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How to Build Better Habits

https://www.outsideonline.com/2401883/how-to-build-good-habits

outsideonline.com

How to Build Better Habits
In the 1950s, a plastic surgeon named Maxwell Maltz noticed that it took his patients about three weeks to get used to their faces after cosmetic surgery. He also realized that that was about how long it took him to get acclimated to new behaviors in his own life.

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Trigger, Behavior, and Reward

Much of human behavior follows a predictable cycle: trigger, behavior, reward.

For behaviors that you want to do, the goal is to make triggers salient, the behavior easy, and the reward as immediate and satisfying as possible. For behaviors that you want to avoid, it’s the opposite. 

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Rig Your Environment

In habit speak, don’t underestimate the power of everything around you to act as a trigger. 

A better option than relying purely on willpower is to consciously design your environment to remove the temptations that regularly get in the way of what you’re trying to do. 

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Enlist a Community

it’s not just your physical environment that influences your behavior but also your social one. Motivation is contagious. 

A community also helps with accountability. If you’ve made a commitment to another person or group, you’re more likely to stick with it.

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Start Small

If you want to make any kind of significant change, you’d be wise to take baby steps.

If you regularly overshoot on the ability side of the equation, you’re liable to flame out. But if you gradually increase the challenge over time, what was hard last week will seem easier today. 

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Replace Self-Judgment with Self-Compassion

The harder the habit change, the more likely you are to fail or relapse into old ways of being. Your reaction when this happens is critical.

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Failure relates to a weak strategy

In most situations failure is not a result of poor willpower, but a result of poor strategy.

In battles and in building new habits, start easy

Good military leaders start by winning easy battles and improving their position.

Same goes for starting habits. You should not start new habits in an environment that makes progress difficult.

2 more ideas

Gretchen Rubin

“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”

Gretchen Rubin

One Step Daily

Most people do not stick to their New Year's resolutions because they focus on the entire task.

By just focusing on the daily small steps, one is able to create a successful daily routine.

Keep It Practical

Dial back your goal for the New Year to be a more practical, pragmatic one, and your chances of success will rise dramatically.

Don't be too hard on yourself.