Making a Habit of Success

Charles Mace admits he didn’t have a very positive outlook on education before he came to Utah Valley University. He saw the University as just a place to get his papers so he could move on to the job he wanted. But his experiences at UVU changed that outlook.

“I began to love what I was learning. I’ve had some phenomenal professors, and I’ve begun to realize that education is much more of a lifestyle than something you do for four years. I got really motivated and inspired by some incredible people.” 

As an example, Mace mentions Kyle Reyes,* an assistant professor of secondary education and special assistant to the president for inclusion, with whom Mace did an internship. Mace says Reyes opened his mind and helped him understand humanity. 

“He helped me understand diversity efforts, but even more, he helped me gain a deeper understanding of what’s fundamentally the same about human beings as well as the incredible things that make us unique — not only in our ethnic and cultural backgrounds but also in our experiential backgrounds. I learned to see how the families we grow up in and the people we associate with have an impact on how we treat others and how others treat us.” 

As part of the internship, Mace was able to devote four hours a week to a passion project of his own devising. Being passionate about self-help, he began developing a curriculum called Habituate to help people form better habits — habits that lead to improved health in all aspects of their lives: financially, emotionally, cognitively, and physically. 

Starting with that curriculum, Mace and his wife, Clarissa Mace, have taken the ball and run with it. They established their own presenting and mentoring company, which teaches people how to establish healthy habits. Also a UVU student, Clarissa Mace is putting her psychology classes to use in the business. “It’s great to be able to recognize what’s going on in the brain and why doing something a certain way is helpful in establishing good habits,” she says. 

Charles Mace says, “We’re a great combo, because she provides the research data, and then I adapt it into a digestible format that anyone can use and understand.” The couple built a tiny home out of a box truck so they can travel and promote their business to companies and organizations once they graduate. 

Last fall Charles Mace received the BYU Management Society Scholarship and the Bernon & Irene Smith Scholarship, making it possible for him to focus more on developing Habituate and less on part-time jobs to help pay for his education. “Those scholarships were incredibly timely, because we were worried about finances and were trying not to get into too much student debt,” he says. 

“We’ve spent a lot of time setting up the business, building a website for marketing, and creating a social media presence. There are so many aspects of a business you have to invest time into, and those scholarships really freed us up to do those things,” says Charles Mace. The scholarships also gave him more time to take what he was learning in his classes, apply it to his business, then report on the results to his classmates. 

“One of the coolest experiences I had in my venture consulting class was building my brand and logo, then bringing it to the class to be critiqued,” he says. “If I were spending all my time doing homework assignments and having a job, I wouldn’t have been able to have that true educational engagement.” 


*Kyle Reyes recently accepted the position of vice president of student affairs at UVU.