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7 Little Habits That Can Change Your Life, and How to Form Them : zen habits

Confucius
“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”

Confucius

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7 Little Habits That Can Change Your Life, and How to Form Them : zen habits

7 Little Habits That Can Change Your Life, and How to Form Them : zen habits

https://zenhabits.net/7-little-habits-that-can-change-your-life-and-how-to-form-them/

zenhabits.net

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Key Ideas

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.

attributed to Aristotle

attributed to Aristotle

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Confucius

Confucius

“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”

Develop Positive Thinking

Start by becoming more aware of your negative self-talk: do a little tally sheet throughout the day, marking a tally each time you notice a negative thought. Soon you’ll recognize them, and you can squash them.

Exercise

How exercise is improving your life:

  • It makes you feel better about yourself and more confident.
  • It forces you to think positively, in order to sustain exercise.
  • It relieves stress and gives you time to think.
  • It helps with creativity. 

Single-tasking

  • You’ll be more effective with your tasks and get more done. Things like constantly switching tasks and being distracted by other “urgent” things really affect overall productivity.
  • You’ll be less stressed overall and (in my experience) happier throughout your day.

Focus on one goal

This is the most powerful way of achieving your goals.

When you try to take on many goals at once, you’re spreading thin your focus and energy — the two critical components for achieving a goal.

Eliminate the non-essential

The essential relates to the things that are most important to you from your life.

Find them and then eliminate everything else. This simplifies things and leaves you with the space to focus on the essential.

Kindness

  • Do something kind for someone each day. 
  • Each time you interact with someone, try to be friendly and compassionate. 
  • Try volunteering, to help those in need and taking the initiative to relieve suffering.

Daily routine

The best routines come at the start and end of the day because they give a great start and finish to your day.

Develop a routine for when you awake, for when you start working, for when you finish and leave work, and for your evening.

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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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Everyone wants to cultivate better habits. The problem is very few of us want to do the work to make those habits a reality.

Develop better habits by:
  • Thinking really small: it accumulates and adds up in a big way;
  • Shifting your evironment, so that good habits are easier to keep;
  • Piggybacking new habits on old habits: 
  • Surrounding yourself with good people:
  • Keeping it simple: short lists, reachable;
  • Picking yourself up when you fall.
Having No Routine

Having no routine or structure is so much more draining mentally, physically, and emotionally than any routine could ever be.

Why You Need a Routine
  • It gives you structure, builds forward-moving habits, and creates momentum that will carry you on the days when you feel like you don't have the strength to carry yourself.
  • Following a daily routine can help you establish priorities, limit procrastination, keep track of goals, and even make you healthier. 
  • It lowers your reliance on willpower and motivation.
Start the day with a mantra

... to get you into a positive mood for the day ahead. Put your mind in a good state right away, because left unchecked it will try to tell you the things that are wrong.

Pick a phrase or question that resonates with you. It could be as simple as smiling and saying "thank you" out loud, acknowledging that you have been gifted with another day.

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