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What's the Best Way to Make a Habit? Comparing Seven Different Approaches | Scott H Young

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https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2019/06/05/7-habit-approaches/

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What's the Best Way to Make a Habit? Comparing Seven Different Approaches | Scott H Young
The basic process for building all habits is basically the same: you repeatedly condition the behavior you want, over time, until it becomes automatic. There's two main ways you can condition a habit. One is through classical conditioning. This is simply a paired association with a trigger and a behavior.

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Building habits

The basic process for building all habits is basically the same: you repeatedly condition the behavior you want, over time, until it becomes automatic.

But no habit starts out auto...

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Conditioning a habit

2 main ways you can condition a habit:
  • Classical conditioning: a paired association with a trigger and a behavior. Going to the gym after you wake up each morning is this kind of habit.

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The 30-Day Trial

You commit to some change for 30 days, then tou can go back to your old ways. But having spent thirty days applying a new behavior is often enough to convince you to stick with it.

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Don’t Break the Chain

Keep track of how many days in a row you’ve successfully followed your habit. As your chain gets longer and longer, you become increasingly committed to the habit.

Pros:

    ...

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Never Miss Twice

The goal is to do it every day (if possible) but if you miss a day, you must do the habit the following day.

Pros:

  • Easier to keep up for longer stretches with...

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Pretraining

It means practicing the habit a bunch of times in an artificial situation so that it occurs more automatically in real life.

Pros:

  • For when you think you...

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Project-Driven Habits

Ignore the process of creating habits altogether and simply focus on a project that will force them to occur.

Pros:

  • You can often change multiple habits at the sam...

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Tattletale Tactics

This strategy works by deputizing others to enforce your habit for you.

Pros:

  • No formal rules or mechanisms are required, just the social pressure from the outside...

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Identity-Driven Habit Changes

Avoid thinking about changing a habit, but instead think about changing your self-conception.

Pros:

  •  “I’m a healthy person now,” for example can trigger e...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The 2 ways you can approach your habits: Progressive and Consistent

  • Progressive. You start off easy, make it a little bit harder each time, until you eventually do very difficult things, with a lot less effort.
  • Consistent. Do the same...

Progressive habits are about managing growth, while consistent habits  are  are about managing decline. Progressive habits are less st...

Progressive habits are about managing growth, while consistent habits  are  are about managing decline. Progressive habits are less stable, but offer higher growth. Consistent habits offer lower growth, but are more stable.

When you set up a progressive habit, you’re on a path to improvement

Small, incremental adjustments in difficulty are almost certain to push your level up. The downside with progressive habits is that they are harder to sustain.

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Ways to improve your life

Ways to improve your life

There are a few different ways you can go about setting a goal or creating a new habit.

  • Target the minimum output. You focus on always doing at least a little bit so t...

When to Focus on the Minimum

Minimum targeting works well for establishing long-term habits.

A goal of, for instance, doing fifty push-ups every day might not be ideal for fitness, but doing something is better than doing nothing.

Another reason to focus on the minimum is that it assumes the difficulty is in starting. To start a process can often be the hardest. Then you want to set a lower threshold to make starting as easy as possible.

When to Target the Average

Focusing on the average makes sense when you're hoping to sustain something, even if it is not always a perfectly easy and consistent output.

It works when you are already putting in a bit of effort, but want to improve that effort over the long-term.

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A habit of compounding growth

Reading is a habit of compounding growth. When reading, you'll learn more, and you'll generate ideas and motivation for making other changes.

Reading books means you're getting more concentra...

Put the book down

The real cause of reading too few books is that you don't enjoy it enough.

Don't feel compelled to finish a book that has become boring, predictable or unhelpful. Start a new one. You can have many books through various states of completion. Some won't be finished, and that's okay. Reading less is worse than having a few go unfinished.

Build an online library

An obstacle to your reading habit is not having enough interesting books waiting to be read.

Create a list of potentially good books. If you have a Kindle or eReader, get samples of any book you might want to read — Source your wishlist from suggestions from other writers and authors. When someone recommends a book on a blog or tweet, add it to your wishlist.

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