My high school economics teacher (who was also the state championship winning football coach) told our class that it takes 2 weeks to create a habit. He was telling us this on the first day of school when we all had our brand new agenda books, crisp notebooks and fresh pencils with which to take notes and organize our sophomore lives. He wanted to make clear that most of us would forget our daily planners the next day, and probably not come to class prepared at all by the end of the week. He encouraged us to thoughtfully and methodically do what we set out to do (in this case, write our homework in our agendas and take helpful notes with sharpened pencils) day by day, for 2 weeks and by the end, we wouldn’t have to be so intentional about it- it would become habit. I have thought about that lesson many times over the years and have sought to apply it in all areas of my life. I’ve found that most things that are worth doing don’t come easily, and require some effort on my part. This new year I encourage you to pick one thing- any thing you have been wanting to change (eating in front of the TV? feeding your kids nutrient-free but convenient junk food instead of taking time to prepare them health-giving meals and snacks?) or a new habit you have been hoping to employ (drinking more water? going to bed by 10PM? writing in your journal? “unplugging” from your blackberry and spending more focused playtime with your kids? going for a walk with your family after dinner?)- and do it consistently everyday for two weeks. You’ll be surprised how quickly your new actions become your healthier, happier lifestyle!