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Personal Habits: How To Make Good Habits Stick, 6 Proven Secrets - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2016/05/personal-habits/

bakadesuyo.com

Personal Habits: How To Make Good Habits Stick, 6 Proven Secrets - Barking Up The Wrong Tree
We all want to get to the gym, be more productive, be kinder to our loved ones... and then we don't do it. Why? Well, building solid personal habits can be hard. In fact, research shows it takes an average of 66 days to build a new good habit.

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Focus On Keystone Habits

Focus On Keystone Habits

Keystone habits lead to the development of multiple good habits. 

Exercise is a good example of this. Once you start to change your exercise habits, it sets off a chain reaction that changes other habits as well: you start feeling good about your body, you eat healthy foods, you procrastinate less, etc.

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Use “Minimum Viable Effort”

Use “Minimum Viable Effort”

Focus on baby steps. The key to new good habits is to do the minimum and be consistent.

Do not be ambitious at the beginning. That leads to failure. Consistency is what you’re shooting for, so make the hurdle as low as possible.

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Make A Plan

Make A Plan

Thinking about the details makes you more likely to follow through. 

Just writing down your plan also makes a big difference in effectively committing to your goals.

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Reward Yourself

Reward Yourself

Tie a “want” to a “should.”

For example: if you want to listen to an audiobook but you know you should go to the gym, allow yourself to only listen to audiobooks while working out.

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Use Reminders

Use Reminders

Mark the calendar. Set the alarm. Use a checklist.

When you’re trying to break bad habits, you need to resist. But with good habits, you need to remind.

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Get Help From Friends

Get Help From Friends

Peer pressure works. And a good support network shows us that change is possible. 

Hang out with pals who have the habit you want. Across many different kinds of behavior (voting, smoking, weight loss and weight gain, happiness,  etc), people are very meaningfully affected by the behaviors of other people to whom they’re connected.

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The Compounding Effect of Habits

The progress we experience from the compounding effect of any habit isn’t immediately visible. As a result, people give up quickly

They don’t realize that every day they show up the...

Consistency matters more than frequency

We usually make effort unsustainable. For example:

  • We work out like crazy for a few days (usually at the beginning of the year) and never go back to the gym.
  • We try to meditate for 30 mins one day and don’t give it another shot until 10 days later

But when it comes to developing and maintaining a new habit, frequency matters more than intensity.

Identity-based Habits

To build the identity of the person you want to become, ask yourself what the behavior of a person who has the habit you want to develop is. For example:
  • What is the behavior a person who is in shape? They go to the gym consistently
  • What is the behavior of a prolific writer? They crack open a notebook every day.

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Making Your Habits Stick

To make any habit stick in the long-term (keystone or not), do it regularly. 

The more often you do the habit, the more you'll get used to it, and eventually, you'll do it wi...

Keep Track Of Your Habit Every Day

It helps to know how often you’re succeeding (or not). Use whatever works for you: pen and paper of habit tracking apps.

A simple way to keep track of your progress is to mark each day you complete your habit on a calendar.

Start Small

Do the minimum you can and be consistent in your behavior.

To create a new habit, you must first simplify the behavior.  A good tiny behavior is easy to do — and fast.

We all make bad decisions

While we may not like to admit this, we all are making a lot of bad decisions, be it our personal lives, careers or in our jobs. Here is what research says about making good decisions:

The right information, not more

If there is too much information, we tend to make the wrong decision, and even if our decision is well-researched and considered right, we end up dissatisfied. 

The right information, even if less, provides clarity to make the right decision.

Gut feelings vs logic

A gut feeling, or an instinct, is often the right path, and points towards the right decision.

Ultra-rational, logical and unemotional decision-making does not guarantee that the decision taken will be the right one.