New Habit Mindset

Live Better. Smarter. More Fulfilled

Live Smarter. Better. More Fulfilled.

Drawing on the latest in neuroscience, positive and cognitive psychology, and behavioral science, New Habit Mindset offers you key information to take actionable steps to create better results in your life,  achieve your ambitious goals, and experience greater well-being and happiness.



“We are we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
– Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy (1926)

Three Action Steps to Improve Your Game.

1. Listen to my podcast on habit change.

2. Enroll in my e-course. 50% off Special

  • This course is designed to give you the tools to help you achieve your goals and feel happier, confident and more fulfilled.

Success Mindset: How To Conquer your Mental Roadblocks


Learn some of the latest research and proven techniques to help you achieve your goals:

  • Uncover your reality distortions
  • Develop your mental strength by developing a growth mindset
  • Learn how word choice can determine your outlook
  • Gain confidence and resilience
  • Discover better habits to serve you in achieving your dreams

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3.  Receive free resources

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Here’s one thing that you can do easily to increase your happiness in 2019.

So many of our New Year’s resolutions are centered around doing less or stopping an activity, such as

  • Drink less
  • Lose weight
  • Cut down on extraneous spending
  • Reduce screen time

Often we don’t think about what truly brings us joy. For a country that prides itself on freedom, independence, and the pursuit of happiness, a recent study confirms that the US has clearly has lost its way.

In the World Happiness Report, the top ten happiest countries are Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Australia; the US ranks 18th and yet we are the 11th richest country in the world.

What is wrong with this picture? Why aren’t we happier?

Well-being and happiness often require factors such as family support and friendships, living with meaning and purpose in your life, a healthy lifestyle and a spirit of generosity.

Have we gotten too greedy, self-consumed, and me-oriented?

Research has already shown that after a certain threshold, more money and more toys don’t make us happier. While we may still be experiencing a holiday high, our back-to-reality everyday drudgery will hit home soon. True to our fallible nature, we think that more money will make us happier. While it is true that the wealthy are happier than the poor, once we have reached a certain threshold, around $80,000 a year depending on where you live, more money does not correlate to greater happiness.

When our income increases, our spending expands and we overestimate the joy that a new car or larger house will bring. Sure it may make us happier for the short-term, but in the long run, the initial emotional euphoria will dissipate.

If more money doesn’t make you happier, what will according to the research?

Generosity is one of the top key variables that contribute to happiness in the World Happiness Report. A recent white paper on generosity concludes that human beings are wired to help one another whether it’s through time, donations, volunteering or some other act of kindness and empathy.

Generosity can make a huge difference in your happiness and well-being. Click to retweet

Generosity expands your capacity to think beyond yourself and build empathy and compassion toward others, important emotions to increase your happiness. According to Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology and the creator of PERMA principles, happiness can be cultivated with discipline and better habits.

The research on generosity is complex and nuanced. Several different studies note that there are social and geographic differences in giving to charitable organizations. People in the top income quintile in England and Wales were the most likely to give to charitable causes (86 percent), while those in the bottom quintile were least likely to give (65). This contrasted with studies from the US where the very poorest give the highest proportion of their income and then the line flattens with those from middle and higher income brackets.

Regardless of your income, geographic location, cultural or familial upbringing, the research clearly indicates that forming an ongoing habit of generosity not only helps others, but it is also good for you.

Make generosity your top habit to cultivate for 2019.

  1. Donate to your favorite cause every month. Remember that every little bit can help a small organization.
  2. Make it a practice to help someone at work or at home without being asked or without expecting anything in return.
  3. Volunteer your time with an organization or to make a difference in someone’s life.
  4. Be generous with your attention. Take your headphones off your head, pull out your earbuds, lift your head up and away from your phone or computer, really look people in the eyes and listen to what they have to say. In fact, say, “hello” when you pass someone.
  5. Be generous with your kind words. More compliments, more nice comments, and more positive reinforcement.

Here’s a challenge for the next 365 days. Practice one act of generosity a day. Be the change. Make a difference. And you will feel the change in your life.

There are affiliate links below for which I may receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you.

Suggested Reading

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

The Generosity Factor by Ken Blanchard and S. Truett Cathy

The Paradox of Generosity by Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson

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What’s your mantra for the holidays?

