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New Neuroscience Reveals the Best Way to Form Powerful Habits That Stick New research proves that willpower and rewards aren't enough to build sustainable habits. Here's what else you need.

By Leah Borski

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Our brains are lazy — but not without good reason. Comprising only 2% of the body's mass, the brain gobbles up 20% of its energy. About 86 billion neurons fight to fulfill their staggering metabolic needs. Laziness is an energy-conserving necessity for the brain.

If we want to create powerful habits that stick, it doesn't make sense to waste that energy. But that's what most of us do when trying to change our habits. We scold and punish ourselves into adopting new habits. We bend over backward trying to justify unhealthy ones. These mental gymnastics deplete vital mental energy. We engage in thoughts, beliefs and actions that don't actually support change. Instead, they stifle it.

Related: 'No One Wants to Hear You Toot Your Own Horn' and 9 Other Rules From People With Blockbuster Personal Brands

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