Do you have some kind of limiting behaviour or habit that is holding you back and it’s preventing you from moving forward in your life? There’s no denying that we all are, indeed, creatures of habit. Our minds and bodies are dependent on stimulants, actions and patterns that come to define who we are. Usually these habits are sneaky behaviours that develop subconsciously and quietly creep up on us. So whether it’s trying to quit smoking, cutting out junk food, or having that glass of wine, habits can be hard to control, but even harder to break. Every action comes from an original thought pattern. Therefore, if you really want to break old habits, create new ones, and have a total lifestyle transformation, you will need to change more than just your habits. It will require a shift in mindset and in this episode, we’re going to share how you can work towards creating that shift in 66 days. It’s been scientifically proven that we need to make a commitment for 66 days toward habit installation and in today’s episode, we discuss ways to remove that habit and create a new default behaviour. These ideas may seem very simple, but are truly very powerful, and can apply to most kinds of habits. As humans, we have the ability to adapt and take a habit out of our lives, and it’s time to learn how you can rewire your brain, install a new habit and it gets into a CAN DO attitude in 66 days.

In this episode
01:10 – Do you have a limiting behaviour?

02:09 – Habit vs Routine

05:50 – What is a Habit?

06:18 – Routine Triggers

09:16 – Be Obnoxious (Days 1 – 22)

10:04 – Share with others

11:28 – Self-Analysis (Day 22 – 44)

13:15 – Become the person of your dreams

15:07 – Find the Light (Day 44 – 66)

16:04 – Shifting your mindset

17:50 – Own your experiences


Dr Marisa Lee Naismith is excited to announce the release of her new book “Singing Contemporary Commercial Music Styles: A Pedagogical Framework” published by Compton Publications UK. Marisa offers this book as a starting point and as CCM markets continue to evolve, she encourages that we, as a voice community, continue to evolve, debate and communally add to this framework.



Visit the A Voice and Beyond Youtube channel to watch back the video replay of this guest interview or to see my welcome video.

Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  00:00

Hi. It’s Marisa Lee here. And I’m so excited to be sharing today solo round episode with you. Whether you’re a member of the voice community, or beyond your voice is your unique gift. And my mission, which has been inspired by my own personal and professional journey is to empower you to share your gift with others. Now is the time for you to discover your voice in life, develop a positive mindset, and become the best and most authentic version of yourself to create greater impact. Ultimately, you can take charge, and you can become the director of your own life. It’s time for you to live your best live. It’s time now, for A Voice and Beyond. So, without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  01:10

Do you have some kind of limiting behavior that is holding you back? And it’s preventing you from moving forward in your life? Is there a habit or something that you catch yourself doing consistently, and you simply can’t stop doing whatever that thing is. Or, even worse, still, you’re not even aware that you’re doing that thing most of the time. Perhaps it’s something that others around you find annoying, or you’re indulging in behaviors that are simply not good for you, your health and your future ambitions. I just love when I ask for these kinds of questions because most people immediately say, oh, no, not me. I don’t have any bad or annoying habits, please. It’s okay. We all have some kind of habit or routine that we’ve fallen into whether we plan to or not. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  02:16

You may have a daily habit that is something insignificant such as you absolutely have to start your day with a coffee or you just can’t function. Yep, that sounds exactly like me. Maybe you need a glass of wine every night while you cook dinner just to help you unwind after a busy day at work. Perhaps it’s something a little more subtle, like biting your fingernails whenever you’re deep in thought or playing with your hair whenever you’re talking to someone or grabbing a cigarette when you’re stressed. Do any of these sound familiar? 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  03:00

Look, there’s no denying that we are indeed creatures of habit. Our minds and our bodies are dependent on stimulants actions and patterns that come to define who we are. Our habits are our security blankets surrounding us in their constant and reliable presence and the comfort of familiarity. So whether it’s trying to quit smoking, cutting out junk food, or drinking that glass of wine, habits can be hard to control, but even harder to break. Usually, these are sneaky behaviors that develop subconsciously and they quietly creep up on us. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  03:47

The thing is, many people think that most habits are not a big deal because they simply see them as routine. But the downside of some of these behaviors is that even the smallest habit can have the biggest impact on your life, your health and your relationships, and they can mess with your goals. Your habits and behaviors are a part of a greater system of thinking that is responsible for the way your life turns out. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:20

