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how to build positive habits, and reduce or eliminate negative habits

 
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Laurel Eastman wrote:Tiny Habits

This approach by the infamous BJ Fogg has really worked for me.

https://www.tinyhabits.com/

He offers a free 5 day program, and if you can get his book from the library I highly recommend. The website is also great, and podcasts etc.

Similar and also very helpful is Atomic Habits by James Clear, and I like his email newsletter. https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits

I track my new habits on a page in my Bullet Journal - https://bulletjournal.com/ - and try to keep the streak going. I like the paper (analog) tracking more than any apps I've tried.

xx much love to all the Permies


Tiny Habits is in my book list now.

Somehow, I ran across the YouTube that explains using a Bullet Journal and watched it because I was curious after seeing it referred to all over the place - including Laurel's post!



So I watched it (it's a quick, engaging 4:11 minutes), and went 'meh' I get what it is now, but probably not for me.

Then, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I kept wondering if I would like it. So I pulled out just a ruled paper tablet, no cover, not even a journal, and started to use that. And you know, I like it! I'm probably not going to go all colorful sparkly pens and girly stencils like what seems to be the rage these days, but the basic kind, like in the video above, does seem to work for me. We'll see if I keep it up.

Also, I recently learned the term sitzfleisch. Which just basically means sit your butt down and get to work. From This Lifehack Will Change Your Life—If You Can Stand It. Might be the opposite of Sonja's meme (the last on the previous page of this thread), but for those of us working from home with a highly distractable nature, it brings it back down to the basics for me/us.

 
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Sonja Draven wrote:This touches on some things from this thread and has been true for me.



Geez, too true. I've wasted the best years of my life with that attitude, delaying everything else for 'later' when I'd have time to indulge it. Oh, if I could live my life over again...
But there's always tomorrow. Cheesy but true. Been slowly incorporating some of the suggestions people have come up with, and slowly enriching my life. Encouragement is key.

So here's to everyone who is building themselves healthy! Keep it up! You're doing well! We're all behind you!
 
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One important thing I know that I need to do when establishing/maintaining habits is to make a more pleasant experience out of them. And I believe that this particularly applies to the never-ending repetitive daily homekeeping habits of clearing counters, washing dishes, sweeping floors, and folding laundry. Over and over and over again they must be done--and no matter how well I do them on Tuesday, there will be more to do on Wednesday. This is so demoralizing it increases my desire to procrastinate and puts me and the house in an even worse state of affairs.

I do listen to music and sometimes audiobooks, etc. But that is the entirety of my ideas for making my repetitive, mindless home chores more pleasant. Are there any other ideas for 1) making the routine working time more pleasant, and 2) arriving at a sense of completion with these tasks, at least for that specific day?
 
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Rachel Lindsay wrote: Are there any other ideas for 1) making the routine working time more pleasant, and 2) arriving at a sense of completion with these tasks, at least for that specific day?



It's so much easier when the task MUST be done, as opposed to it being something that should be done. I've gotten into the habit of focusing my thoughts on how much better I'll feel once the chore is done. I tell myself that I will relax and have coffee once I've completed this or that. If I cheat and skip the chore in order to have coffee first, I'll acknowledge how I've let myself down and let it diminish the enjoyment of my unearned reward.

 
Rachel Lindsay
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Since the book Atomic Habits was mentioned earlier in this thread, I just want to post a quick review of a very similar book here:

Small Move, Big Change: Using Microresolutions to Transform Your Life Permanently by Catherine L. Arnold (2014).
If it sounds like Atomic Habits, it really is: only this book is by a woman who wasn't an athlete, and so instead of supporting the main points with examples from sports disciplines, etc., this book featured examples that seemed more applicable to someone like me. The author tells about herself and other people using "microresolutions" not to achieve fame and sports medals, but a happier and more functional (normal) life. I still like Atomic Habits a lot, don't get me wrong, but I like this book at least as much. I compared them the whole time I was reading this book, and as I was about to start the last few pages I thought, Well, the relationship between habits and identity was something very important to Clear's book, but she surprisingly didn't mention that at all in hers. Then, I found out that's what the Afterword is about. So it is virtually the same book, but presented in completely different styles and formats. It was a fun read for me this month, and I'd seen it on the library shelves for years, so I wonder why I never checked it out before?

