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It’s been said that it takes 21 days to create a habit. But that it’s just the first part of success. It takes more than 60 days to stick to a habit and to avoid the risk of getting back into the old behavior.
In his book, “Atomic Habits“, author James clear provides very simple ways to create and sustain habits geared towards success. I share my comments here, taking this book as a guide.
If you want to make sure that a new habit gets ingrained in your mind, follow these three steps:
- Make the habit clear and visible. This requires the use of tools that remind us of the habit every time is due. It can be a simple note on a sticky note, or a text or phrase in a whiteboard. Also, our phones provide a great variety of alarms, reminders and applications that can help us remember that is time to get to work.
- Add context to the habit, to make it meaningful. When add more elaborate meaning to a habit, this can motivate us to keep working on it. For example, exercising can lead to losing weight, but additional information like avoiding high cholesterol or cardiac problems can be a bigger motivator to avoid skipping a workout session.
- Make it fun. You can create your own system to make a habit a rewarding experience. If you want to play with your kids or grandchildren, and you push yourself to the point of breaking a sweat, you will accomplish two goals: spending time with them and working out. Or if you want to stick to reading, you can pick two books, one that helps you learn something, and one that entertain you but maybe doesn’t create value.
There are millions of small habits that can improve your life, and finding a way to start and sustain those is the key to great success. Staring is simple, but it takes discipline to make their execution automatic. However, creating discipline weights ounces, but if we don’t get disciplined, that brings regrets… and regrets weight tons.
This is a great read, or if you prefer, you can also use the audio version.
Are you ready to create good small habits?