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"Success is not a goal to reach or a finish line to cross. It is a system to improve, an endless process to refine."
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The process of building a habit can be divided into four steps:
Habits are easier to perform, and more satisfying to stick with, when they align with your personality and skills.
Trial and error:
As you explore different options, there are a series of questions you can ask yourself to continually narrow in on the habits and areas that will be most...
The human brain evolved to prioritize immediate rewards over delayed rewards.
Our preference for instant gratification reveals an important truth about success: because of how we are wired, most people will spend all day chasing quick hits of satisfaction. The road less traveled is the road...
"When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do."
Instead of trying to engineer a perfect habit from the start, do the easy thing on a more consistent basis.
The more you ritualize the beginning of a process, the more likely it become...
We are more likely to repeat a behaviour when the experience is satisfying.
The consequences of bad habits are delayed while the rewards are immediate. With good habits, it is the reverse: the immediate outcome is unenjoyable, but the ultimate outcome feels good.
You can break a habit, but you're unlikely to forget it. And that means that simply resisting temptation is an eneffective strategy.
To eliminate a bad habit, reduce exposure to the cue that causes it.
The 2nd law (Craving)
Behaviour that is incongruent with the self will not last. You might start a habit because of motivation, but the only reason you'll stick with one is that it becomes part of your identity.
The more pride you have in a particular aspect of your identity, the more motivated you will be to ma...
A small change in what you see can lead to a big shift in what you do.
Every habit is initiated by a cue, and we are more likely to notice cues that stand out.
The 4th law (Reward)
It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis. Too often, we convince ourselves that a massive success requires massive action.
We often dismiss small changes because they don't seem to matter ve...
Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.
We will naturally gravitate toward the option that requires the least amount of work.
Reduce the friction associated with good behaviours:
If you want to master a habit, the key is to start with repetition, not perfection. When you're in motion, you're planning and strategizing and learning. Those are all good things, but they don't produce a result. You're just preparing to get something done. The most effective fo...
The 1st law (Cue)
Once our habits become automatic, we stop paying attention to what we are doing.
You need to be aware of your habits before you can change them.
The Habits Scorecard is a simple exercise to become more aware of your behaviour, by creating a list of your daily habits and categ...
"Can one coin make a person rich? If you give a person a pile of ten coins, you wouldn't claim that he or she is rich. But what if you add another? And another? And another? At some point, you will have to admit that no one can be rich unless one coin can make him or h...
Humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just manageable difficulty.
The greateast threat to success is not failure but boredom. We get bored with habits becau...
We are less likely to repeat a bad habit if it is painful or unsatisfying.
Create a habit contract:
People make a few small changes, fail to see a tangible result, and decide to stop. But in order to make a meaningful difference, habits need to to persist long enough to break through this plateau.
If you find yourself struggling to build a good habit or break a bad one, i...
"When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it-but all that had gone be...
We tend to adopt habits that are praised and approved of by our culture because we have a strong desire to fit in and belong to the tribe.
We tend to imitiate the habits of:
The 3rd law (Response)
"The costs of your good habits are in the present. The costs of your bad habits are in the future"
Mastery is the process of narrowing your focus to a tiny element of success, repeating it until you have internalized the skill, and then using a new habit to advance to the next level of performance.
Habits + Deliberate Practice = Mastery
Life is constantly ...
People who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through. Many people think they lack motivation when what they really lack is clarity.
I will [NEW HABIT] at [TIME] in [LOCATION]
It is the anticipation of a reward, not the fulfillment of it, that gets us to take action. It is the craving that leads to the response.
Temptation bundling: It consists of linking an action you want to do with an action you need to do.
After I [HABIT I NEED]...
Create a commitment device:
Is a choice you make in the present that controls your actions in the future and increases the odds that you'll do the right thing.
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Once you have met your goal, or even exceeded it, you need to reward yourself for making it to the finish line.
Whether a self-congratulatory pat on the back or watching your favorite sitcom, give yourself credit for meeting your goal.
You deserve it.
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