 
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I've begun a mental practice that seems to work out okay, particularly so as I'm living "in community" at Wheaton Labs at the moment.

It's essentially me re-creating a moment from the film, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, with Gene Wilder. There's a moment at the end of the film (um, spoiler alert!) where Charlie's just been bawled-out by Willy Wonka and is left alone in his office. Charlie, disappointed, leaves his Everlasting Gob-Stopper on Willy Wonka's desk. Wonka shows up, commends Charlie for his integrity, and hands over the key to the kingdom, so to speak.

When it's a new task I'm dealing with, or especially when attempting to straighten-things-up and I know it's someone else's mess or neglect, I like to play a brief game with myself that's inspired by that moment in the film. I imagine that there's someone like Willy Wonka who will notice me doing The Right Thing at that moment, and will suddenly pop out from under the table or around the corner or something to provide me with a reward. About 35 seconds later the moment passes, the thing is cleaned-up and I'm not annoyed with it anymore, and then I move on with my day.

At the very least, it diverts my mind away from the temporary annoyance with the emergence of a pleasant "movie memory," and potential negativity from that moment is essentially erased. No method has been 100% effective and some days are better than others. Still it's worth a try and harms no one.
 
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
Somehow, I ran across the YouTube that explains using a Bullet Journal and watched it because I was curious after seeing it referred to all over the place - including Laurel's post!



So I watched it (it's a quick, engaging 4:11 minutes), and went 'meh' I get what it is now, but probably not for me.

Then, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I kept wondering if I would like it. So I pulled out just a ruled paper tablet, no cover, not even a journal, and started to use that. And you know, I like it! I'm probably not going to go all colorful sparkly pens and girly stencils like what seems to be the rage these days, but the basic kind, like in the video above, does seem to work for me. We'll see if I keep it up.



Did it end up working for you? I watched the video, and the more details he went into, the more my brain said, "This isn't for me!"

Somehow (maybe because I watch videos about Bookbinding) I stumbled across this video:



Now, I don't use a phone, but I do use a computer, and I face the same issues that he lists (and so many others have mentioned): when I go on the computer to get something done or write something down.....I get distracted. My attention is drawn elsewhere far too easily, and I don't get the thing done or the thought truly processed.

I really like his idea of using the notebook basically like a computer/cellphone. It's a place for lists, for thoughts, for processing, for observations. In other words, it's an extension of our "Working Memory."

I was already binding a tiny book to use for my sermon notes (instead of just using slips of paper that fill up my Bible and likely hurt it's binding), and then I thought, "Why not use this thing for BOTH!"

Entirely on accident, I kind of made the pretty side of the book/journal to be the back. And then I realized, why not use it both ways! Since nothing is lined or numbered, I can just flip the book over and use the other side. And when I finally have the sides meet, it's time for a new book!

So, one side of the book is for the more meta stuff (deep thoughts, sermon notes, etc), while the other side is for more practical things (To-Do lists, Gift Ideas, even my son's Minecraft coordinates.) If I need to write a note to someone, I just write it in there, and erase it if I don't want to keep it around.

I like unlined paper, so every page is blank white. Which is amazing! I can write notes and even doodles wherever I want, in however makes sense for my brain.

I've only been using it for three days, but so far it is really helping. And, it's actually a joy to use because I bound the book myself and put marbled paper I'd made for the end papers, and put cute little brass edge-protectors I was given. It makes me happy to use my pretty little book. I covered it in leather and put a bookmark in it. It's just so fun to use! I LOVE that I can doodle in it--I didn't even think about that when I started using the book--it just happened naturally. Thinking back, this is how I used my little journals back in high school and college. I don't know why I stopped using them (probably because they didn't fit in my purse)!

