And it has done wonders. I now look forward to my daily workout sessions with enthusiasm and joy. The first book I listened to was "The Power of Habit: What We Do What We Do in Life and Business" by Charles Duhigg. This to me was fitting because I was having a hard time making exercise a habit!
I find the book relatively interesting, although I'm not sure that I fully agree with everything that it says, and at times his examples are a bit weak. I was also hoping for some more practical guidance as to how to build habits. None-the-less, here are some interesting facts that I had learned…
- How consumer package industries heavily uses customer info metrics to understand how their consumers behave and thus subtlely change their buying pattern by forcing habits.
- How AA uses habits to help addicts change their destructive patterns.
- How casinos uses coupons and free stuff to entice gamblers to return to casinos and build their gambling habits.
From a practical sense, this is how I see it:
- Create habits so you can free up more brain power for important things, since habits become routines and there is less decision required (e.g., when you brush your teeth, you don't need to really think about the next steps. It's automatic. Pick up toothbrush, put on toothpaste, brush, rinse, mouthwash - it's a routine). By creating as many routines as possible reduces the number of decisions that has to be made, and thus freeing up your brain for more important things.