Habit building is an important skill, Tell me some success stories!

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Jan 31, 2018
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#1
Hi Everyone,

I'm coming out with a blog post about habits pretty soon. I'd love to hear some of your success stories about building new habits or getting rid of bad ones.

I am an avid coffee drinker, drinking 2-3 cups per day. After watching a documentary on sugar decided to cut down on my sugar intake. I stopped putting sugar in my coffee a few years ago and have never looked back. All it took was a three-week trial run, which was slightly difficult. At the end of three weeks I tried having sugar in my coffee again, and to my surprise, I didn't like the taste!

I think it is important to be aware of our habits and cultivate them towards our greater goals by fostering useful habits and suppressing harmful ones.

What are some of your habit success stories?
 

Sarah Carlson

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#2
Not putting sugar in my coffee is easy, I don't like coffee!

I prefer tea, black or herbal with nothing added :)

For me, one of the hardest habits to make was exercising regularly. I enjoy martial arts, however finding a gym I feel both comfortable and welcome is hard. So I decided to exercise at a park as I love sunshine and fresh air. (I normally don't like being in a stuffy gym and most places make me uncomfortable :) )

I had to exercise in the mornings as I worked the afternoon and night shift so that was the only time I had available. However as I'm in Australia it often gets very hot very quickly, so I had to get out of bed early in the morning 7am-8am to exercise.

Struggle is, I've never been a morning person. I decided to change my sleeping habits first till I was waking up at 6-7. Breakfast is something easy like fruit that can typically be eaten as is. This meant I was all ready to go to the park.

I had bad days where I didn't want to go, so I'd often trick myself :) "I'll do five minutes then stop" and in most cases I would stay the full thirty minutes. Even if I only did 5 mins I was happy that I'd made the effort.

My favourite thing to do after was grab a book out of my bag and learn something new for the day.
Or perhaps I would meditate and enjoy the beautiful calm atmosphere.

My advice is trick yourself, start small and keep going!
 
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#4
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is my go-to book whenever someone asks me about habit change. If you haven't read that book, I highly suggest you begin reading it before publishing your blog post! I've taken the book's main message of the book and applied it successfully to many different areas of my life.

A very brief summary is that habits are a loop consisting of a cue (something that starts the habit), a routine (the thing you do) and a reward (what feels good when you're done). The loop basically goes "When <cue> happens, I will do <routine> in order to get <reward>". This applies for both good habits and bad ones too. To break out of it, you basically need to identify all three parts, and then find something to substitute the routine while keeping the same cue and reward. The book's main example is someone who's gained a lot of weight. Every day they were eating chocolate chip cookies at work and wanted to break out of that habit. After some introspection they determined that the habit loop was "At 2:30, I go to the cafeteria to get a chocolate chip cookie so I can stop by my co-worker's desk and talk". After figuring out the cue (every day at 2:30) and the reward they were seeking (talking with someone), they experimented with changing the routine to go directly to a co-worker's desk. The cue and the reward remained the same, but now they weren't eating junk food every day, and it eventually helped them be healthier.

Of course, there's a lot more to it. I can't recommend this book enough. The book focuses on habit change but it also applies to habit formation as well once you know how the loop works.