I like not being constrained by a pre-determined "you must use this journal this way" method. I already have a 5-year planner book, so I don't need a calendar in my journal. I just need a place to store and process my thoughts.

Here's another video on how this guy uses his journal.



I like how low-key it is. Sometimes making the process too fancy or organized can prevent us from using something, because we're afraid of it not being perfect. I'm trying really hard to keep myself from feeling like I "have to" us my book one way or another
20230717_181523.jpg
I really like being able to use my book from both directions! It makes for a more natural organization.
I really like being able to use my book from both directions! It makes for a more natural organization.
20230717_181605.jpg
Sometimes, it's the little things like marbled paper that just make it a joy to use a book
Sometimes, it's the little things like marbled paper that just make it a joy to use a book
20230717_181616.jpg
The leather came from my parents' couch. It's already naturally distressed--no need to worry about keeping it pristine.
The leather came from my parents' couch. It's already naturally distressed--no need to worry about keeping it pristine.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Nicole Alderman wrote:

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
<post about bullet journaling>



Did it end up working for you? I watched the video, and the more details he went into, the more my brain said, "This isn't for me!"


Bullet journaling worked for me a little while for planning and notetaking, but as a journal of what I did for the day, not so much.
I mostly went back to using apps (Evernote, Trello, Google Calendar) to store my lists, events, tasks, etc.

Nicole Alderman wrote:Somehow (maybe because I watch videos about Bookbinding) I stumbled across this video:

<snip>

I like not being constrained by a pre-determined "you must use this journal this way" method. I already have a 5-year planner book, so I don't need a calendar in my journal. I just need a place to store and process my thoughts.

<snip>

I like how low-key it is. Sometimes making the process too fancy or organized can prevent us from using something, because we're afraid of it not being perfect. I'm trying really hard to keep myself from feeling like I "have to" us my book one way or another


YES! That is a GORGEOUS journal with your parents' couch leather! Wow!

I have friends who are using sketch journals for wildlife or property observations, and/or art practice, and that's what your book reminds me of.

What I do like from the bullet journaling method is the idea of keeping a "contents" or index page in case you are using the journal or book for a reference down the road. But if a book is more for free form fun stuff being drawn or written about, an index is certainly not at all necessary.

That creative drawn process and using handwriting are both SO important! I can't seem to compel myself to do more of it though sometimes my fingers kind of itch to draw or create (when my hands aren't cooking or gardening, both of which are my primary creative outlets these days).
 
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What I hear, according to new research (B J Fogg) it is joy ("shine") that builds habits, NOT repetition.

I find that notion a big relief.  I was always taught to repeat stuff over and over growing up, and it never helped me get better at things.   It was a relief to have my experience corroborated by some scientific study.

There's the example of developing a habit of going on social media--that doesn't take repetition.  You can learn it and develop it in a minute.  There's a reward center activation that happens.  This is what the companies know.  We can use it for our own things we want to have habits on.


Laurel Eastman wrote:Tiny Habits

This approach by the infamous BJ Fogg has really worked for me.

https://www.tinyhabits.com/

He offers a free 5 day program, and if you can get his book from the library I highly recommend. The website is also great, and podcasts etc.

Similar and also very helpful is Atomic Habits by James Clear, and I like his email newsletter. https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits

I track my new habits on a page in my Bullet Journal - https://bulletjournal.com/ - and try to keep the streak going. I like the paper (analog) tracking more than any apps I've tried.

xx much love to all the Permies

 
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When the boys were in grade school they had a karate program through the school. The sense, teacher, had a saying, practice does not make perfect, it makes permanent. So if you practice wrong, you will do it wrong. Very important to continously practice correctly
 
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My aunt told me that when she was in school it was common to say "practice makes perfect".  But a teacher who was a nun at the catholic school she was going to would correct them and say, "perfect practice makes perfect".
 
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