Inquisitive Report 23/52

Week Ending July 6th, 2018

Content Covered: Habit Formation

Making new habits is hard…

but it doesn’t have to be.

There has been much debate between whether it is more helpful to break old habits, or more useful to create new ones. Luckily for us, we live in an age where neuroscience is making tons of breakthroughs every day. And one of the latest findings is that when trying to form a new habit, it is more useful to focus on what you want to add or keep (and strengthen that neural pathway) rather than trying to break an old one.

The usefulness of this information also applies to the concept of strengths and weaknesses. Often times, we focus more on reducing or eliminating what we feel we aren’t good at, and a lot less time activley strengthening what we do like. A strengths based approach to developing your talent or skills is not only much more uplifting, it is also more effective.

In my Stanford course on Resilient Leadership, we were tasked with creating four new habits that we would like to embed into our life, and then documenting our performance on actually following through and our insights.

The method that I used to create the new habits that I am working on is called The Tiny Habit Method; it was developed by Psychologist BJ Fogg.

Basically, Fogg identifies a “Tiny Habit” as a behavior —

    • you do at least once a day
    • that takes you less than 30 seconds
    • that requires little effort

Using this approach, and the “After I (current behavior), I will (new behavior)” recipe, I created my list of four habits that I wish to make more of a subconscious process.

For example: After I turn off the car engine, I will take two deep breaths.

The habits that you are trying to embed in your life usually align with an over arching principle or goal that you have. For instance, with the example above my personal goal is to destress (and as everyone knows- Bay Area traffic is very stress making). By actively choosing to work on deep breathing after one of the most common and stressful events of my day I hope to obtain a bit more calm in my life.

Now, I understand that no process is flawless, and I don’t expect life altering calmness to find me after embedding this habit into my life, what I do hope to do is instill a conscious self-aware decision into an existing habit so that I may nudge a bit closer to what I believe / desire for my life.

….I find the process of self-awareness and growth continuously engaging. When there are so many avenues of exploration, the possibilities are endless.

If you would like more information on the Tiny Habits Methodology or sign up for his free five day coaching session, you can go here.

Who knows? Maybe with this tool, you too can nudge your life into the direction you desire 🙂

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