I recently listened to Scott Barry Kaufman’s Psychology Podcast, which I highly recommend. Scott spoke to James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, about how we achieve growth in our personal and professional lives. Most of us see goal setting as the best way to achieve something, but Cleer sees it differently. In his view, habits are the foundation of growth and change, especially since they help us to be wholesome: “Every step you take is like voting for the kind of person you want to be.”
Here are some of Sula’s best recommendations for building good habits and breaking bad ones:
- Do it on your own
Usually, we think of achieving our goals in terms of the consequences that will eventually change who we are, but Clear recommends changing the process: tell yourself that you are “the type of person” who is doing this action, and the results will come out immediately.
For example, if you ask yourself, “What kind of person is losing weight? Maybe it’s someone who doesn’t miss a workout,” then look at ownership rather than results. Tell yourself “I’m a writer” rather than “I want my blog full of content” and it will be easier to write even one short post each day because you close the gap between your current person and the future, the goal is to do it for yourself. You have the opportunity to stick to those goals because you think of yourself as part of your identity.
“Then the process begins to take place because you are trying to create and consolidate that knowledge,” explains S clear. “Habits strengthen ownership, which leads to consequences in the long run … Whether it’s five pushups or a short run, you’re still the kind of person you do.”
For better or worse, your habits are a reflection of who you are or what you want to be. Every time you write, you combine the identity of the author. Every time you work, you include the type of person who is in good shape. “Every step you take is like voting for the kind of person you want to be.”
Clear says that these little things – writing one line or making five pushups – may seem insignificant because it doesn’t help us produce the results we want, but it can emphasize the identity of who you want to be, which is more powerful and motivates you to continue the practice.
“A change in ownership is a real change in behavior,” says Cry, “because once you’ve identified yourself as that kind of person, you don’t even look for any kind of change of behavior; you just act according to who you already think you are. It’s one thing to say I want this; it’s another thing to say I am.”
- Create a positive environment for your personality to practice good habits
Considering the genetic / human influence on habits, Clear states: “Your genetic makeup is often determined by the environment in which you live, and this is true of physical and psychological factors.” In that light, he asks an intriguing question: Can you create a habit that favors you [genetically] and makes it easier for you to develop better habits?
Maybe you have the kind of personality that makes it easy for you to get into the Netflix view, and you might want to change that trend. If you know this about yourself, don’t just try to change the way you behave as if “sucking” is something you can turn off inside; change your environment so you don’t try too hard.
Another example is the way we often set up living rooms – face TV – which gives us a tendency to watch a lot of TV. Clear recommends rearranging the furniture to encourage different habits rather than simply saying, “I won’t watch so much TV.”
Another example is keeping your home clean if sleep is not a natural occurrence: “If you have a low conscience,” he says, “not the kind and orderly person and not the type of person remember to do something, perhaps your strategy can benefit from a highly developed environment, such as a visible, multicultural environment. remind yourself that you made a habit rather than simply leave it to chance. ”
The point is to make personality more strategic, and realize that your ability to grow and change does not depend on the end of your genetic code.
“Genetics does not eliminate the need for hard work; they show you where you work hard. They do not eliminate the need for a strategy. You don’t just say, Oh there is a definition of biology, no need to worry about this, everything is fixed anyway. They tell you, depending on your symptoms, where your strategy should be focused. ”
- Think of the combined effects of good (and bad) habits
“Habits are a circular goal of self-improvement,” Cry said.
Combined interest can be good or bad, depending on whether your habits promote or hinder your development. Whether you want to learn a new language, build a business, brush up on world history, whatever you have – it’s about having faith in the power of those little steps along the way.
“It’s very easy to get rid of those little daily routines, but in five or ten years on the road, we see what the value or costs were in those decisions that were better by one percent or one percent worse.”
- Choose the best solution to the problem
“Habits are the solutions your brain makes to the recurring problems you face throughout life,” Cry said. “The more you face the same problem, the more your brain begins to grow smoothly and quickly and accurately with a solution.”
When you get home from a long day at work, your brain tells you to do something that will help you relax. There are countless ways to respond to this need, from calling a friend to smoking a cigar to learning to take a bath.
