How To Automate Your Best Behaviors

Research shows that up to 45% of our actions are automatic, driven by habit. A good number of these are daily activities such as eating, drinking, driving, and so on. Without the power of habit, most of your mental capacity would be taken up by these mundane but necessary activities. Another reason why habits are important is that they can be used to automate your best behaviors.

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Change Your Default Settings

Our default behaviors are, by definition, those things we do without thinking about them. It’s a good idea to step back from time to time and examine your defaults. You may want to change some of your “settings”.

default behaviors
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Default Settings – Making Life Easier

My phone is old by cell phone standards. But I still remember when I got it, trading in my old flip phone for a smart phone. And it was smart. The technician at the store took about 15 minutes to set it up and save all my contacts. He handed me the phone and it was ready to go. Such convenience.

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The Willpower Question

Willpower is like a muscle, according to some research, and gets depleted with use over time. Newer research has not replicated this finding, however. Other researchers believe willpower may get depleted because we think it will be. This is at the heart of the willpower question.

Cookies And Radishes

It was a cruel and heartless experiment . . . at least for the hungry college students taking part. They were told not to eat anything for several hours prior to the experiment so they were hungry when they arrived at the lab.

The students were divided into three groups. Group 1 was given a plate of warm, freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies. And a plate of radishes. They were told they could have all the radishes they wanted, but they were not to touch the cookies.

Group 2 was given a plate of cookies and a plate of radishes and told they could eat all they wanted from either (or both) plates.

Group 3 was given nothing.

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The Little Things ARE The Big Things

“Yard by yard it’s hard but inch by inch it’s a cinch.” Small actions made consistently over time add up to big achievements.

A Lesson From The Ants

As a boy, I became fascinated by ants. I read everything about them I could get my hands on. One thing I learned from my reading was how to construct an ant farm and how to capture the workers and the queen from an existing nest. I used this knowledge to build several ant farms using quart jars.

When I was about 9 or 10, I made my first farm. I flooded the nest, captured the queen and some of the workers and carefully put them in the jar full of dirt. I covered the jar with black construction paper to keep out the light. And I waited. Continue reading “The Little Things ARE The Big Things”

Make Success A Habit

“When we try to change our behavior, we strategize about our motivation and self-control. But what we should be thinking about instead is how to set up new habits. Habits persist even when we’re tired and don’t have the energy to exert self-control.” ~ Wendy Wood [Life: Wellness]

The Parable Of The Threads

A father gave his young child a thread and directed her to break it. This she did easily.

The next day, the father wound two threads together and asked the child to break the pair. Again, she easily broke them. Continue reading “Make Success A Habit”

Your Super Power

“People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply: by the lives they lead.” ~ James Baldwin, No Name In The Street

The Key To Success

Once upon a time, there were 3 friends, Ron, Tom, and Oswald. (*This example is patterned after one presented by Darren Hardy in The Compound Effect. See Resources.) They grew up in the same neighborhood and remained good friends through school and later after they began their careers. They made about the same income. All three were married and were raising families. Continue reading “Your Super Power”

What To Do Before Breakfast

 

“There’s something magical about repeating the same positive habits every single day.” ~ SJ Scott

The “Magic Hours”

What do you do before breakfast? Hyrum Smith calls the early morning hours the “magic hours”, a block of uninterrupted time when you can concentrate on things beyond the normal urgency and routine of the day. Brian Tracy refers to this time as the Golden Hours — the first hours of the day which set the tone for the rest of the day. Continue reading “What To Do Before Breakfast”

Enemy Of The Best

“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.” ~ Joshua Becker

“I had seen successful people let go of very good things that were not the best things to them.” ~ Dr. Henry Cloud

Don’t let the Good crowd out the Best.

In the book 9 Things You Simply Must Do To Succeed In Love And Life, Dr. Henry Cloud identifies one of the 9 Things as “pull the tooth”. If you’ve ever had a toothache, you know that temporary measures to hide or mask the pain do not work for long. You may be able to forget about it for a short time, but the pain always returns. Until you deal with the source of the pain, the problem keeps coming back. Continue reading “Enemy Of The Best”