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How Shift Happens in Our Lives : zen habits

How change happens

  1. You struggle with the decision to change. 
  2. You are finally ready to change. Something clicks for you.
  3. You start the shift, probably with some enthusiasm. 
  4. You find it harder or different than you thought and struggle a little.
  5. You stick with it and find some positive change.
  6. You get sidetracked but then come back again (or not).
  7. It becomes a part of your life.
  8. Things start to slip back until you refocus yourself. But at some point, many people slip back into their old habits.

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How Shift Happens in Our Lives : zen habits

How Shift Happens in Our Lives : zen habits

https://zenhabits.net/shift-happens/

zenhabits.net

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Key Ideas

How change happens

  1. You struggle with the decision to change. 
  2. You are finally ready to change. Something clicks for you.
  3. You start the shift, probably with some enthusiasm. 
  4. You find it harder or different than you thought and struggle a little.
  5. You stick with it and find some positive change.
  6. You get sidetracked but then come back again (or not).
  7. It becomes a part of your life.
  8. Things start to slip back until you refocus yourself. But at some point, many people slip back into their old habits.

Recognizing the need for change

It’s a powerful skill to take a look at your life and see that you need to make a change. 

Often we know we need to change but don’t want to face it. The skill, then, is to get very honest with yourself and recognize that a change is needed, and then finding a way to flip the switch so that you’re committed and taking action.

Taking the first steps

When you are ready to take action, get good at actually getting started. 

It doesn’t matter how you start — don’t get caught up in indecision and research. Instead, take action. 

Encouraging yourself

You will get discouraged or lose motivation at some point. Get good at encouraging yourself over and over again instead of discouraging yourself.

Also, get good at noticing when you're finding reasons to stop and take action keep yourself on track.

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The costs of indecisiveness
  • Not taking action can cost you an opportunity, or cost money and time as you delay.
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How we deal with uncertainty

These are some of the common ways we habitually deal with the uncertainty of a decision. But none of them solve the problem for us:

  • Doing some research. 
  • Writing out a pros and cons list.
  • Asking a bunch of people about their opinion.
  • Putting off the decision.
We are uncertain about
  • What the best choice might be.
  • Whether there will be negative consequences of the choice.
  • Whether we’ll look dumb to others if we make the wrong choice.
  • Whether we’ll feel dumb, or ripped off, and regret it for years to come.
  • Whether we’ll be OK if we make the wrong choice.

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What Perspective Taking Is

It’s the ability to take on someone else’s point of view when thinking.

By taking yourself out of the equation, the motivations of your opponent becomes clearer. And by understanding the othe...

Develop perspective taking
  • Put aside your feelings so that you can concentrate only on the other person’s perspective.
  • Use open ended questions that can help you draw out the interests and motivation that the person may not be verbalizing.
  • Be clear about your own position and the weaknesses it has.
  • Remove any personal intentions you may have, so as not to project them on to the other person.
  • Using what you know about the person, their background, their mood, their intentions and expectations,  imagine how they are seeing the current situation.
  • Validate their position by paraphrasing back to them what you think their position is.
Using perspective taking

When you break it down, almost every aspect of business involves an element of negotiation. 

By honing your perspective taking skills, you are much more likely to come up with solutions that are acceptable to all parties.

Default options

Deciding is too much effort so we’re likely to just stick with the default or safer option if it’s already been chosen for us. 

When we get offered too many choices, the same...

Best decision making happens in the morning

This is when serotonin is at it’s natural high, which helps to calm our brain. Thus, we feel less risk averse and so we can face risks and make harder choices.

The part our bodies play in decision-making

If we’re feeling hunger, thirst or sexual desire, that can actually spill over into the decision areas of our brains, making us feel more desire for big rewards when we make choices. 

This can lead us to make higher-risk choices and to want for more.

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William Bridges

“Change can happen at any time, but transition comes along when one chapter of your life is over, and another is w..."

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The Stages of Transition

The experience of Transition has 4 main stages:

  1. Disengagement: the feeling of separation from what is lost
  2. Disidentification: the destruction of the old identity
  3. Disenchantment: tearing out of the old reality
  4. Disorientation: the feeling of being lost and bewildered by the loss experienced.
Change is Inevitable

Change is the only constant in life.

It is always a certainty and failure to cope with change is not an option.

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“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.”
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The Elements of Ritual
  • Create your environment, because it will affect your practice.
  • As you start, set an intention for the ritual.
  • Bring presence and full appreciation to the act.
  • Rituals can be a space for contemplating what’s important to you.
  • Close in gratitude for whatever you just did.
Rituals to Consider
  • Start your day with intention, gratitude and reflection.
  • Email & messages: Transform them into a ritual of connecting to others, of carefully considering issues, of crafting language.
  • Exercise: Bring it to be an act of love for your body, an act of connection to your environment, an act of full presence.
  • Meditation: Make it a simple ritual of full appreciation for the moment.
  • Sleep: Make it a time when you reflect on your day, prepare for your time of rest, slow down and appreciate your life.
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It’s OK to be uncomfortable

Putting yourself out there is very uncomfortable for most of us.

But try to remember that discomfort is pretty normal. It's just a feeling, nothing more. So allow yourself to feel uncomfortable and accept that the feeling doesn’t mean you should stop trying that new thing your considering.

One step at a time

New projects can feel overwhelming, so imagining how you will get from start to finish it hard.

But you don't have to do it all in a day. Pick one small thing that will take you closer to your goal. And focus on that.

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Zombies are relatable

There are times that we feel heavy and problems seem to weigh us down, and later on, it feels almost impossible to keep moving to what we want.. we feel lifeless, but still alive.

And this can all be likened to the life of a zombie.

Moving forward

The good thing about being a zombies is that they still have that urge to move forward to their goals after all of the setbacks. And that attitude is what we should apply in our lives.

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Building better habits means changing your environment

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Nowhere is this more true than with food.

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Struggling To Build Healthy Habits
  • We tend to bite off more than we can chew, go too fast too soon, and then get overwhelmed too quickly.
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Your “Big Why”

As you’re determining the habits or resolutions you’re trying to set, make the habit part of a bigger cause that’s worth the struggle.

You’re not just going to the gym, you’re building a new body that you’re not ashamed of so you can start dating again.

Healthy Habit Building 101

There are 3 parts to a good or bad habit: Cue (what triggers the action), Routine (the action itself), Reward (the positive result because of the action).

You have trained your brain to take a cue (you see a doughnut), anticipate a reward (a sugar high), and make the behavior automatic (nom that donut). 

Compare that to a cue (you see your running shoes), anticipate a reward (a runner’s high), and make the behavior automatic (go for a run!).

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Exercise as a daily habit

The problem with trying to make exercise a habit is that you usually try to exercise 3 or 4 times a week … and that makes creating a new exercise habit difficult. 

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Set a time

Decide whether you’re more likely to stick with it in the morning or lunchtime or evening, and stick with that time

If you don’t set a time, you’re more likely to put it off until you have more time or energy, and then put it off until the next day. Soon, it’s not a habit at all.

Send yourself a reminder

There are a number of ways to send yourself an email or text reminder, so you’ll never forget. 

Then, when you get the reminder, do it right away. Don’t brook any delays.

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