We are creature of habits. Most thing we do in a day is out of a habit. Ever wonder why you brush your teeth always before going to bed, or after having lunch. You don’t debate all night if you are going to do it or not, you just do it without thinking about it. It’s because our brain try to save ourselves from having to make decision. We just repeat pattern and life become a web of habit, some we are aware of and some we are not.
Most successful people have develop ways to trick themselves into productive habits. For example, when i was reading 1 book per week during 2 years, i was reading by habit. I had a morning ritual. Every morning, i would make some coffee and read for an hour or 2. Every day no matter what.
So i didn’t have to choose if i wanted to read or not, i didn’t have to take the decision to read again and again. I took the decision once and stopped thinking about it.
Of course sometimes you will stray away from your habit or routines. its totally normal. The trick is to not beat yourself down, just realize that you are not achieving your goal this way and simply resolve in doing better next time. No guilt trip, no self flagellation. Just resolve on doing better next time and keep on your day.
Out of all the routines, morning routines are probably the most efficient because of it’s impact on your day. The first thing you do will set the tones for all your day. If you want to educate yourself, learning something first thing in the morning and making it an habit is a great way to achieve this. If you want to be productive, focusing on your most important work first thing in the morning will help you get it done with all your fresh energy.
Having rituals help a lot when achieving new things. I usually go to the gym first thing in the morning before breakfast. Some days, i don’t really feel like going but i found a way to trick my brain into going without having a hard time. I simply put my workout clothes on and automatically without having to think about it, i will fill my bottle of water, pack my bag and head toward the exit. Once my workout clothes are on, the battle is won, i will go to the gym no mater what.
So the key is to find rituals that helps you achieve your goal. When i was reading a book a day, my cue to start reading was when i would fill my cup of coffee. Every morning i would drink my coffee in front of a book, no matter what. So it makes the habit acquisition much faster. What rituals can use to trick yourself into acquiring a habit?
How to create a habit step by step
First you need to find out what KPI you are after. A KPI is a key performance indicator. that means that not all habit will yield the same benefits. For example, if you want to lose weight simply trying to eat less is not effective in weight loss. Why? because people focus on a painful thing and it becomes an internal fight. Study shows that the best way to lose weight is to simply have a food log. Everything you eat, you write down what it is and how much of it you ate. This is 10x more effective. The simple fact of having to write down what you eat will make you accountable for what you eat. It will make you think twice before eating this sugary cake because you will have to write it down in your log. So instead of making a habit of not eating dessert, make an habit of tracking what you eat in a food log.
Now that you choosed the best habit that will yield the maximum benefits to you, it’s time to implement it. There is different study that shows habit takes anywhere between 15 days to 30 days to become habit. So you will have an internal fight at the start between sticking to your new habit or resolving to your old one. (in our food log example, remember that you have been not tracking your food intake since you are born so it will be hard to override this old habit!) You need cues to remind you to implement your new habit. Making coffee and pouring a cup was my cue for reading. Putting my workout clothes was my cue to go to the gym.
If you want to track your food and you eat at a regular hours, putting an alarm to ring right after each meal time to remind you to write down in your log would be a great cue.
Once you started your new habit, you might want to tell your friends about it. Accountability will make you want to stick to it. So it’s just a matter of keeping to those cues. You don’t need to think about recording what you eat, you just have to make sure those alarms on your phone ring at accurate time of the day. That’s all.
Successful people habit
What some habits that successful people have taken over time? The first one is exercises. There is a lot of people that exercise first thing in the morning. bill clinton used to go on a run every single morning. Arnold shwarzenegger used to hit the gym first thing in the morning, afterward he would work on one of multiple businesses or go shoot movies. Meditation and calm is the routine of a lot of people. Jerry seinfeild when he was recording seinfield use to meditate every day at lunch time to get away from is crazy work schedule.
What are good habits to take?
Keep a journal or write regularly in a blog online
read self-help book or literature related to your work field.
meet with influential people
work on your online passive income a few hours a day
Whatever you choose, find a cue you can rely on and stick to it.
Im curious about your habit. What are habit you already have or planning on taking? Let me know in the comment below!