The Guide to Habits - Deepstash

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The Guide to Habits

markmanson.net

Willpower is like a muscle

Just like going to the gym and building up strength, the more you train your willpower by accomplishing tasks on a consistent basis, the more you’ll have of it.

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Long term change is better served by building better habits, than by forcing your willpower. 

You will choose the apple over the cake for a number of times ... and then give up. Building a habit to start the day by going to the gym will work better.

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Habits  = “automatic” responses...

 ...to familiar environmental cues. 

They form when you engage in a behavior repeatedly in the presence of consistent stimuli.

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  • An environmental cue (that triggers your brain to initiate a habit);
  • behavioral response (the manifestation of the habit);
  • reward (that reinforces the habit).

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...means changing the cue that triggers it.

Instead of focusing on developing the habit of “working out,” develop the habit of putting yourself in the position to work out regularly: get home, get into workout clothes, prepare you water, go to the gym. 

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There’s no magical number...

...of days to form a new habit.

Instead, habits come about gradually over time and in a non-linear fashion.

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Making a good habit stick requires:

  1. Knowing the basics about how habits form and how they work
  2. Adjusting your perception about the habit you want to build - If the habit seems impossible, then it will feel harder
  3. Planning for when things go wrong

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While consistency is key, missing one or a handful of opportunities to practice the desired habit will not ruin your chances at establishing that habit in the long run. 

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