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Not all behaviors can be easily automated

Many habits are simply routines, but not all of them. For example, there isn't a habit for a hard workout at the gym - you won't become absent-minded midway through a benchpress.

  • Habits are behaviors that flow automatically from a set of prompts.
  • Routines are behaviors we repeatedly do but involve many deliberate actions done with some effort and thinking.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

  • A commitment is a rule you've added for yourself. "I must exercise five times per week." But if you break that commitment, it can result in a backsliding effect.
  • A habit is that behavior that happens automatically from a tr...

We cannot assume that we can change our behavior in any way we please, and with enough time, the new behavior will become a habit.

  • Behavior may never become effortless.
  • A habit that requires you to sleep only four hours will eventually make you exhausted.
  • We h...

The habit-forming philosophy is that you should do things slowly and steadily. Slow and steady leads to a more sustainable strategy for the long-run. But in many areas, this strategy doesn't apply.

  • In many difficult projects, such as starting a business or ...

Habit-building is a powerful tool for self-improvement. But the power of the tool can also create some overreach. In one way, habits will fail to form.

In other circumstances, habits are not the right way of thinking for making progress on some goals.

  • Habits are useful when you focus on patiently persisting over a long period, rather than short bursts.
  • The behavior you require can eventually run on autopilot while not requiring lots of deliberate effort.
  • You're looking to make long-term changes to your routine or...

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