Chapters 8 through 10 and a successful set of habits

I think I'm in the habit of writing daily, as I've been doing so now since last August of last year. I like writing, but especially when I have something to write about. It's one reason why I make sure I do something worth noting!

Chapters 8, 9 and 10 dealt with making a habit attractive.

Chapter 8, How to Make a Habit Irresistible, summary:

  • The 2nd Law of Behavior Change is make it attractive.
  • The more attractive an opportunity is, the more likely it is to become habit-forming.
  • Habits are a dopamine-driven feedback loop. When dopamine rises, so does our motivation to act.
  • It is the anticipation of a reward - not the fulfillment of it - that gets us to take action. The greater the anticipation, the greater the dopamine spike.
  • Temptation bundling is one way to make your habits more attractive. The strategy is to pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do.

Chapter 9, The Role of Family and Friends in Shaping Your Habits, summary:

  • The culture we live in determines which behaviors are attractive to us.
  • We tend to adopt habits that area praised and approved of by our culture because we have a strong desire to fit in and belong to the tribe.
  • We tend to imitate the habits of three social groups: the close (family and friends), the many (the tribe), and he powerful (those with status and prestige).
  • One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where (1) your desired behavior is the normal behavior and (2) you already have something in common with the group.
  • The normal behavior of the tribe often overpowers the desired behavior of the individual. Most days, we'd rather be wrong with the crowd than be right by ourselves.
  • If a behavior can get us approval, respect, and praise, we find it attractive.

Chapter 10, How to Find and Fix the Causes of Your Bad Habits, summary:

  • The inversion of the 2nd Law of Behavior Change is make it unattractive.
  • Every behavior has a surface level craving and a deeper underlying motive.
  • Your habits are modern-day solutions to ancient desires.
  • The cause of your habits is actually the prediction that precedes them. The prediction leads to a feeling.
  • Highlight the benefits of avoiding a bad habit to make it seem unattractive.
  • Habits are attractive when we associate them with positive feelings and unattractive when we associate them with negative feelings. Create a motivation ritual by doing something you enjoy immediately before a difficult habit.

So far, this book has been interesting and helpful! Today, I went to the gym because I have the habit of going to the gym after work if I don't have a social engagement in the evening. I am going to the gym because I am a fit person that wants to continue to get stronger. Today, I managed 50 situps on the situp bench. After dinner, I put my dishes away, then played a few songs on my keyboard, and found it really fun. I am hoping that when I get to the February Daily Piano challenge, it won't be much of a challenge, and that I breeze right through. I only stopped today so I could finish my blog, and I'm meeting a friend at 8 for a round of Minecraft. Tomorrow I have quite a lot of work to do, but I'm confident that I will make progress. I'll be learning more on SQL Server Security, going to the gym after work, and playing piano after dinner. I'm looking forward to a great day!


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