As Will Durant famously summarized Aristotle’s philosophy on excellence, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Our habits shape our lives, but forming good ones, shrugging off bad ones and inciting positive change — those are the tricky parts.

This month we sourced some solid experts and delved into the latest research to compile a comprehensive collection of advice that will help you create positive, life-altering habits — habits that could mean the difference between success and failure with your 2017 goals.

Are Habits Hardwired?

A habit by definition is a behavior ingrained by practice that enables you to perform very complex behaviors in a nearly automatic way — curling a dumbbell, brushing your teeth, driving to work. A large percentage of your daily activities are performed in the same situations at the same time, day after day, and habits arise from these repeated patterns of behavior.