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The power of habits

We almost always overestimate what we can do in a day, filling our agendas and cultivating guilt if we don't carry everything to completion, as often happens, and we underestimate what we can achieve in a year, if only we adopt good daily habits.

Because even small habits can have a huge impact on our lives in the long run.

Imagine you are on a plane taking off from Rome to London. If, after take-off, the pilot decided to adjust the course by about ten degrees to the east, the nose of the plane would only move a few meters. No one else on board would notice the small movement. But at the end of the trip you would find yourself in Brussels.

We don't notice small changes, because their immediate impact is negligible. If in the last period I have led a sedentary life and today, for example, I take my bike to tackle the worst climbs around me, it is not that tomorrow I will be magically fit, quite the contrary! But doing this exercise for half an hour a day, every day, then it will get me in shape.

Think that there is a whole line of research conducted by Brendon Burchard, who has studied in over 190 countries what are the characteristics of successful people. And he concluded that gender, race, age and even personality traits have very little to do with high performance.

What really matters are a few key habits.

In other words, it's not who you are, but rather what you do on a daily basis that is important.

Burchard also found that these habits didn't come about by accident. High-level artists have chosen them deliberately. In other words, success is not an event, some kind of instantaneous explosion of one's talents.

But it is a process, where we spend time every day doing the same things, which are important for our growth.

Ask any successful person you know, and he will rattle off a series of habits that have led him to where he is now!

Beethoven for decades woke up early to work until lunchtime, while Einstein used to take long walks on the beach daily or systematically look at the ceiling during the work week so that he could hear what was going on in his. mind.

The power of habits lies in its cumulative effect, in the incredible lever that, day after day, can move the entire direction of our lives after years. It is a bit like interest paid to us on invested capital.

And to access this growth capital, you need to be clear about your long-term goals, build habits consistent with these goals, and repeat them every single day.

But having this consistency is not a trivial matter, and in this article you can discover a method that goes beyond habits, which holds them together in order to make their introduction and maintenance easier.

Because the worst enemy of habits, you know, is inconstancy, and that is why the habits we choose should be something easy to do, which can overcome even our worst laziness, even on "no" days. But on the other hand, if I break my habits into a myriad of small easy-to-do actions, I end up getting lost in a thousand calendars, post-its, memos.

Until, and we get to the solution, I started organizing the small daily habits into a routine. A routine is a set of small habits, of activities that are consistent with each other. For example, among the first daily routines there may be this "Getting Started Routine":

  1. I identify my three most important activities of the day, which if I complete them, even if I don't do everything else, I consider the day positive ; and I identify these 3 by looking at the calendar, email and remainder;

  2. postpone the activities that it makes no sense to perform today;

  3. I quickly dispose of activities that only require a few minutes of execution.

This routine makes me have on the one hand the sight of what awaits me during the day, on the other hand it immediately gives me a sense of fulfillment, because in half an hour I can clear the field by taking off all those small fast-running activities to which I won't have to think anymore.

But the routines can be of all kinds: related to sport, for example: wearing suitable clothing-bike-shower-lunch, and then restart the working afternoon with new mental energies.

If this method convinces you, here are some other tips to put it into practice.

Make the routine start from an action that is easy to do or from an action that is already an established habit of yours.

Do I often forget to floss? Very well, I link this action to when I brush my teeth, a habit that I already have, by building a mini routine: brushing teeth-flossing. Do I often lose the sport routine on the street? Okay, I can pack the right clothes and lunch the day before, and simplify the routine.

Then try to associate each routine with the most sensible time of day.

For example, I dedicate the very first part of the morning to creative work. You can also decide to put your most important routines on your agenda, so that colleagues and friends or relatives know that you are busy at the moment.

Use a trigger to start the routine, such as a calendar with an audible alarm.

Try not to have routines that last no more than an hour.

And then, start with simple routines, made up of a few actions.

As the routine consolidates, and you see that you put it into practice on a daily basis and it gives you the benefits you hoped for, then you can add more actions to the routine. If, on the other hand, you see that it often ends up in oblivion, simplify it, eliminating some planned actions, to the point that it is so easy to implement that you have no excuse to avoid it.

Your surroundings can also encourage you to adopt certain habits. If you want to play sports and you are a pretty neat type, leaving the gym bag in the middle of the boxes will give you more incentive and remember to pick it up and leave the house.

And if you really see that you can't make a certain habit yours, think about how you could connect it to something that attracts you. For example, see half an hour of your favorite series after playing sports.

Here, the secret of habits is that to realize ourselves we don't need to revolutionize our behavior or reinvent ourselves.

Rather, let's focus on how small winning habits can lead us to what we want in the long run.


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