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Personal Habits: How To Make Good Habits Stick, 6 Proven Secrets - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Reward Yourself

Tie a “want” to a “should.”

For example: if you want to listen to an audiobook but you know you should go to the gym, allow yourself to only listen to audiobooks while working out.

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Personal Habits: How To Make Good Habits Stick, 6 Proven Secrets - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Personal Habits: How To Make Good Habits Stick, 6 Proven Secrets - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

https://www.bakadesuyo.com/2016/05/personal-habits/

bakadesuyo.com

6

Key Ideas

Focus On Keystone Habits

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 that changes other habits as well: you start feeling good about your body, you eat healthy foods, you procrastinate less, etc.

Use “Minimum Viable Effort”

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.

Make A Plan

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.

Reward Yourself

Tie a “want” to a “should.”

For example: if you want to listen to an audiobook but you know you should go to the gym, allow yourself to only listen to audiobooks while working out.

Use Reminders

Mark the calendar. Set the alarm. Use a checklist.

When you’re trying to break bad habits, you need to resist. But with good habits, you need to remind.

Get Help From Friends

Peer pressure works. And a good support network shows us that change is possible. 

Hang out with pals who have the habit you want. Across many different kinds of behavior (voting, smoking, weight loss and weight gain, happiness,  etc), people are very meaningfully affected by the behaviors of other people to whom they’re connected.

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The importance of motivation
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Focus On The Meaning

We find motivation when something is meaningful. Meaning is much bigger than the enjoyment of a moment. It can include something we don't like. Soldiers risk being killed every day to serve their country. New parents handle poop daily for years.

Meaningful things give us purpose. This means doing something that serves a larger cause than yourself or, at least, making a contribution in your own world.

Tasks that do not seem meaningful

When a task you have to do doesn't seem meaningful, reframe your experience. You may not always be able to change what you have to do but you can change how you view it. When you look at it in light of how it helps others, you'll often find motivation.

You're not "filling out boring paperwork, you're helping people get the insurance that could save their life. You're not slaving over a hot stove, you're showing your family how much you love them.

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“Keystone” Habits

The primary keystone habit is regular exercise. People who exercise habitually start changing other unrelated patterns in their lives, even unknowingly. They eat better, use their credit car...

Do the most important things first

Willpower is limited. It is highest early in the day but decreases as we make more decisions. Most self-control failures happen at night.

Do the most important things first. As the day goes on it will only get harder to face big challenges.

Don't Use Willpower

Research shows we don’t use much willpower when something is a habit.

Build new habits by manipulating your environment so as to make what you should do easy and what you shouldn’t do hard. Remove the cookies from eyesight and put your running shoes next to the bed.

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The Habit Loop
The Habit Loop

The cue triggers a craving, which motivates a response, which provides a reward, which satisfies the craving and, ultimately, becomes associated with the cue.

Together, these fo...

5 primary ways that a new habit can be triggered
  • Cue 1: Time - Most common way to trigger a new habit
  • Cue 2: Location - Most powerful driver of mindless habits and also the least recognized
  • Cue 3: Preceding Event - Many habits are a response to something else that happens in your life
  • Cue 4: Emotional State - emotional state is a common cue for bad habits
  • Cue 5: Other People - people you surround yourself with can play a role in your habits and behaviors.
We all make bad decisions

While we may not like to admit this, we all are making a lot of bad decisions, be it our personal lives, careers or in our jobs. Here is what research says about making good decisions:

The right information, not more

If there is too much information, we tend to make the wrong decision, and even if our decision is well-researched and considered right, we end up dissatisfied. 

The right information, even if less, provides clarity to make the right decision.

Gut feelings vs logic

A gut feeling, or an instinct, is often the right path, and points towards the right decision.

Ultra-rational, logical and unemotional decision-making does not guarantee that the decision taken will be the right one.

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The Compounding Effect of Habits
The progress we experience from the compounding effect of any habit isn’t immediately visible. As a result, people give up quickly

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Consistency matters more than frequency

We usually make effort unsustainable. For example:

  • We work out like crazy for a few days (usually at the beginning of the year) and never go back to the gym.
  • We try to meditate for 30 mins one day and don’t give it another shot until 10 days later

But when it comes to developing and maintaining a new habit, frequency matters more than intensity.

Identity-based Habits
To build the identity of the person you want to become, ask yourself what the behavior of a person who has the habit you want to develop is. For example:
  • What is the behavior a person who is in shape? They go to the gym consistently
  • What is the behavior of a prolific writer? They crack open a notebook every day.

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Making Your Habits Stick

To make any habit stick in the long-term (keystone or not), do it regularly. 

The more often you do the habit, the more you'll get used to it, and eventually, you'll do it wi...

Keep Track Of Your Habit Every Day

It helps to know how often you’re succeeding (or not). Use whatever works for you: pen and paper of habit tracking apps.

A simple way to keep track of your progress is to mark each day you complete your habit on a calendar.

Start Small

Do the minimum you can and be consistent in your behavior.

To create a new habit, you must first simplify the behavior.  A good tiny behavior is easy to do — and fast.

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attributed to Aristotle
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
attributed to Aristotle
Confucius
Confucius
“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”
How to Develop Habits
  • Focus on just one habit, for 30 days.
  • Put it on paper, together with your motivations, obstacles, and strategies for overcoming them.
  • Commit fully, preferably in a public way.
  • Track your progress.
  • Remain publicly accountable — report on your progress each day.
  • Have support for when you falter.
  • Reward small wins.
  • If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again.

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Mistake Of Every Productivity System
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Rile up those emotions
  • Get Positive. Monitor the progress you’re making and celebrate it.
  • Get Rewarded. Research shows that rewards are responsible for three-quarters of why you do things.
  • Get Peer Pressure. "When people join groups where change seems possible, the potential for that change to occur becomes more real."