creating new habits that last

14 replies
I was just reading a blog post of Tim Ferriss(author of the four hour work week) where he was talking about creating new habits that last.

He included excerpts from a book "the power of less", which give instructions and advice from the author who in the last two years has lost 40 pounds, quit smoking, tripled his income, gone from non runner to several marathons, written a novel and non fiction book, eliminated debt and become a vegetarian.

I thought I would repeat the advice here and explain how I am going to incorporate it in my life, see if I can inspire some of you here to do the same!

First step: Only focus on one habit for an entire month.

I like a lot of people try to improve in all areas at once and end up with very little progress. I remember at one point I was trying to build an online business, learn programming, get fit, improve my memory, improve my guitar playing, work on myself through self improvement techniques like affirmations etc, learn to break dance and the list goes on. I already feel less overwhelmed knowing I will only focus on one new habit this month.

I'm going to focus first of all on getting fit and losing a few pounds this month. I will not try and implement any other habits!

Second step:
Write a plan for each day, when you'll do the habit, what will you do just prior to the habit and who you will report to.

I've written a new gym routine I will do 4 times a week and a meal plan that includes 5 smaller meals of lean protein, complex carbs and fibrous vegetables in each meal. I've set times for the gym and the meals.

Third step:
Write or talk about your new goal publicly to a large number of people.

This is what I'm doing here, why not do the same in this post with your plan for your new habit.

Fourth step:
Report on your progress daily

I've set up a free blog thats in my sig file where I will post updates. I really don't care if anyone reads it, I figure that having to write about what I've done each day will give me motivation to stay on course with the new habit. Feel free to use the comments section of the blog if you want somewhere to report your daily progress.

Here are the Rules:
1. Only one habit at a time
2. At first make the goal easy(for example if you can do 30 minutes of exercise only set out to do 10)
3. Choose something you can measure( like exercising for a set length of time)
4. Be consistent do habit same time everyday (I've planned my gym time and meal time to be the same everyday)
5. You must report daily
6. Keep a positive habit, note any sticking points but then move on

The blog post also describes 12 habits that the author of the "power of less" considers will most likely change your life in the next 12 months.

Anyway get started with this challenge by posting your own new habits publicly here!

I'm off to the gym
#change #creating #habits #information #overload
  • Profile picture of the author KimberlyAWallace
    Cool blog..I actually used these techniques for my own self growth, and I find that setting up step by step measurable program to develop new habits is more effective than trying to create one without.

    I also find that it is easier to create new habits than to break ineffective old ones. I guess the best way is to find the opposite of the negative habit you want to change and replace it with a positive one and work on that.
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    • Profile picture of the author joannabenz
      Originally Posted by KimberlyAWallace View Post

      I also find that it is easier to create new habits than to break ineffective old ones. I guess the best way is to find the opposite of the negative habit you want to change and replace it with a positive one and work on that.
      I love this idea! And it's so obvious! (slapping my forehead)
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      • Profile picture of the author ryanyourlead
        Anyone who has read the inner game of tennis, alot of these tips are in there and more. Surprisingly filled with great info that can be applied to any area of life. I would recommend it to people who don't play tennis at all.
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        Ryan

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  • Profile picture of the author dudemeister
    That really resonates with me - trying to do everything at once and ending up doing nothing.lol
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  • Profile picture of the author bfennell1
    i loved that book. I am currently working on exercising more....able to lift weights on my lunch hour is helping. I need to push myself to walk more after work
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  • Profile picture of the author Christie Love
    Sounds great. I also use those same habit techniques. This method has been very helpful in staying organized, exercising daily, and going to bed at a decent time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eziseo
    Totally with you there - your success is attributable to the efficiency of your system! Once you are practicing the right habits and using a system you can duplicate and leverage your successes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Saluki Guy
    Good luck to you, I've lost about 30 pounds doing the exact same things as you.
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    There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted — all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, And we must take the current when it serves, Or lose our ventures. - Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
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  • Profile picture of the author Ruth P
    I really love "the Power of Less" - the techniques described for setting habits really do make complete sense. Try to take on too much too soon and you'll probably fail at all of them.

    Naturally we're impatient to improve things in our lives, we want to start eating healthily, exercise more, work harder, spend more time with friends etc.. all RIGHT NOW. But unfortunately it doesn't work like that. We need to give ourselves time to adjust to each new habit and goal before moving onto the next.
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  • Profile picture of the author JustinDupre
    I need to check out this book. I want to create a habit of eating healthier and reading more.
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  • Profile picture of the author RuiGomes
    I also needed to create more habits, like getting up when the clock rings (not 1 hour later), reading more and do exercise frequently (not just when I remember to go to the gym).
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Pettit
    One habit at a time. Excellent concept.
    It takes 21 to effect true change. A month, that's close enough to get it sealed.
    Just imagine if you had 12 major changes/goals you wanted to achieve, and on this date 2011, just a year from today, they were all achieved, assimilated, a part of you, second nature already...
    Let's get started.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ruth P
    Sparkie2260 - that is a fantastic way of looking at it! When you think along the lines of only being able to change 1 thing a month, it kind of makes you impatient like you want to do more. But when you realise that's 12 solid habits in a year, it sounds so much better. And,that way, you won't take on so much that you end up giving up.
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  • Profile picture of the author VeitSchenk
    mhmm, that kinda approach works just fine for slightly annoying habits, but will be difficult (if not impossible) to pull off for the really deep-seated stuff.

    The reason is quite simply this: for the really "bad" behaviours and habits, you typically have a deep-seated reason for doing it (overeating is often *emotional* overeating, it's not just because it tastes so friggin' nice)

    so, unless you sort out those underlying causes for your "bad" habit in the first place, all you're doing is messing with the symptoms.

    Research shows that for the really bad habits, a month isn't good enough, it takes around 12 weeks to really kick the old habit (by first going to the root-cause, which is 'beliefs', then tackling the symptoms (the 'habits'))

    Many people in the make-money online niche buy course after course and never do anything with it.

    Would they change that around by keeping a to-do list for 30 days and following Tim's plan? My guess is no, they wouldn't. Because they don't have a technical challenge (of how to allocate time), but an adaptive challenge (why are they so stressed in the first place and hence jumping from one opportunity to the next)

    Cheers

    Veit
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