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A Lifetime of Riches - Is it as Simple as a Few Habits?

Trick yourself

Take an existing cue you have, but trick yourself into triggering a different behavior.
If you want to quit coffee, you could give away the coffee machine and put a box of tea or a glass of water on the countertop.

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A Lifetime of Riches - Is it as Simple as a Few Habits?

A Lifetime of Riches - Is it as Simple as a Few Habits?

https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/03/19/a-lifetime-of-riches-is-it-as-simple-as-a-few-habits/

mrmoneymustache.com

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Key Ideas

Forming good habits

Habits are little chunks of auto-pilot behavior that get burned permanently into your mind. Once you develop a habit, you can never really delete it.

Habits start with a trigger, which sets off your automatic behavior. They end at a pleasant reward that reinforces your habit.

Find the trigger point of your habit

Describe your own behavior in detail, and search for clues you might have missed before. Find your trigger.
If you have a habit of making coffee, it might be triggered by entering the kitchen. Some people eat in response to boredom or buy stuff in response to their desires.

Trick yourself

Take an existing cue you have, but trick yourself into triggering a different behavior.
If you want to quit coffee, you could give away the coffee machine and put a box of tea or a glass of water on the countertop.

Make a new reward

Try to make a new reward that is similar to the old reward.
If it is a coffee habit, the reward is a warm beverage and an excuse to sit still and reflect. For that reason, a substitute like herbal tea would work.

Get your foot in the door

Use Keystone Habits to trigger other changes. It could be just "waking up". 

You know you have to wake up each day. Set a note for yourself that you'll notice when you wake up and compel yourself to take a step in the right direction. (Do one pushup before breakfast, for example.)

Reinforce habits

Reinforce habits with belief and community.
When we tell stories of our own lives of making the desired change, it creates belief. When others chime in, it shows that achieving changes is possible for everyone.

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Frugality

Frugality means resisting the temptation to spend more than you earn.

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Self-made millionaires choose moderation over extremes. They often buy used cars, don't live in the most expensive houses and don't try to time the investment market.

Hard Work

A defining characteristic of many millionaires are their willingness to work hard and stick it out in high-paying careers until they are financially independent.

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  1. Create a Financial Calendar: prevent yourself from forgetting quarterly tax payments and to get credit reports.
  2. Check Your Interest Rate: Pay off loans, open saving accou...
Budgeting Like a Pro
  • Consider an All-Cash Diet, as limiting yourself to physical currency combats overspending.
  • Set aside 1 minute a day to check on your financial transactions, to identify problems, track goal progress and set your spending tone.
  • Allocate at least 20% of your income to financial priorities like emergency funds, debts and retirement fund.
  • Budget about 30% of your income for nonbasic spendings, like entertainment. Abiding by the 30% rule, you can save and splurge at the same time.
How to Get Money Motivated
  • Draft a Financial Vision Board, it motivates and helps you to stay on track with your financial goals.
  • Set specific financial goals stating the reason, the way, numbers and dates.
  • Adopt a spending mantra, a phrase that serves as a rule of thumb for how you spend.
  • Love yourself. Taking control of your finances is part of that.
  • Make bite-size money goals. Make the bigger ones but also small step goals to get there.
  • Don’t be a financial fatalist, and switch to more positive mantras.
  • Get your finances and body in shape. The discipline associated with regular exercising translates to managing your money well.
  • Appreciate what you have now, instead of being a consumerist.
  • Get a Money Buddy. Studies indicate people pick up good habits from friends with similar traits.

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Habit matching

When planning on building new habits, one easy way to integrate them into your everyday routine is by actually adding them to an already existing habit. 

Therefore, choose one habit y...

A step at a time

Once you have made up your mind about taking on a new habit, you might as well start getting used to it. Just remember that we have, as humans, the tendency to work better without pressure and when taking one step at a time. 

Therefore, start by creating small habits and get used to them and you will see how easy it is to build long-lasting routines that will make your life easier.

Practice makes perfect

When having taken the decision to introduce in your routine a new habit, it is very important to remember that practice makes perfect. Consequently, wait no more and start doing even if just a bit every day. You will eventually succeed in adding a new habit while feeling proud of yourself for being consistent.

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The 'tiny habits' method

You can hack your motivation and make changes that last by using the Tiny Habits method.

It works by breaking down big changes into tiny actions, find where they fit naturally into your li...

Repetition and habits

Habits can form very quickly. For instance, give someone a new phone, and their emotional response to using the device will wire in a habit very quickly. There is no need for repetition.

New habits then form as long as people have a strong positive emotion connected to the new behavior.

Designing for habit formation

Emotions create habits, not repetition. If you are designing a new habit, you are really designing for emotions.

Intentionally create feelings of success to wire in the habits that you actually want in your life.

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Habits You Should Track

Factors to consider when choosing a new habit to track:

  • Motivation: choose a habit you personally care about. If you pick a habit out of a sense of obligation, your motivation wil...
Tackle One Behavior At a Time

You can’t fully focus on any behavior if you try to establish several at once. 

Doing so risks overloading your willpower and your habits may end up competing for priority.

“Stack” Your Habits

The best way to turn a behavior into a habit is to use a trigger to remind yourself to do it. Your trigger needs to be something you always do anyway. Anything you already do without thinking works.

As you build new habits, you create new triggers for yourself and stack a new habit onto it. Each existing habit acts as a trigger to remind you to complete the next one until it becomes natural to do both together. 

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“The Relationship Protector”

The relationship protector is often family-oriented. If they can support them emotionally and financially, it gives them their sense of achievement at having helped. 

A relationship protector is far less likely to make spontaneous investments when others depend on them, and their conservative approach to saving prepares them for retirement. 

“The Opportunity Seeker”

They’re always looking to expand their options, and every financial decision is carefully calculated to maximize growth. 

The opportunity seeker has to watch out for taking on more risk with business initiatives or investment opportunities. Spending time with a professional to seek a second opinion can help you assess whether the newest opportunity is the best one for you. 

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Willpower is like a muscle

Just like going to the gym and building up strength, the more you train your willpower by accomplishing tasks on a consistent basis

Self-Discipline - a series of healthy habits

Long term change is better served by building better habits, than by forcing your willpower. 

You will choose the apple over the cake for a number of times ... and then give up. Building a habit to start the day by going to the gym will work better.

Habits = “automatic” responses...

 ...to familiar environmental cues. 

They form when you engage in a behavior repeatedly in the presence of consistent stimuli.

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Tim Berners Lee developed HTML and created the World Wide Web, but his major regret relates to the '//' at the beginning of every web address.

"Really, if you think about it, it doesn't need the //. I could have designed it not to have the //," he said.

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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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