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Activation Energy and the Chemistry of Building Better Habits

https://jamesclear.com/chemistry-habits

jamesclear.com

Activation Energy and the Chemistry of Building Better Habits
There is a concept in chemistry known as activation energy. Here's how it works: Activation energy is the minimum amount of energy that must be available for a chemical reaction to occur. Let's say you are holding a match and that you gently touch it to the striking strip on the side of the match box.

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Activation energy

Every habit or behavior has an activation energy. The more difficult or complex a behavior, the higher the activation energy required to start it. The smaller the habit, the less energy you need to start.

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Smaller habits are more sustainable

Smaller habits are more sustainable

Big goals often require big activation energies. And you get stuck dreaming about life-changing outcomes, instead of taking action. 

Stick with smaller habits. They require smaller activation energies and that makes them more sustainable. 

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Environment design = catalyst for building better habits

Environment design = catalyst for building better habits

Environments where we live and work influence our behaviors. Catalysts lower the activation energy required to start a new habit. And optimizing you environment is one way to catalyze habits: in the right environment, every habit is easier.

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Even simple habits have intermediate steps

And each intermediate step has its own activation energy. Examine your habits closely and eliminate the intermediate steps with the highest activation energy(i.e. the biggest sticking points). Your habits will be easier to accomplish this way.

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Applying the activation energy principle

In chemistry, activation energy is the energy that must be supplied to result in a chemical reaction. The more energy you need, the harder it is to start the chemical reaction. A way to apply the activation energy principle is to reduce the amount of energy you need to do the action.

Ensure you have enough energy in the first place by feeling well-rested. Then break down the task into smaller chunks that need less activation energy. Once you have started, you'll often find yourself motivated enough to keep going.

Activation energy: Use catalysts

Catalysis makes it easier for a reaction to start. To motivate yourself for a task, add a personal catalyst.

  • Energetic linking. Try to link the task with an existing activity which requires low levels of activation energy. For example, to get yourself to listen to a podcast, play an episode while you shower.
  • Energize your environment. If you are trying to study, go to the library for a quiet environment.
  • Energy incentives. An accountability partner is a great way to create an incentive.

Chemistry and the different personality types

It very often happens that we fall in love, while feeling uncontrollably attracted to, with individuals who end up breaking our hearts. Anthropologists found four personality types, as follows:

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The lows and highs of chemistry

Feeling chemistry with someone can lead not only to successful relationships, but also to major traumatic experiences. Not being able to put your needs first, while accepting their drawbacks, only because you are immensely attracted to that person, can actually break your spirit.

Choosing right your partner

According to dating experts, what makes the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful relationship is the trust, intimacy and, most especially, the willingness of each partner to meet the other one's needs. Therefore, next time you feel attracted to someone, try to also observe their reactions whenever you express your feelings or needs. This will be a major indicator of the success of your relationship.

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Habits define your energy levels

Habits define your energy levels

Tine is not the basis for productivity. Energy is.

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Napping benefits

Even if it may feel lazy, napping has a range of cognitive benefits.

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