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Stop Confusing Habits for Routines: What You Need To Know

Habits are a type of learning

They generate an impulse to do a behavior with little or no conscious thought.

By forming a habit, the brain frees the mind to do other things without deliberation. So behaviors that require concentration, deliberation, or extended effort, are not habits.

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Stop Confusing Habits for Routines: What You Need To Know

Stop Confusing Habits for Routines: What You Need To Know

https://www.nirandfar.com/habits/

nirandfar.com

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Key Ideas

Habits and behavior change

Building habits to change behavior the right way can be a wonderful tool to improve your life. But false notions about what habits are and what they can do can backfire.

Habits are a type of learning

They generate an impulse to do a behavior with little or no conscious thought.

By forming a habit, the brain frees the mind to do other things without deliberation. So behaviors that require concentration, deliberation, or extended effort, are not habits.

What drives motivation

Motivation is not driven by pleasure and pain, but rather by the desire to escape discomfort.

Our brains get our bodies to do what they want through discomfort. And the same rule applies to psychological discomfort. 

Habits, routines and effort

  • A habit is an impulse to do a behavior with little or no conscious thought. Not doing a habit feels uncomfortable, like not washing your hands after using the toilet or not flossing your teeth before bed.
  • A routine is a behavior frequently repeated. Unlike a habit, skipping a routine doesn’t feel bad and without proper forethought, can be easily skipped or forgotten.

Forming habits

  • Start with a routine and stick to it.
  • Make time in your schedule for your routine. Without this, chances are it’ll never get done.
  • Learn to manage discomfort. New routines won’t be effortless, so you can learn coping techniques to deal with discomfort in a healthier manner.
  • Find ways to pre-commit. You can find someone to hold you accountable, for example.
  • Remember not to try and turn hard-to-do behaviors into habits. Doing so risks frustration and failure. 

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The Test

If we are procrastinating instead of doing a certain task, telling ourselves that we would it later, it is a sure sign that the task isn’t a habit which can be done on autopilot but is, in fact, a routine.

Anything that requires effort is easy to forget or postpone.

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