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5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits That Stick

“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 you must get done every single day to make the bigger goal a reality. Quotas make each day approachable, and your goals become achievable.

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5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits That Stick

5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits That Stick

https://99u.adobe.com/articles/17123/5-scientific-ways-to-build-habits-that-stick

99u.adobe.com

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Key Ideas

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.

Plan, but don’t fantasize

Excessive fantasizing about results can be extremely harmful when building new habits. The mistake is in what we visualize.

For proper visualization, there are 2 steps:

  • Planning: Visualizing the process helps you focus attention on the steps needed to reach the goal.
  • Emotion: The visualization of individual steps leads to reduced anxiety.

Eliminate “ah-screw-its”

These are the specific moments where you find yourself saying, “Screw this, it’s not worth the effort!” 

Examine your habit and find exactly where things start to break down. New habits are often very fragile, and it is for this reason that we must eliminate any source of friction that may lead us astray

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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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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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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 t...

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.

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