Habits, and how to overcome the barriers to forming one

February 13, 2010


One thing I observed when dealing with different personalities is that people don’t like to be pushed around out of their comfort zone a lot. In the human brain, the neurons get wired to particular habits. For eg. Going to the gym everyday, Eating breakfast at a particular time, Sleeping in on the weekends. Since these things become hardwired. Science says you need 21 days to form a new neural connection and hence a habit.

Another aspect is , for a new habit to form, space has to  be made for that habit in the person’s life. For example , going to the gym at one particular time of the day , or cooking everyday at a particular time. If you can have a time scheduled to do something everyday at the same time, slowly it tends to creep into your lifestyle and it becomes a part of you.

Facilitation is one more thing that  is very important. It means that the excuses we give ourselves to talk ourself out of forming a habit. Like before starting to make a to-do list , “Oh, It’s a lot of work” or before going to the gym , “Oh! , I don’t have the right clothes for it”. At this stage it becomes very important to make sure to get over that barrier and make that the first priority. Engineers specially tend to think that life runs like 1’s and 0’s , It’s either all in or nothing. So If I don’t have the right clothes, if the gym is not close, I would not go there, and this revolves in circles when you try to get someone out of that spiral ending.

Blindly follow these steps ,most of you will just this and move on . WAIT, If you want a habit to be formed. ACT now

1) Make a list of things you want to do

2) Prioritize

3) Remove obstacles and barriers preventing you from completing your task

4) Schedule a fixed time to execute for 20 days

5)  Don’t talk yourself out of it, when you feel like that , STOP!

6) Just do it , at the end of it , will be fruitful

7)Refer back to a printout of list and make tally marks the days you end up following what you desired

8) At the end of it , reward yourself with something you like. A small thing such a perfume or a shirt works.

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