Word-Of-the-Week #738: Habit

September 27, 2018 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #738: Habit 

Habit a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition. 

So how did you do last week on actively listening? How much time did you devote to reading and learning? What one habit would you like to break or adjust?

This week features the 2nd part of “Break the Habit Loop” by Ilya Pozin with “Lifestyle Habits That Will Make You Successful.”

To Recap: Breaking (and Making) the Habit Loop – Every repetitive action that we take in our daily lives, good or bad, is a habit we’ve built up over time. According to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, this is due to a three-step pattern he calls the “habit loop.” The decision-making part of the brain goes into a kind of sleep mode when the habit loop kicks in, which is why we continue even problematic behaviors.

Like peer pressure, habits can make you do stupid things or spur you on to achievement. But what are those habits that are most in need of an adjustment? Try working on these, and you’ll be on your way to a more successful life:

  1. Don’t talk so much.
  2. Read as much as you can.
  3. Give it a rest.

Why do you think Calm — an app that features sleep stories read by narrators like Stephen Fry and Anna Acton — was Apple’s 2017 iPhone app of the year? It’s all about soothing the mind and encouraging a restful state. Even Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview with Thrive Global that he gets eight hours of sleep every night, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t prioritize a healthier shut-eye routine.

Some of us find catching enough Z’s easier said than done, but there are some tricks that can help you reach dreamland without medication. 2920 Sleep, an online mattress retailer that focuses on improving sleep quality, recommends writing down one bad habit that’s agitating your sleep — like too many nightcaps — and trying to kick it for just five days. As with Peters’ “LISTEN” note, the simple act of writing it down can spur you to take corrective action.

  1. Rethink your relationships.

One of the greatest predictors of health, happiness, and longevity has nothing to do with quitting smoking or eating breakfast. Instead, it’s about cultivating stronger, more fulfilling relationships with others.

An eight-decade, ongoing Harvard University study shows a strong correlation between healthy relationships and healthy individuals. Improving not just the quantity of your relationships but the quality of them will go a long way toward ensuring you live a long and happy life.

By taking just a few small steps, you’ll be paving a clear path toward the happiness and fulfillment you’ve been seeking your whole life.

This week’s focus is on creating healthy habits. What habits are most in need of an adjustment? Are you getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night? Are you cultivating strong and fulfilling relationships?

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Word Of the Week #557: Habit

April 9, 2015 by · Comments Off on Word Of the Week #557: Habit 

Habit an often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.

Do you have any habits that you would like to change? Have you tried and failed? Do you have a habit of justifying behavior you’d like to change?

David Levine’s LA Times article, “10 loopholes that can block your joy” is this week’s focus. Gretchen Rubin, the author of ‘The Happiness Project’ says, “Habits can make or break happiness. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life and a significant element of happiness. The No. 1 habit change that people say makes them happier is to make their bed. It sounds silly, but people keep telling me this all the time.”

Rubin says often the reasons why people fail – even at major efforts such as diet or exercise – is not a matter of willpower but a product of almost magical thinking, searching for and finding loopholes, those justifications that will excuse us from maintaining this particular habit in this particular situation.

But Rubin says that when we spot the loophole, we can try to reject the desire to let ourselves off the hook.“I know it’s not easy. I use loopholes all the time.” Here are Rubin’s top loopholes; perhaps they’re familiar to you.

a habit

  1. False choice loophole: I can’t do this because I’m so busy doing that.
  2. Moral licensing loophole: I’ve been so good; it’s OK for me to do this.
  3. Tomorrow loophole: It’s OK to skip today because I’m going to do this tomorrow.
  4. Lack-of-control loophole: I can’t help myself.
  5. Planning-to-fail loophole: I’ll just check my email quickly before I go to the gym…oops, I don’t have time to go to the gym, after all. Or, I’m not going to eat anything more tonight, but I’ll go into the kitchen and look in the freezer. Just curious.
  6. This-doesn’t-count loophole: I’m on vacation. I’m sick. It’s the weekend.
  7. Questionable assumption loophole: It’s not a proper dinner without wine. Or, it’s more fun to play tennis than go to the gym. It can wait.
  8. Concern-for-others loophole: I can’t do this because it might make other people uncomfortable.
  9. Fake self-actualization loophole: You only live once! Embrace the moment!
  10. One-time loophole: What difference does it make if I break my habit this one time?

So did any of those loopholes sound familiar? Do you let yourself off the hook more times than not? What one loophole could you overcome this week? What one habit would you like to change?

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