"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Simple Living Ideas: The Power of Habits: Were there is a WILL there is a WAY.

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http://www.myessentia.com/blog/berkeley/tag/changing-habits/


If you want to simplify your life you need to discern, figure out your priorities, clear psychological and physical cluttered, and change bad habits. Bad habits keep you doing things that are counter productive to simplifying your life. 
Charles Duhigg’s new book The Power of Habit gives me hope that bad habits can be suppressed. Duhigg gives numerous examples of how individuals and corporations have seemingly changed bad habits. He explains the neuropsychological process that is involved in creating habits. Understanding how habits are formed, empowers one to manipulate the process in order to cultivate good habits over bad habits.
Duhigg explains that in order to create a habit, one must first decide on a reason to change. Say for instance I wanted to exercise. I have to come to the realization that exercise will benefit my life. Firstly, I will look and feel better which will build my self confident. Secondly my health and energy level will be higher, so I will be more productive in my job. Lastly, I will in the long run lead a better quality of life; because if I maintain a good weight, I will not develop cardiovascular disease and diabetics - diseases that are directly related to poor lifestyle choices. 
After you truly desire a change in your life you have to figure out what are the current habits you have which are keeping you from switching to the good habits. Duhigg points out that habits, because they are subconscious, are triggered by physical or psychological cues.
 So I’ve decide I want to exercise in the morning after the kids go to school. Currently, I get up, shower, put on my clothes for the day, eat breakfast with the kids, put them on the bus and then sit down at my computer and get to work writing.
How can I cue myself to exercise? I could get up, not shower, put on gym clothes, eat breakfast with the kids, and leave for the gym immediately after the kids get on the bus. By not going back into the house, I will not fall into my old habit of sitting down to work at my computer. These new cues seem to be working out very well for me. On days when I am not going to the gym, I set up a video and a yoga mat, so when I go back into the house these items act as visual cues to remind me to exercise before I get to work. 

I have found Duhigg to be right on about cueing being the key to changing our habits. 

He has also made me realize how important it is to get your children into good habits, because a habit, once it is formed, doesn’t go away. You can over ride it with a new habit, but if you return to the old cues you can easily fall right back into the old habit. 
The subconscious brain does not distinguish between good and bad habits. You consciously, have to decide which habits you want to reinforce. This can be difficult, but not impossible to do with the right intent. The saying, “Were there is a WILL there is a WAY,” has never been more meaningful. Once you have changed to a good habit... you have taken one step closer to simplifying your life. Good luck... I am confident that you can change.
copyright 2012











the power of habit

5 comments:

  1. This is so true! I have recently made some changes in our morning routine, and the difference to our days has been very visible. Because it worked so great the first day, I guess it's been a psychological cue to keep it going. We're tweaking as we go, but the type of days I've always dreamed of, are actually happening!

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    1. I agree the cue thing is key. It is really powerful to take control of your habits. Congratulations.

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  2. Interesting idea about "cues". I didn't realize it, but I guess I have cues in my life to create good habits too. For example, my gym cue is to pack a gym back and leave it in the backseat of my car. I'm already in the habit of going to the gym every day after work, but realizing that we can use cues to help change habits will help me make other good new habits that I want to form. Thanks for the post!

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    1. Gym bag, not gym back. You get the idea. :)

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    2. Yes, I get what you mean. I checked out your blog. I like it and subscribed.
      Come by again.

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