The limits of human nature - Deepstash

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What are the Limits of Building Better Habits?

The limits of human nature

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 have a deep need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. A habit that brushes one of these needs aside won't last.

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Neurologically speaking, motivation is the desire to escape psychological discomfort or a life situation that is not giving us any kind of ‘pleasure’.

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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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Decide whether what you're trying to improve is mostly a habit or mostly a skill: if your main problem is with doing something you already know how to do, but doing it consistently, that’s pro...

Improving a habit

This process has 3 main parts: 

  • Define the habit you want to form clearly and consistently;
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The best strategy for getting better at skills is deliberate practice. A good way to work on this is to divide it into 3: 

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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

Habits = “automatic” responses...

 ...to familiar environmental cues. 

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

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.