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A Formula for Creating Good Habits and Meeting Your Goals

Your brain thinks in pictures

The brain places information into maps and pictures for quick recollection. We not only remember the past, but we also collect pictures of what we believe is possible in the future.

These pictures of the future are what motivates us to stay disciplined with our actions until it becomes a habit.

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A Formula for Creating Good Habits and Meeting Your Goals

A Formula for Creating Good Habits and Meeting Your Goals

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/wander-woman/202001/formula-creating-good-habits-and-meeting-your-goals

psychologytoday.com

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Key Ideas

Changing your habits

Our lives are defined by how we regularly spend our days. It is not determined by the occasional moments when we suddenly remember to exercise or call a friend.

To create new habits requires change. We must have a clear view of the outcome we desire.

Your brain thinks in pictures

The brain places information into maps and pictures for quick recollection. We not only remember the past, but we also collect pictures of what we believe is possible in the future.

These pictures of the future are what motivates us to stay disciplined with our actions until it becomes a habit.

Find your vision

Ask yourself:

  • What new behaviors would you love to make into habits?
  • What emotions do you want to experience more of?
  • Who do you want to hang out with?
  • What activities do you want to do more of?
  • What can you do more or less of to increase your hope for the future?
  • How do you want to feel this day next year?

Write your vision in a journal.

Use keywords

Choose one word that summarizes your vision. Remember this keyword when your day starts to spin out of control. It can help to put elements of your vision in mind to keep you focussed.

Document your success

Your brain needs reminders of the evidence that your goal is achievable and worth the effort.

  • Take at least five minutes after you stop working to acknowledge the positive steps you've taken to make your vision a reality. Write your progress down in a journal. 
  • Write at least five things you are glad you did.
  • Share your progress with a friend.

Creating habits takes time

Research shows forming new habits can take anywhere from a few weeks to months.

By creating visions, you can support your desire to continue with your habits.

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Devote at least 15 minutes a day to your change.

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Fork over the truth

Behavior modification teaches us that we repeat behaviors that make us feel good. What’s your payoff for not changing? 

Until the goal becomes larger than the payoff, you’re always going to choose feeling good over feeling uncomfortable.

Set realistic goals

Start with one behavior at a time.

Instead of concentrating on losing 20 pounds in 20 days, for example, make a goal to simply begin by eating five fruits and vegetables a day.  

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How To Choose Good Habits
  • Envision your ideal end result. What are you going to achieve?
  • Write it down. It will serve as a powerful motivation, especially if you include why you want it.
Good Habits For Health and Fitness
  • Regular Aerobic Exercise: Great for both your physical and mental health. Increases the production of dopamine and boosts creativity.
  • Preparing Your Own Meals. It’ll take some getting used to, but it’s a habit that’ll boost your health, wealth and productivity. 
Good Habits For Finance and Wealth
  • Create a Household Budget: the best habit to help you save money. A household budget helps to encourage frugality and discourage impulse spending. You’ll feel more motivated to engage in other good financial habits once you’ve got this in place.
  • Financial Audits. This involves frequent checks as to whether you’re spending your money as wisely as possible.

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Jack Mezirow

"By far the most significant learning experience in adulthood involves critical self-reflection - reassessin..."

Jack Mezirow
3 areas of life to clarify

You need to have absolute clarity over 3 fundamental facts:

  • Your goals (the destination)
  • Your current situation (your coordinates)
  • The path that connects both of them (the route).

A very simple, but crucial principle: if you don’t know where you are, you can never reach the place where you want to be.

The world of the status quo bias

Making an alternative choice is hard because we are neurologically wired to favor the default solution, even if it brings suboptimal results.

As the complexity of a decision increases, so does our tendency to stick with the answer we know.

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