I’ve finished two books and I’m half-way through a third about habits. The research is really taking leaps in this area though honestly, Ben Franklin, knew quite a bit about making good habits back in his day.
Through the many pages that I’ve read, the key takeaway is one that I’d learned from B. J. Fogg a few years ago. Go small, no actually, go tiny. And, also from B.J. Fogg but reiterated in some of these books, find a great trigger or anchor for the new habit.
At the beginning of the year, before I’d read these books, I’d started on my own new morning routine based on what I knew to that point. I now, get up, start the water boiling for coffee, drink a glass of water, empty the dishwasher, make my coffee in the french press and journal. When I’m home. When I’m not home, it’s a lot harder to do although out of habit, I did empty my aunt’s dishwasher as the coffee was brewing when we stayed with her last week!
The three books are:
The Sweet Spot by Christine Carter, PhD
Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin
Small Move, Big Change by Caroline Arnold
For running a business and doing your marketing, I find that good habits are important also. Start small, don’t try to update Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, your blog, and send a weekly newsletter all at once. Choose one or two, make those into a routine, then add another, then another. The last book on the list says it usually takes three to six weeks to make something a habit and to only add two things at a time. I’ve found that to be accurate for my own habit building this year.
I have found that some things are harder than others as I’m still trying to find something ‘tiny’ enough for adding exercise to my routine. It’s making a habit of the habit in the beginning that’s more important than the actual thing you do and so the tinier, the better.
What habits are you building? For yourself? for your work?