The Power of Habit

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Last Updated On December 05, 2017
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I have always heard that it takes 21 days to make a habit and I have found that to be true. If I stick with something for three weeks, it becomes so much of a habit that it is almost mindless.  This book talks about how habits, good and bad, become part of our lives. Think about what we do first thing in the morning. Get up, get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast, etc. The morning routine is a habit we perform without thinking about it. Duhigg talks about research studies on habits which say that a habit actually consists of a cue that triggers a routine we perform which leads to a reward we receive. For the morning habit our cue is waking up. The routine is getting dressed, brushing teeth, getting breakfast and the reward is that we are ready for our day.

If you want to start a good habit, such as logging what you eat or starting an exercise program, you can use information you learn in this book to help you develop that habit. If you have a habit you'd like to stop or change, such as  smoking or being unproductive, you can use information you learn in this book to help you change that habit into a habit that gives you better rewards.

I was able to schedule my sewing and writing time starting early in the morning and ending by 2 pm each day. Being an early riser, these are the times I am most productive. I found that by slightly changing my morning routine to include getting dressed in my workout clothes, that I now, almost automatically, stop working at 2 pm and head off to the gym. This has been such a simple change in my routine yet it has provided me with a great reward of exercising more.

The Power of Habit is a fairly quick read and includes numerous examples of how individuals and businesses have used the power of habit to improve themselves, their relationships, efficiency, productivity and the bottom line. You don't have to be self employed or a business person to benefit from the information in this book. It is also great for improving yourself physically and emotionally as well as your relationships with other people.

One thing that almost every example in this book showed is that when habits are changed for the better in one area of our lives (or in one aspect of a company) there is a domino effect that makes many other areas better. One example is a person who decides to start the habit of sticking to a budget or using cash instead of credit cards. This habit makes their financial situation better which leads to them forming habits that improve their health, social activities, religious activities or other areas of their lives.

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