‘Tis the season for excess, consumption, and materialism.

Advertisers have seduced us all into thinking “more” is better and bargain deals are a must-have.

Do office parties, family gatherings, and neighborhood get-togethers cause you to overeat, overdrink, and overbook your daily life?

In this time of deep religious celebration of light, hope, and miracles, how is it that we veer so off-course feeling exhausted, rushed, and overstuffed.

In an attempt to live the holiday season with greater joy and ease, you may consider adopting a few mantras to hold you firmly grounded and centered during the holiday mayhem.

Four mantras to help you navigate the holiday season:

1.  The Mantra of Savoring

Happiness researchers will tell you that a way to increase joy is to practice savoring.  When you are multitasking, such as looking at your twitter feed while eating, you enjoy your food less. Savor your conversations, food, and time with others.  Really pause, notice, and think to yourself, I am going to savor this moment.  From the book, Happiness, Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth: 

The key component to effective savoring is focused attention. By taking the time and spending the effort to appreciate the positive, people are able to experience more well-being.

 2. The Mantra of Calculated Moderation 

The old adage, “everything in moderation” seems intuitively sound, but a recent study confirms that the concept does not translate well to your daily life.

The extent to which people believed they consumed foods in moderation was unrelated to how much of that food or drink they reported consuming,” the authors wrote. “Furthermore, participants’ ratings of their consumption as moderate for a given food item were unrelated to their definitions of moderate consumption of that item.”

Using data, such as caloric intake or a point system similar to Weight Watchers, is a better way to manage “moderate” consumption. The data won’t lie, but your brain may trick you into what I call “skewed moderation.”

 3. The Mantra of Forgiveness

The holidays and family gatherings can bring up a lot of emotion, tension, anxiety, sadness, shame, and an array of psychological turmoil. What fun! Misinterpretations, grudges, and unmet expectations can lead you down a path of disappointment, anger, and angst.

The science shows that the practice of forgiveness can help you increase feelings of happiness and well-being. Letting go of old emotional baggage takes courage.  Learning to forgive both yourself and others requires a good deal of empathy. How will you practice forgiveness this season?

4.  The Mantra of a Positive No

For those of you who are like me, a people pleaser, it is easy to get caught up in doing too much and then burning out.  Even a simple request or favor can be the last straw that puts you over the edge.  Before that happens, learn to say no or ask for help before you cross the line into overload.

Establish your boundaries for rude, toxic, or passive-aggressive behavior that can surface during family gatherings when old relationship patterns get triggered.  Forgiveness is helpful, but that doesn’t mean you accept or continue to tolerate unwanted or abusive behavior.  Walk away, limit contact, or articulate your boundaries for engagement.

“As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

― William Ury, The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes

The paradox of life is that our human journey requires great hurdles to achieve bigger wins.  Courage requires standing in fear and vulnerability.  A powerful no requires risk and willpower to overcome patterns and bad habits.  Greater happiness requires self-acceptance, forgiveness, savoring the present moment, and empathy.  Not easy tasks for any of us.

As you journey forward through the days ahead, may you find the light, the hope, the blessings, and the joy this holiday season.

Peace be with you.

There are affiliate links in the blog and below for which I may receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you.

Suggested Reading

Happiness, Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth  by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener

The Power of A Positive No by William Ury

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21 one wishes to my 21-year-old son.

I remember so vividly turning 21.  Back then you could drink at 18 so it wasn’t about the legality of consuming booze that made the event memorable.

Somehow turning 21 meant I was really crossing the threshold into adulthood.  It was an age that put my teenage years behind me and my adult independence within a hands reach.

As I celebrate my son’s 21st birthday, I think about my 21-year-old self and the lessons learned.  How many times did I spend worrying about inconsequential things, or kept my mouth shut when maybe it would have been better to advocate more vocally for myself or for others.

It’s always easier looking back.  But if we keep sticking to the hard work –  the work that requires to stand tall, live by our values, be professional, show up, and have the discipline to take courageous small steps forward, we can all live meaningful and fulfilling lives.

What would you tell your  21 year-old-self?

1. Be kind yourself and to others.

Being kind yourself is a lot harder than you think.  Self-compassion and forgiveness are cornerstones to building a life of happiness and humility.

