A habit is a routine or behavior that is carried out repeatedly and most of the time automatically.
When you are faced with a problem repeatedly, your brain starts to automate the process of solving it. Your habits are sets of automatic solutions that solve the problems you come across regularly.
Goals are good for establishing a direction, but systems are best for making progress.
Goals are about the results you hope to reach. Systems are about the mechanisms that lead to those results.
You could choose and start a habit because of motivation, but you'll stick with it only if it becomes part of your identity.
To change your identity:
The main components of habit formation:
A better method is to cut bad habits off at the source.
You may be able to resist temptation once, but you will most likely not be able to have the willpower to control your desires each time they appear. Thus, your energy would be better spent optimizing your environment.
We imitate the habits of three groups:
Create a motivation ritual by doing something you really like right before a difficult habit.
Habits are attractive when we associate them with positive feelings and unattractive when we associate them with negative feelings.
The amount of time you have been performing a habit is not as important as the number of times you have performed it.
You could do something three times in thirty days, or three hundred times. The frequency will always make the difference.
We will instinctively choose the path that requires the least amount of work.
Diminish the friction associated with positive actions. When friction is reduced, habits become easy. Increase the friction associated with negative behaviors. This way, habits become hard.
What is instantly rewarded is done again. What is instantly punished is ditched.
To get a habit to stick you need to feel instantly successful, even if it’s in a small way.
We experience peak motivation when we are performing actions that are right on the edge our current abilities.
Not too difficult, not too easy.
The goal is to make the time and location so obvious that, with enough repetition, you get an urge to do the right thing at the right time, even if you can’t say why.
To follow this the favourite approch to follow is one I learned from Stanford professor BJ Fogg and it is a strategy I refer to as habit stacking .
Any habit can be broken down into a feedback loop that involves four steps:
If the cycle is completed successfully then you have created a habit to do that particular thing.