What Fake Fingernails Can Teach You About Habit Building

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I’m not a girly girl, but I’ve had a few manicures in my life and false fingernails applied to my hands. Most women experience this at some point in your lives, too.

All of a sudden, you pretty much can’t use your fingers to do the same things you used to do.

But boy, oh boy… they look so glamorous!

So what do you do?

At first, you probably get really FRUSTRATED!

“Why on Earth can’t I zip my own jeans anymore?” or “Why do I continue to drop my earring studs on the floor when I’m trying to put them in my ears?”

Do you rip the false nails off of your fingers out of irritation? Well, no. I mean, that would be painful.

Instead, you accept that it will take you some time to get used to them.

You learn to adapt. You have to do EVERYTHING slower. You begin to realize this and you make the time for yourself to do everything at a snail’s pace for a little while.

Eventually, you teach yourself how to use your long fingernails to do the same tasks again.

Building habits can work in the same way.

At first, it really sucks to wake up at 5a.m. every morning to workout. It’s a struggle and you just want to stay comfortable in your warm cozy bed.

After a week or two of waking up at 5a.m. consistently, it starts to become not such a big deal.

After a month or two, it’s just normal and you don’t mind doing it anymore.

The thing is– you usually can’t wear fake nails one day, take them off and go without the next day, and then add them back for the third day. You wear them EVERY DAY.

That’s how you build successful habits. You perform the practices each day.

New routines are a real hassle at first. They take more time to accomplish, they require more mental and physical effort from you and you often mess up or fail.

If you want your habit to become permanent and “natural” for you, you have to go through the difficult stage first of being mindful and engaged with what you are trying to accomplish. Eventually, the habit becomes another one of those mindless things you just do.

 

Reflect back on a time that you were actually able to build a habit and have it become “just something you do”. What would you say made the habit “stick” for you? Please share your own experiences!

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