2. Enjoy the journey.

The destination for all of us is death.  Don’t rush through life.  Savor the days. Savor the moments that really matter. Look for the good.

3. Learn when to say ‘no’.

It is easy to fall into a trap of pleasing others.  Risking rejection or feeling that you might be letting someone down are difficult emotions to navigate.  At the end of the day, you need to respect yourself which is more important than anything.  Learn when you need to walk away.  Learn when saying ‘no’ serves you.

4. Keep getting up and be professional.

When you were learning to walk, you fell down a lot.  It was not a big deal.  Falling down was just feedback on how you might get better at standing upright.  Make mistakes and learn from them.  They help you grow.  But also there are times when you are not going to want to do something.  You just don’t feel like it.  But keep showing up.  Be professional.  Don’t give to the whims of your emotions.

5. Be aware of your assumptions.

Sometimes we are all quick to judge and quick to assume.  But our eyes and our perceptions fool us constantly.  Watch out for assumptions as they could easily lead you down the wrong path. Learn how to ask really good questions. Dive deep. Discover new truths.

6. Make the world a better place.

Materialism, power, and money are seductive.  You will be most proud of doing work that is meaningful to you and is helping others

7. Laugh often.

And mostly at yourself.  Life can be serious, difficult, challenging, discouraging, and hard.  Laughter can decrease your stress hormones and build up your immune cells.  Laughing is contagious – what a great thing to spread.

8. Keep exercising your courage muscle.

Courage is the opposite of fear.  No one can accomplish any courageous act without experiencing fear or self-doubt.  Practice stepping outside your comfort zone.  Every single person experiences fear.   Just feel the fear and do it anyway.

9. Friends matter.

Liking something on Facebook, Twitter,  or Instagram does not cultivate friendships. Snapchat is not a conversation.  Pick up the phone and call someone and have a meaningful conversation.  Go visit someone.  Reach out personally. Treasure conversations with friends outside of social media.

10.  Save for a rainy day.

If you live to be 100, you will be working for 65 – 70 years.  Build your financial nest egg first. Life will bring you uncertain times or you will want a change.

11. Live by your values.

Knowing your values and what is really important to you will help you make better decisions. It’s easy to get distracted.  Know your “why?”

12. Don’t take too much personally.

Stuff happens.  People say things or do things that really have nothing to do with you.  Don’t take too much personally.   Seek feedback from those you can trust.  But otherwise, don’t get rattled by other people’s stuff.

13. Know your biases.

We have a lot of biases.  Maybe over 100.  The two that seem to trip us up a lot are our unconscious and cognitive biases.  Challenge your biases, the same way you need to challenge your assumptions.  The world is complex and nuanced. It is easy to distill information down to a way that only supports your way of thinking. This will limit you.  Understand where your thinking may be limiting you.

14. Forgive and forget.

People are going to do things that piss you off.  You may even do something that causes shame or embarrassment.  Get over it.  Forgive yourself.  Forgive others. Move on.  Life is short.  The planet has been spinning for 4.5 billion years.  If you can’t forgive, or you feel guilty about something, go make it right, and then move on.

15. Cultivate curiosity.

A curious mindset will help you immensely.  It opens up doors to creative thinking and keeps you in the present moment.

16. Learn how to ask for help.

Life will throw a curve ball or maybe several.  Unexpected events happen.  Cultivate a network of friends.  Accept your own vulnerability.  Ask for help.  We are here for each other.

17.  Have plan A, B, or C for your near future.

It is great to have goals.   They help you focus and achieve results in your life that really matter to you.  Willpower, deliberate practice, and commitment are attributes that will help you achieve results.  But sometimes life doesn’t go as planned.  When you have alternative options, you will feel more in charge of your life and less likely to be a victim of circumstances.

18. Know what you can and cannot control.

A lot of stress and anxiety is lost to thinking about things we cannot control.  At the end of the day, you are in control of your emotions, your thoughts, your behaviors, how you spend your time, and your actions.  Pretty much everything else is outside of your control.  You may be able to influence outcomes or people.  That is very different from control.  Understand the difference between control and influence.  Let go of things that are outside of your control.