The truth is that habits are a core factor that govern almost every aspect of our lives, such as your morning routine, where you typically have lunch or even the route you take to work and back every day. These are all habits and see how they can rule our lives. Just ask a smoker or better still ask someone who’s married to one. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:49

Take a moment now to think about something specific that you find yourself doing all the time that has become habitual. Is it Something you want to continue doing, or is it something you’d rather do away with? And most importantly, how does this behavior impact your life or those poor people around you? 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:15

Every action comes from an original thought pattern. Therefore, if you really want to break old habits and create new ones, and have a total lifestyle change, then you’ll need to change more than just your habits, it will require a shift in mindset. And in this episode, we’re going to help you create a shift in 66 days.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:50

It’s essential to understand that a habit is the behavior that is repeated regularly. This behavior can be an action, or routine or even a lifestyle choice. Often, these are hard to give up and are usually performed subconsciously. With every habit, there’s some kind of a trigger or routine that follows and an outcome. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  06:18

When we talk about triggers, this could be a location, a specific time of the day, behavior patterns of those around you, or an emotional state you’re in. This trigger then fires up a routine, which is the repetition of that behavior. This could be your morning wake up routine, which is triggered by your alarm clock, you hear the alarm ring, and you’re triggered to wake up, jump out of bed and then proceed into a set morning routine. This could be subconscious, and you don’t even know it’s a thing. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  07:00

Finally, you get the reward or the outcome from the habit. The reward isn’t always the best word to use, especially with a negative habit. But this is what keeps you coming back to the habit over and over again. For a smoker, it could go like this. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  07:21

Perhaps you may be feeling stressed after a long meeting. This is your trigger. And the routine that follows is to take a little break and light up a cigarette. As you smoke, you start to feel calm and relaxed. There you have it, there’s your reward. As a result, you continue to smoke every time you feel stressed, or you want to unwind. This is something my husband used to do and I saw it for myself. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  07:54

Thankfully, we as humans have the ability to adapt and to take the habit out of our lives in the same way we put it into our lives, freeing us from the unconscious, and in some cases, the detrimental behaviors that simply don’t serve us and replacing them with new positive ones. It’s been scientifically proven that we need to make a commitment or 66 days towards habit installation to transform that habit into a new default behavior. This idea seems really simple but very powerful and can apply to most kinds of habits. The only exception to this rule is breaking a habit that includes addictive substances or stimulants. These make the withdrawal and the brain processes very difficult to break the habit. Otherwise, when we repeat a certain action at a certain time in our day consecutively for 66 days, our brain rewires itself and it gets into a can do attitude.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  09:16

According to research, if we want to make a change in our lives, we can do it in 66 days. Let’s break this down and look at how we can do this. In your first 22 days of habit breaking, you need to shout it out aloud. By that I mean tell your friends, your family, tell your co workers, everybody you can find tell them you’re on a mission to make changes in your life and list them as officers on patrol to give you a nudge when you’re slipping back into your old ways or not keeping up with your new ways. Tell them you want them to yell at you, bother you and constantly remind you that you are on the road to make change. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  10:04

When we share with others, they can offer us understanding, compassion, empathy, and we are able to get through to the other side of making change more easily. That’s why we need to be in a good community of people. When you’re struggling with making difficult changes, you have to have people to call on, there’s no shame in sharing with others, that you’re having a bad day or a bad week. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  10:34

You need to find your support network, so that you’re never alone and suffering in silence. When times get tough. We can all be warriors, but we need to understand that even warriors have other people in their tribes. All the great battles on this earth were fought and won with a brilliant army. We need to build our army and stop thinking of that army as one person, ourselves. You need colleagues, friends, families, partners and neighbors and build deep connections, a community of supportive people.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  11:28

Habits are hard to break as they typically based on changing how we act and react in everyday life. Whether you’re quitting a bad habit, or picking up a healthier one, get to the core of the why you’re doing this, and how it’s going to impact your life. Days 22 to 44 should be spent in self analysis. It’s time then to really dig deep and do some soul searching. Take a good look at your life. What do you want in life? How is this habit holding you back? 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  12:09