They are all solutions to the same recurring problem, and some are healthier than others.
“Your mind needs a solution that works right now; it does not mean that the first solution you came up with, the first practice you built, is the right practice. ”
Clear describes the mind as a “suggestion engine,” offering ideas on how to solve an impending problem, and it is those solutions that develop into habits. Which means we actually have more power over our actions — than we think.
“Habits are simply the process by which your brain seeks to solve problems. Once you have identified this, you can begin to think of better practices that will help you in the long run but also to solve the challenges you face on a daily basis. ”
- Identify the distractions
Many of our practices are the answer to what is obvious, simple, or what S clear calls “no conflict.”
Clear provides an example of how our phones are interrupted only when they are available. Describing what happened to her, she says that when she keeps her phone in a separate room on the floor from her home office, she no longer thinks about it but instead focuses on her work. Doesn’t that mean he doesn’t really want to test it, and he only tests it because it might be useful? In that sense, Clear calls digital devices a “mental candy” in our environment that disturbs us at the top, perhaps because our brains are like instant gratification, in any way.
Keeping this in mind makes it much easier not to let these distractions have power over us. We don’t need to know right now if someone sends us a message; the curiosity exists only because it is easy to satisfy the desire. The kind of love that people are attracted to us when they enter our social circle, because intimacy and simplicity seem to increase the chances of a relationship.
“Technology has created many habits like these: it is so uncomplicated and so simple that we find ourselves falling into it whenever we have time to slow down or when we are bored for a moment, but we do not want to in any sense. ”She never demanded that her phone be enough to climb the stairs from her home office for 45 seconds into another room. “So when you get rid of those distractions, you go back to a deeper and more meaningful work for yourself. It’s not that I didn’t want to write an article today; that my phone was there. ”
When you remove that mental candy, he says, it is easier to eat healthy things.
- Incorporate rules for behavior change
In his book, Sula introduces four codes of conduct that explain how good habits should build:
1) make it clear (natural indicators);
2) make it attractive;
3) make it easy;
4) make it satisfying.
Interestingly, if you want to avoid something or break a bad habit, you can simply change your habits:
1) make it invisible (delete references);
2) make it unpleasant;
3) make it difficult; and
4) make it unsatisfactory.
So, if you want to have a healthy diet,
1) fill your fridge with healthy food and your kitchen shelves with healthy cookbooks;
2) learn about the health benefits of your new diet or start a health food blog;
3) start with a food delivery service like Sun Kitchen to help make the cooking process easier;
4) Keep a book and follow up on how your body feels after you improve your diet.
At the same time,
1) remove junk food from your kitchen;
2) learn about the negative effects of malnutrition on your health;
3) redirect your sweets budget to the best ingredients for healthy food quality;
4) keep a book and follow the way your body feels after eating junk food.
- Put plans first
What is the purpose of the goals? They are useful for clarification and guidance, but when it comes to the process of change, they are the most controlling systems.
Clear makes a positive point: “Achieving the goal changes our lives for a while.” Only when the attainment of goals is supported by a system of practices that will continue to allow us to achieve the same goals rather than take us back to the state of imperfection we once had – only then will we make real change.
Managing to clean your house is good, but unless you make a plan to keep it clean, you will achieve the goal only once in a while.
We live in a results-oriented society, but S clearly thinks that goals are worth less attention than habits. “The act of setting goals doesn’t guarantee anything… you almost immediately have to set goals on the shelf and focus on plans.”
Build a plan and the results will happen naturally.
- Create unique situations to develop different habits
“The practices are about the association,” Cry said. “It’s about a solution that connects you to a problem or context.” So, if you want to create a new habit and make it stick, it is best to create a new context with it.
If you want to learn more, for example, don’t do it on the couch where you used to watch TV. Make it into a special “learning chair” or go to a restaurant of your choice as a learning restaurant. It is best if you can create a new practice in an area that does not have moral organizations.
Clear ideas of intentions and practices can be applied to learning and learning in a variety of contexts. Whether you are studying for a test, learning a new language, or mastering a new skill, contemplating practical application can be very helpful.
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