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Forming a habit is trying to form a cue-behaviour link in your memory, meaning you perform the behaviour without intentionally having to make yourself do it.
Cues can be internal or external (for example, feeling hungry or making a cup of tea) and are most effective when encountered every day, to minimize daily planning and willpower.
We are more likely to create a habit when it connects to our sense of identity.
Some habits are representations of certain important goals or values. If you manage to link certain behaviours to your sense of identity, it might help to establish those habits.
Make use of what we called ‘habit discontinuities': moments when people go through life-course changes, such as moving house, starting a family or a relationship, divorce, retirement or organization changes.
These kinds of events disrupt old habits and allow you to create new ones.
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When trying to build new habits, be specific by thinking about ways to measure the evolution of your action: set clear targets that can help you, when the deadline previously decided on approaches, to evaluate your progress.
When picking up a new habit, think it well through: take into account the possible inconveniences as well as the most attractive advantages.
Remember that sometimes it might get harder to keep to the habit, but eventually, you are doing it for a good cause that is related directly to yourself.
The cue triggers a craving, which motivates a response, which provides a reward, which satisfies the craving and, ultimately, becomes associated with the cue.
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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 t...
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.
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.