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I Have a Bad Habit
Someday it's going to catch up to me
I Have a Bad Habit
I have a bad habit. It gets me in trouble from time to time. Someday it's going to catch up to me.
Now consider the opposite. "I have a good habit. It gets me success from time to time. I am on my way to greatness!"
Just as bad habits can lead to a downfall, good habits can lead to success.
If a habit can bring you success, it's smart to take advantage of this power.
Nachos and Beer?
What is a habit? It's boring, that's what it is! Habits are something you talk about while enjoying nachos and beer. Yes, then it's less boring!
But anyway, if we want some sort of success in life then we have to practice good habits on a daily basis. Here are a few tips I learned from James Clear, author of the book “Atomic Habits.”
Start And Done
If you just start, you have accomplished the hardest part. You’re done. Yep. Seriously. James Clear suggests that if you have a hard time establishing a flossing habit, start by flossing one tooth. The key is to develop the habit. And to develop the habit you only need to start the process.
If you want to develop a habit of walking after supper, then put your walking shoes on after you eat. You don’t even have to walk. The hardest part of a new habit is taking that first action. If you start, you've done the hard part. The initial action creates the habit. Over time, the rest of the habit flows from the initial action.
A habit is not completing an activity from beginning to end. A habit is just an automatic reminder to do something. Once you establish a habit of starting, you can develop a habit of finishing.
Schedule a Time
Studies show that setting a time for a new habit increases the likelihood of establishing the new habit. For example, rather than saying “I will walk every day,” add a specific time for your walk. For example, “I will walk every day at 7 PM.” Adding “at 7 pm” puts you in the “more likely to achieve” category. That was easy!
You can also tie a new habit to an established habit, such as “supper.” For example, I will walk every day, first thing after eating supper.
Make It Easy To Begin
Whatever habit your are trying to develop, make it easy to begin. For example, if you like to sit on the couch after supper, then leave your walking shoes right there. But don’t just stare at them (or ignore them). Put them on! Maybe just walk around the couch. Boom. You just made your brain happy. Maybe two laps around the couch tomorrow! The key is, make it easy to begin. The number of steps is secondary to forming the habit.
The thing to avoid is having a 12 step system for beginning your habit. That’s a design for “never gonna happen.” Remove the friction and make it easy to begin.
Don’t Stop The Pattern
If you don't feel like practicing your new habit or if you are tempted to do anything else, then do this: Start, but only do a minute worth of work. If you still feel like doing something else, do it. You accomplished the hardest part. You kept the momentum going by starting.
We intuitively know that bad habits lead to undesirable conclusions. But how often do we recognize our good habits as leading to wonderful conclusions? Let’s take a moment to recognize and appreciate our good habits!
There are a lot more tactics for creating sustainable habits. If you haven’t thought much about habits, then I highly recommend James Clear’s book “Atomic Habits.”
To your success, and to good habits! You’re on your way to greatness!
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