|Habits are a key to success. Creating good habits will improve your odds of success and creating bad habits will decrease them. |
What are habits?
Habits are actions without conscious thought.
As I type the words to this book I'm not thinking about typing, I'm just typing because I developed the habit.
It's taken years of practice to be able to type but I use very little energy while doing so.
A habit is anything your brain does without thinking much or using a lot of energy. They are handled mostly by your subconscious.
Habits were created to keep you alive. I like to use the analogy of a computer subroutine. Over time I've programmed myself with many habits or subroutines. MY typing subroutine is at work right now.
From walking, eating, getting to work, taking a shower, making choices, for the most part is automatic. Myelin seems to be the key. The mechanism isn't important as the simple concept that habits can be created, modified or stopped. Imagine what your life would be like if you only had good habits and stopped the bad ones.
If you know about computer programming I like to think of a habit as a subroutine your brain uses. Some examples:
You most likely use the same subroutine. Here's mine:
Did the previous typo shock your brain? That's how you need to get rid of the bad habits. You create an interruption of the subroutine.
Okay kidding aside, make a list of the habits you want to create and the one's to eliminate.
Here's my list:
Get it down to three new positive habits and eliminating three bad habits. If it's obvious which one to start then work on that one. If not then just randomly pick one.
How to create habits?
There are a number of ways to create new habits. The best tools are sticky notes, alarms, triggers, checklists and repetition. There are some people who say it takes 21 days to create a new habit. I think there are many dependencies but the key is repetition.
How to eliminate habits?
Best way to eliminate a habit is to identify the triggers and replace the habit with something else.
Once you become aware of what triggers your habit, replace it with the new one.
For each of the bad habits identify the triggers and what to replace the habit with.
For the new habits identify the trigger to associate the habit with.
Be aware that some habits will be difficult to shake. I'm not addressing addictions here. The difference between habits and addiction are addictions will have withdrawal symptoms. Like the headache you'll get if you stop drinking coffee.
50 Minute Habit
I've recently learned that sitting too much is a big health risk. You should be standing at least 10 minutes every hour. So I'm in the process to stand at work at 50 minutes after the hour for 10 minutes. I'm also attaching to this habit a few other useful habits. During this time I will:
What are some of my Good Habits?
What are my bad habits?
Bad habits are just habits you want to eliminate because they don't help you with your goals such as increasing happiness.
Some habits are in our DNA
If you look at proverbs that societies have created you'll likely find simple rules that will help you and your tribe achieve success.
"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
This proverb says, what you have is worth more than what you don't have.