What We Need Is… A Habit Habitat!

Nov 15

Habits enjoy sunbathing. They told me so.


Yeah.  I planned to edit and illustrate that centering exercise that I promised you. But first thing in the morning, I started playing on Twitter.

Yay, Twitter! Among other amusements, I had a quick and quipy exchange with the mahvelous @CharlieGilkey of Productive Flourishing.

(You know Charlie, right? Ok, good. Because he’s seriously helpful with productivity. And with flourishing.) First, Charlie sent a Tweet about his oldie-but-goodie 10/15 blog post (It’s good. Go read it. I’ll wait for you. Ok, back? Good).

Next, I whined about my lack of accountability habits, and it ended with him mentioning a habit-building aid he’s apparently been secretly creating.

I was still trying to figure out a witty reply to impress him with (yes, I’m a suckup like that) when the term “Habit Habitat” popped into my head.

It floored me. I mean, isn’t that just the most AWESOME thing?

I want to say it again, with extra flourishing, just to savor its taste on my tongue.

It's A Flourish!

A Habit Habitat!

'Cause Habits need exercise, too.

It's another flourish!

It’s a habitat. For habits.  See?

Why? Isn’t it obvious?

Because new habits need space to get established, so that the rest of our existing stuff doesn’t crowd them out.

Carrot. Stick.  Self-explanatory, right?Because habits need exercise to grow and stay strong.

Because habits need to be fed and watered  with repeated action, and attention,  and maybe offered a cookie on a carrot stick. (My habits don’t like carrots. If your habits are fine with orange veggies as treats, just go with that, and skip the cookies.)

Habits need room to breathe, to adjust themselves in private.  They need new rooms to explore, to test themselves in new and stimulating environments. They need comfy, sleepy places to curl up and dig into while supporting neural networks build themselves in your brain.

And habits need the excess hair on their furry little feet shaved so they don’t catch fire on the way to Mordor. Oh. Wait. That’s Hobbits.  Sorry.  Wrong metaphor. (Though I’d really to make a habit of boulder pushing and ring delivering, the way Naomi describes. It’s in the post I just linked to. Totally worth a read. )

Habit Hobbit Feet! But back to our habitat.

I’m not sure how I’ll build it,  yet. Or even what sorts of materials I’ll  build it from.

What I do know?

It must be amusing.

And habit forming.

Did I mention amusing?

A clever journal, perhaps n the form of a moleskine or a 3 ring binder, with worksheets and coloring pages? Maybe a fold out  poster kit, with pockets and habit building cards.  Or maybe a software app like Joe’s Goals?

I do love the convenience of software trackers, but hand writing engages the brain so much more effectively.  Decisions, decisions…

Ah well. We’ve got time to design this thing, right?

Oh, and here…

Click on the image below if you want to see the full wacky drawing thing.

Click for the full wacky.

Any thoughts or ideas on what a habit habitat looks like?

The floor is open! And by floor, I mean comments.
So please do… comment, I mean.

It's another flourish!


  1. I’ve observed that a good habit takes a while to establish; BUT, a bad habit is set the very first time 🙂

    I love “Habit Habitat”! Maybe they’re different for everyone since our brains are all different.

    I have a dollhouse (The WhimpleTree Bunny Cottage) in my studio with handmade scale bunnies (I play with it too). My habit habitat might something like that except with sparkly things and glitter.

  2. LOVE. I want, no need, no MUST HAVE a sexy water bottle, STAT..

  3. I totally believe in a habit habitat. I have that set up in my cave with my desk. When it is time for me to get some writing done, I turn the lights down low, light up some incense, put on some mellow music, and instantly slip into the zone.

  4. Oh my. How super delicious. Yes, fellow word-lover, that phrase has legs. Great post. And…really? Do you do all this amazing drawing too? Impressive.

  5. Love this post!!! I think my habit habitat requires ritual; things that engage my senses and make me want to go back for more. Like Biffster before me, lighting, incense and sounds work.

    Getting all inspired to transform my office into a habit habitat!

  6. Heh. I watched that exchange on Twitter and it prompted the observation that, although I have long yearned to establish habits, and have tried many times, I’m not really good at doing *anything* consistently — as in daily rituals or routines. I think it’s a combination of boredom and rebellion.

    And yet, somehow, everything important in my life gets done. So maybe I can survive without traditional habits, per se?

    What seems to work best is to alter my environment so that there is really only one action available to take. Like I set up Leechblock on my computer. Or I only buy whole foods at Costco. Or I schedule a recurring appointment with my sister so I don’t have to decide when to call her. Or I have kids so I must be a careful steward of my free time 🙂

    Oh! I think I set up Habitrails for my habits! They don’t get a choice of direction, they just get funneled through the paths I set up for them. I love that image. Thanks for the inspiration, Tori.

  7. I am glad to see I am in great company. 🙂

  8. Maureen /

    Maybe we could have play dates in each others habitat. THAT would be a blast. I miss play dates.

  9. No playdates! People always want to touch my stuff. 🙁

  10. Tori Deaux /

    Biffster!! This is a circus, not an airport! NO TSA agents or body scanners allowed. (Unless, of course, you’re into that kinda thing.)

    Maureen, ohh ohh! I love the idea of playdates. I sense a Twitter chat in the making… or… something. Must research.

    Alison, I love it! Habitrails. Yes. *frantically taking notes*

    Sandy, I’m thinking of making my office a Habit Habitat too. But I still want a binder. Or box. Or something…

    And I’m loving all the stuff about engaging the senses. YES yes yes!

    This is so exciting.

  11. Maureen /

    Biffster I would NEVER touch your stuff! You will have to warn me about the playdate on Twitter. I don’t go there often. I find it a bit overwhelming for my ADD.

  12. Hmmmmmmm….ya know, the habit house looks really familiar. I mean, I’ve got a feed and water area in the corner, and wood shavings on the floor, and a big exercise wheel in the living room, and…wait a minute…!!?!!…is that a salt block over there?!?!..