Our minds and bodies default to habitual responses, with limits much like a computer software program. When we want to better ourselves and shed bad habits or develop good ones, we have to change our human algorithm, which is easier said than done. For inspiration we brought the conversation to the North Shore to ask people and one animal: “What is one habit you worked hard on to improve your life?” To see how your personality may be influencing your habits, check out this month’s Practical Wellness here.

Suzi Thomas, Sacramento

Artist at Paint Misbehavin’

My good habit is having a personal trainer, because I’m getting older, and I have to do this hard work, the only way I’m going to keep going is staying strong. I meet with her three times a week on Facebook, so I don’t even have to worry if I brushed my teeth!

Photos by Jeremy Jensen/Moonshine Ink

Nick Sandbak, Winnemucca

Mine engineer

So I guess the one good habit I’ve had to develop because of my girlfriend is becoming vegetarian — she’s vegan — so I wanted to meet her in the middle. It wasn’t easy working 12 hours a day when you can’t just eat whatever, but I’ve learned to cook better because of it, and I feel much healthier.

Greg Jensen, Reno

Contractor, interviewer’s father

It’s hard to call it a habit, I’d call it a mindset, really. Once your Mom and I were married, and you were born, one thing that became very real is considering your family over everything else. That meant changing my lifestyle to work an extra day here or there if we needed money, and not going out until 2 a.m. anymore because you have to prioritize another life.

Mariah Damante, Red Bluff

High school student

My good habit is having a tendency to constantly be doing something so if I don’t achieve my goals at least I knew I was trying really hard. That basically means trying to get everything done two weeks ahead of time. I’m motivated to not have any regrets.

Cali le Aussie, Reno

Model/herder

I recently had to get in the habit of not pooping or peeing on the floor. This was especially difficult because:

1. I’m a puppy.

2. Have you ever pooped on carpet? It’s incredible.

3. I still am not quite sure what a floor is, or is not.