I’m constantly checking in with the way that I’m thinking about my life, my relationships, my work, my connection with others, including my husband, I also checking to see if I’m on track with my mission and my purpose. No matter how many years I have ahead of me, whatever that is, I want to live every day, feeling amazing, experiencing joy surrounding myself with people who I love and who uplifts me and being in the best physical, emotional and mental condition I can possibly be in. I don’t want to waste a single day. And I don’t want a bad habit to hold me back. Every day we have on this earth is so precious. And yet so many people take life for granted by having a bad attitude towards life, but most importantly, a terrible, horrible mindset. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  13:15

Perhaps you may need to look at your relationship with yourself right now. You need to become the person of your dreams. You need to be aware of your mindset around yourself as a human being and take accountability for your own life. And those habits. When you look in the mirror, and you look at yourself, and I’m not talking about the Instagram version, how do you really feel about yourself, be honest here. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  13:48

You want to be able to say that you embrace who you are knowing and accepting that you have room for improvement because it’s okay to want to do better and be better. We can all do better. Be kind to yourself. Be grateful and embrace who you are. No one is perfect. Life is never perfect. It’s okay to say there are some behaviors that I’m not proud of. But despite those things, I know I’m going to do something remarkable with my life. I’m going to make something of my life. I’m going to do something that matters. You have to be able to say to yourself, I do matter and I am valuable. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  14:42

If you can rediscover your true self, very deep in your unconscious, it will make it easier to carry out 66 days of making change. Your internal force will push you along

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  15:07

In the third stage is the final push phase. As far as you’ve come, you still have to make it through another 22 days, these final days, it’s easy to burn out, get tired and forget why you’re doing this. It’s easy to revert back to your old ways, because up to this point, you’ve yet to rid yourself of that habit. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  15:38

So at this stage, you have to find something to hold on to something that will push you to your final goal. It’s the last 22 days that prove how strong and willing you really are for change. It’s about realizing that you can see a light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s only glimpses of that light. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  16:04

So try a shift in your mindset and enjoy the process. As hard as it’s going to get to make change. Please embrace the day to day grind, rise to the challenge, embrace the challenge, because this is the time when you’re going to grow the most as a person. This is where life’s lessons magically appear. When you’ve got all the success in the world, it’s hard to find ways to learn and to grow, because you already have it all. But when you’re in that process of change and challenge, and you haven’t quite succeeded as yet, you need to embrace the moment. Embrace the process. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  16:53

So find happiness in the process before success and celebrate those small wins. Celebrate every day, you don’t repeat the old habit. Even if you can only manage two days before cracking, then celebrate those two days. Before you know it, you’ll look back and laugh at the fact that you could only manage two days at the start. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  17:23

I promise you that even though you haven’t quite completely fulfilled your goal, you can still feel happiness. shift your mindset because happiness attracts more opportunities for happiness, and we’ll build a winning attitude.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  17:50

Making change is the hard choice and continuing on just as you are is easy. Learning how to break a habit can take time and can be full of setbacks. However, if you stay dedicated to overcoming each challenge along the way, you will slowly but surely replace your bad habits with more positive ones and steer your life in a better direction. It’s time to leave the harbor and embark on a difficult journey to make positive changes in your life. No one said it’s going to be easy. Be prepared that making change will trigger all kinds of negativity and self sabotage. Become the captain of your ship and remain steady while the seas are rocky. And I promise you will acquire sea legs and you will become the captain. Own your experiences along the way. And don’t be ashamed of the setbacks. Persevere and steer your life towards greater achievement and progress and you will arrive at your destination safely. And when you do be sure to celebrate, throw a party, have some champagne, shattered from the rooftop. Make a day of it or call up your friends and have a swanky dinner party. No matter what. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  19:23

Remember, you are worth the effort. Always have been and always will be. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  19:35

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of A Voice and Beyond. I hope you enjoyed it as now is an important time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth and education. Use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow so you can show up feeling empowered and ready to live your best life If you know someone who will also be inspired by this episode, please be sure to copy and paste the link and share it with them. Or share it on social media and use the hashtag #AVoiceAndBeyond. I promise you, I am committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one every week. And if you would like to help me, please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Applev Podcast right now. I would also love to know what it is that you most enjoyed about this episode and what was your biggest takeaway? Please take care and I look forward to your company next time on the next episode of A Voice and Beyond.

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