Counter Arts
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Counter Arts

How to Make Writing a “Habit”

An evidence-based look at making writing a habit for myself in 60 days because 21/90 doesn’t seem to be real

Photo by: David Drake — Slow and Deliberate Writing from the 22nd of June, 2021
Cover of Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz — Published 1960
Wood, W., & Neal, D. T. (2007). A new look at habits and the habit-goal interface. Psychological Review, 114(4), 843–863. DOI: 10.1037/0033–295X.114.4.843.
  • Eating a piece of fruit with lunch
  • Drinking a glass of water after breakfast
  • Eating a piece of fruit when watching the TV/computer in the evening
  • Doing 50 sit-ups after morning coffee
  • Walking for 10 minutes after breakfast
  • Doing 15 minute exercises before dinner
“The Self-Report Habit Index” — Verplanken, B. and Orbell, S. (2003). Reflections on Past Behavior: A Self-Report Index of Habit Strength. Appendix A. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33: 1313–1330.

Behavior X is something…

  1. I do frequently.
  2. I do automatically.
  3. I do without having to consciously remember.
  4. that makes me feel weird if I do not do it.
  5. I do without thinking.
  6. that would require effort not to do it.
  7. that belongs to my (daily, weekly, monthly) routine.
  8. I start doing before I realize I’m doing it.
  9. I would find hard not to do.
  10. I have no need to think about doing.
  11. that’s typically “me.”
  12. I have been doing for a long time.
Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C.H.M., Potts, H.W.W. and Wardle, J. (2010), How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 40: 998–1009. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.674
  • The Likert scale seems to be a very popular standard for answering questions to determine behaviors
  • There are a standardized series of questions (SHRI) to ask oneself regarding whether a habit is being developed
  • Already conducted research indicates that around 66 days are necessary to actually call behaviors a “habit” using the Likert scale applied to an SHRI

Day 2 of 60 for developing a writing habit.

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David Drake

Accomplished Father, Leader, Engineer, Writer, and Wannabe Chef. @randomdrake