good/reward" quality. So we can turn the idea upside down to have it work for rather than against us. Happy to hear that you found this Ted Talk useful and might be able to incorporate it into one of your presentations. Awesome!

February 25, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Sabrina- I loved 'Atomic Habits." Clear writes in an easy to digest manner and backs up his work with sound scientific data. The idea of making tiny changes and also grouping new habits to existing healthy ones DOES work well.

February 25, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Diane- I'm so glad that you liked this Ted Talk, Diane. I found it a while ago and had been holding on to it until now. The process that Brewer explains is applicable for so many habit change scenarios. And as you and Seana identified, clutter habits are one of them.

February 25, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Kim- Kudos to you for a double listen of Brewer's Ted Talk! Like you, I appreciated how he made the connection between mindfulness and habit change. I love his focus on awareness and curiosity as the way forward.

I hope all is OK with you. I wasn't sure if "pressing things" was code for s_it hitting the fan.

February 25, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Great video, Linda - thanks so much for sharing it! He's easy to listen to, and really makes it sound so simple to break those bad habits.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- I'm so glad you liked this video. I agree that Brewer makes things easy to digest and gives us hope for breaking bad habits. I think the trick is recognizing the triggers and then being patient enough to slow down for the curiosity component.

February 25, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Great video. Thanks for sharing. I think it is so hard to develop good habits and stop bad habits.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Schiesl

@Janet S.- It IS hard, but having an understanding of how habits form and how we can alter them helps.

February 25, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Habit are the essential building blocks for an organized life. It's really baby steps every day and a habit chain. Love these ideas on how to create lasting change.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

@Ellen- Habits, particularly "good" ones are vital to being organized. It's a matter of figuring out which habits are serving you well and which ones are preventing you from living the life you want. I'm guessing that each of us struggles with specific practices and have an easier time with others. Brewer gives us excellent insight into understanding our habits and tweaking them to adopt more beneficial ones, and as you said, create lasting change.

February 26, 2019 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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