5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits That Stick
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.”
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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.
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.
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:
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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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.
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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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...
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.
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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