I’m always looking for advice on behavior change and habits. It’s fascinating stuff. How can you get yourself to do the things you want to do but then for some reason don’t. Lately, I have seen several sources advocating to create an exercise habit as a first step to successfully creating other desirable habits.
Here Stephanie Lee talks about applying what she learned from her fitness routine to business and recommended getting fit to get ahead in business. Here an Australian study showed that when people focused on creating a very modest exercise habit that they were able to function better in other areas of their lives like spending less money, being more productive at work and eating less junk food, undoubtedly all good behaviors. And, Charles Duhigg in his excellent book The Power of Habit, describes an example of a woman who changed her whole life, which was a disaster, by focusing on only one habit- exercise.
When you want to change your behavior, it appears that focusing on habit formation is the key to success. Go for creating the habit first and then scale up if desired. Once you have been able to make a welcome but not necessarily natural behavior a habit, it’s easier to create other habits. Theoretically, it should not matter what behavior you focus on initially; although, Duhigg suggests that some behaviors are more important than others. He calls these keystone habits. Keystone habits are foundational, and when you successfully nail those habits, it will end up affecting other habits. Exercise is a keystone habit. For instance, once you start exercising regularly, you naturally want to eat right, prioritize sleep and manage your time better. [Read more…] about How to change your life in six minutes a day