5 Responses to “Resolution #1: No More Resolutions!”


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  1. Good post. Coupla thoughts:

    1) Pick *one* habit to make habitual; do the rest as “good things”, but only focus on *one*. You want to make it automatic, and you’re not likely to make several things automatic simultaneously.

    2) A habit takes 21 days to become automatic. Dunno why, but that’s what psychologists say. So you should plan for six habits to take 4.5 months.

    3) Layer your new habits on existing habits. If there’s something you do now — good *or* bad, doesn’t matter — make the new habit part of the old. So for example, if I wanted to exercise more, I’d make a walk around the block a part of a smoke break.

    4) Don’t make fun a habit. Make it a reward. Cf. Neil Fiore’s “The Now Habit” for excellent discussion of this.

    5) Don’t make education a habit — it’s too diffuse to be habitual. Make a resolution of the fun things you can do once you’ve learned those things, and you’ll find yourself having trouble *not* learning them in your spare time.

    6) Kill your TV. It’s okay to *choose* to watch something specific, but channel-surfing is out. That’ll be a hell of a lot of hours extra a week right there.

  2. avishp

    Thanks for the comment and suggestions Jeff. A few thoughts on your thoughts:

    1) In the ZenHabits post I reference, the six habit system involves doing one habit at a time for two months each. So by the end of the year you have 6 new habits set. Working on only one at a time is key.

    2) I have read the 21 day number, but i have also seen studies that say it can be 60+ days to be truly habitual. I figure slow and steady will be better.

    3) not a bad idea to build on past habits.

    4) I read Fiore’s book, and like his stuff. However, personally, the “fun” activities I want to make a habit are things that for whatever reason I avoid doing. More rewarding fun things that i enjoy but i never get around to. it’s almost like I procrastinate those things, so I would like to make them habitual.

    5) I can’t say I agree with this. But to each their own.

    6) Not a bad idea – most of the habits i am building in are to fill hours with productive and enjoyable non-TV stuff.


  3. Avish

    I’ve taken #5 to heart. After all, my November challenge was education.

    note* Learning may be habit forming.

  4. avishp

    Thanks Jack – I’m glad the November challenge and habit forming is/has worked out for you!

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