Thoughts on Building “Habits”

I should meditate more. I should eat healthier. I should get more sleep.

On an intellectual level, these are all statements I endorse — I hold them to be true. But I don’t do these things as much as I should. What gives?

I think the idea of building habits is somewhat flawed. The classical thinking goes that if you do something enough times in a row, you will build a “habit” and by default it will become easier to repetitively do the thing. Over time, habits are built.

To me, it seems “habits” are built when I can directly connect the action I am performing to the reason I am performing it in relation to my goals. This can be as simple as “I brush my teeth because I want to have a clean mouth so that people will be willing to talk to me, which will help me to build a network full of interesting people.” Silly example, but by connecting my concrete goal of building a network of more interesting people with the action, it makes the motivation seem less abstract and more present. It’s also super helpful to understand the underlying motivation between why I’m doing the things I’m doing.

Time to apply this strategy to all of the things I should be doing more of :)

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