GUEST POST by Beverley Kay
On a recent visit to my herbalist, I had an enlightening discussion about the difficulty of changing patterns of behaviour. This delightful poem was shared.
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half of the things you do you might as well turn
over to me and I will do them - quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed - you must be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done
and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of great people,
and alas of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine though
I work with the precision of a machine
plus the intelligence of a person.
You may run me for profit or run me for ruin -
it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and
I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
Who am I? I am Habit.
Shalene Lowe Medical Herbalist
Serendipity, I think because I came across Karen Hardy’s review of Gretchen Rubin’s new book Better than before: mastering the habits of our everyday lives, in the Newcastle Herald newspaper. Rubin is quoted as saying you are not going to hit a target if you are not aiming for it and if you want something it not going to happen unless you make an effort.
I am intrigued, do I need to eliminate bad habits and do I need to start new habits? My research begins.
The most consistent reference cited is The Golden Rule of Habit Change by Charles Duhigg who explains that there are three components to habits:
I like the reward part…. It’s the changing the behaviour that is so difficult
The Golden Rule of Habit Change says that the most effective way to shift a habit is to diagnose and retain the old cue and reward, and try to change only the routine. If you identify the cues and rewards, you can change the routine.
Sounds simple, right!
James Clear in his article the 3 R’s of habit change: how to start new habits that actually stick states a few generalisations that make sense.
Clear also cites Charles Duhigg’s best-selling book the Power of Habit. Every habit you have — good or bad — follows the same 3–step pattern.
So it’s a process.
James Clear also writes in his article Transform Your Habits that you don’t eliminate a bad habit, you replace it.
So he suggests:
Gregory Ciotti in his article How to Build Good Habits (and make them stick) suggests that the best way to do this is to set (what he calls) “macro goals” and “micro quotas.”
Good advice? Definitely there would be a level of satisfaction in meeting an achievable minimum quota of work. Realistic expectations will set you up to win. Of course then there is the potential celebration when you blow it out of the park!
Deane Alban in her article How to trick your brain to create a new healthy habit has some practical suggestions:
J. D. Moyer in his Systems for Living Well lists 5 techniques for changing habits.
Scott H Young listed 18 tricks to make new habits stick, however I have listed those that I consider helpful:
The key learning from my research today -
If we are to implement positive changes on our MeManagement Journey then we must manage The Habit so.
I plan to use the following MeManagement tools – I need all the help I can get.
So interested in sharing your journey?
Leave a comment below and tell me about the habit you are going to work on. I will post my success (or lack of) in the coming weeks.
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