Build Better Habits that Actually Stick (with Creative Deliberate Practice)
The more banal and ordinary a habit is the less likely we are to think about how to deliberately practice it.
But deliberate practice applies to all habits no matter how big or small they are.
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"If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again” is a popular saying but, to count as truly helpful advice, it should say: "If at first you don’t succeed, practice, practice, practice, and then try, try, again”
Building habits is a long-term game, there's no immediate fix.
Some of the greatest artists, innovators, and athletes of all time became great because of their commitment to practice, not their commitment to seeing immediate results.
Kobe Bryant, for example, was well-known for starting his practice routine as early as 4 AM and refusing to stop until he made 400 shots, no matter how long it took. He explained his reasoning by saying that “if I do this consistently over time then the gap is going to widen [between me and my competition]”.
Sometimes your task is so mundane and so far away from being what is normally considered a skill that it’s hard to figure out how to practice it at all; so you have to get creative.
For example, to wake up early without hitting snooze, you should practice waking up. During the day, lay in your bed and pretend to be asleep. Then when your alarm goes off practice exactly what you're going to do in the morning. Eventually, you will strengthen your synapses associated with your routine of waking up early and you'll no longer hit the snooze button.
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