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

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.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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 med...
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.
Raise Your Level of Intensity Gradually
When something becomes effortless, raise the level of intensity, to the point where you can get there without too much resistance, but it’s still somewhat challenging. To put it more concisely, bend but don’t break.

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Keystone Habits

They tend to have ripple effects which change your behavior in unexpected ways.

The power of a keystone habit draws from its ability to set off a chain reaction that causes other...

Examples of Keystone Habits

Exercising regularly is for many people a keystone habit because when they do it, they also make healthier eating and life choices and procrastinate less.

Other keystone habits include: meditation, reading, writing and socialising. They provide a nice foundation for a healthy life in all domains

Identify Your Keystone Habits

Look for behaviors that have a ripple effect, and change your other behaviors without extra effort. 

Also, pay attention to how you see yourself when you do a particular habit: Does it change your self-image? Do you feel better when you think of yourself as a person?

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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 importance of motivation
The importance of motivation

Research shows that more than 50% of American workers feel disengaged at their jobs.

Research also shows that motivation is very important to feel engaged. Motivation predic...

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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Go from Dreamer to Do-er

Use the WOOP strategy for achieving goals:

  • Wish: What do you dream of achieving in the future?
  • Outcome: What form will that result take?
Wish (But Don’t Stop There)

Everything starts with a wish. But don't transform that into fantasy.

When you fantasize, your brain thinks you’ve actually achieved your goal. So rather than ramping up, motivation dials back.

See A Specific Outcome

Be specific about the form your wish should take.

For example: If a "better work-life balance" is your wish, your outcome  could be “No work on weekends."

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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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Mistake Of Every Productivity System
Mistake Of Every Productivity System

Productivity systems rarely take emotions into account. And feelings are a fundamental and unavoidable part of why humans do what they do.

We need to think to plan but we need to feel ...

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."

Make The Readers Feel Something

Honesty is the most important ingredient. You don’t have to be or have gone through something to write about it but you must have a heartfelt feeling about it so you can expose that emotion thro...

Structure And Revise

You need to have a beginning that builds to a middle and an ending, or at least an idea of where you’re going, as it is key to explore your themes and foreshadow things properly.

Another important thing is to revise your writings. Your first draft is likely to contain multiple errors, poorly phrased sections, and inconsistencies.

Surprise The Reader

To do it, you must know what your audience expects from the type of writing you’re doing and then defy it.

Without the surprise, without the twist, if you don’t pull the wool over the audience’s eyes, then it’s unlikely you’re going to be memorable. It’s precisely the fact that things are not what they seem that makes a story interesting.

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“Micro quotas”

In the process of finding a balance between your desire to dream big and your day-to-day activities, create macro quotas.

These refer to the minimum amounts of work that...

Behavior chains

Creating new habits that stick is easier if we make use of our current routines, instead of trying to fight them.

Use "if-then planning": choose a regular part of your schedule and then build another “link in the chain” by adding a new habit. For example: "If it is lunch time, then I will only eat meat and vegetables.”

Simplify decision-making

Making repeated choices depletes our mental energy, even if these choices are mundane and pleasant.

If you want to maintain long term discipline, aim for fewer decisions during the day: identify the aspects of your life that you consider mundane and then ‘routinize’ those aspects as much as possible.

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