19. You always have a choice.

Often we can get stuck in a victim mindset when we feel as if we have no choice.  But if you dive deep into the situation, you probably find that you have more choices than you realize, even if the choice is how you respond to a situation.

20.  You will most likely have 5 careers or more.

The world is changing so fast.  New careers are being created all the time while others are disappearing.  You have no idea what types of new jobs will be available even in 5 years from now.  Keep an open mind.  Don’t let your past passions or professions define your future. Most of us are multifaceted with multiple interests.  It’s ok to change. Be open to possibilities you haven’t even imagined.

21.  Know that you are loved.

You are enough just being you.  You don’t need to prove anything to anyone except yourself.  Maybe you won’t understand this now, but there is nothing like a parent’s love for their children.  It’s deep and wide.  We aren’t perfect.  Sometimes we say the wrong things or make mistakes.  But know that you are loved!!


22. Practice a sustainable lifestyle

It’s easy to experience burn out. Pace yourself. Eat well.  Make exercise a priority.  Walk in nature. Meditate or practice mindfulness.  Advocate for clean air, non-toxic environments, and natural resources.  These steps will allow you and our planet to be around for a long, long time.


Recommended Books

Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss




The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey




The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins


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5 Key areas of your well-being. Where are you thriving and where are you not?

Our consumer-driven culture seduces us daily with all sorts of reasons to buy the latest fashion, gadget, toy, game, and car.  Advertising has us chasing product deals falsely tying our self-worth to some “thing.”

While consumerism may be good for the economy, is it really good for you? Do more toys or more clothes or more gadgets really make you happier?

What really improves your well-being?

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Three simple habits to get unstuck in any area of your life.

The self-help movement is a $9.9 billion industry but the US population is generally unhappy, overweight, disengaged at work, and not saving any money. Here are the statistics: 

There is no shortage of gurus, programs, or blogs (like this one)  to help you with personal mastery, health and fitness, weight loss, relationships, career or financial planning, mindfulness, or anything else you want to tweak or change in your life.

Why are are we unable to change?  Why do we get so stuck in our status quo?

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26 ways you can achieve a marathon mindset and reach your goals.

Today is the Boston Marathon.  It’s the oldest continuing running marathon that attracts international elite athletes to compete in running 26.2 miles.  Due to its competitive entry requirements, the field is limited to 30,000 entrants of which 80% must beat a qualifying time at another marathon in their age category.  It’s not for the faint-hearted but for goal-driven, competitive personalities.   

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Improve your life and face your biggest challenges with these 5 habits.

Life-threatening illnesses, the death of a loved one, financial/job loss, divorce, tragic accidents, natural disasters, wars, or terror attacks can come out of nowhere and suddenly appear in your life.  These natural disasters or traumatic events on the surface seem to be anything but a blessing.

There is an old Taoist short story that highlights the unpredictability of life and maintaining a detached perspective on our experiences.

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How to improve your health and your heart with Love 2.0

It’s a $19.8 billion dollar holiday.  Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day. The average American consumer spends $137.56  on Valentine’s Day cards, flowers, chocolates, meals, and other presents to woo, wow, or bestow love to that special someone.

With almost 30 days since the commercial hype of this romantic holiday, have you lost that lovin’ feeling?

  • Isn’t love more than just cupids, red hearts, and roses?
  • And what if you don’t have a romantic partner?  

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Up your game by asking better questions.

Our educational system teaches us to think, analyze, write, compute, and create. Drawing on the Socratic method our classroom discussions are centered around a model where the expert, or the teacher, is the one with the responsibility for asking questions to stimulate thinking, dialogue, and debate.  

But what about the student?  How do our schools teach the skill and practice of formulating better questions?  

Think about it, the questions you ask in any given situation might manipulate, direct, offend, empower, inform, assume, or even influence creative input.
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How to use positive psychology to kickstart your goals for 2018.

When I ask you, “how was your day?”, what is your response?

Do you immediately recount the negative experiences that have recently happened or are you able to identify some of the positive outcomes you may have experienced?

Most people dwell on the areas of their life that are not going well or where they have experienced negative emotions.  This tendency is driven by the default wiring in your brain.  Positive psychology and strength-based questions can help override your negative thinking and improve your capacity to create success in your life by focusing on what is going well for you now and building on your key strengths.

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