t Habits Evolution Theory

By pjain      Published June 15, 2020, 2:36 a.m. in blog Lambda7   

Theory of Change


Habit Change BPR

3 at a time

Starting multiple habits at once is damaging your progress

One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to habit building, is that they try to start multiple habits at the same time.

When they start they feel motivated and unstoppable, but those feeling quickly fade out so today I want to talk about the dangers of starting multiple habits at once.

People stuck in Homeo-statis - Equilibrium - hard to change

At any time, YOU are composed of the complete set of every behavior, action, pattern and thing that’s common and normal for you. Every single habit or object sooner or later becomes part of your own Equilibrium.

Ego Depletion and Reversion to Equilibrium - Adoption of Shiny new Toys, Short term boost, then stop using

An example is getting your your smartphone (or installing a new app as a smaller delta). 1. When you first got it, you probably felt more excited and took greater care of it than you currently do now. It became part of your Equilibrium. 2. For a while, every single action that you do with the "shiny new toy" eg Facetime, playing a game, etc, “elevates you” in one way or another (meaning it makes you grow, learn or develop). Initially you have the energy like starting a new habit or project. 3. However, the new steps or "actions" are met with "reactions" i.e. create a certain amount of resistance, i.e. it takes more willpower and energy to keep on doing it. "Do I really want to continue running, doing C25k, or track my water drinking". That lazy part of you does not like it when you mess with your Equilibrium. After a few weeks, if you’re still having to push yourself hard to do something, the novelty is going to wear off and you’re going to give it up because you begin to dread the difficulty of maintaining that much of a drastic change. The problem is that for most people, this resistance becomes too much to handle so they end up giving up, no matter how motivated they felt at the beginning. 4. This resistance to disturbing your Equilibrium or "Rituals" could eventually kill the "new" action. 5. But the beauty is if you manage to stay disciplined (reservoir of ego) and push past this resistance. There will still be resistance, it will always be there, but e.g. first time you ran a 5k or 10k without stopping, you found you can push through the resistance. Gradually you learn to accept the barriers/resistance and learn to deal with it way better. Even if you stumble some times, you will get up and retry next day to push through. 6. At some point this new habit that you are trying to build will also become part of your Equilibrium. 7. This change is what we should strive to accomplish when we start a new habit.

What Happens while Juggling Multiple Habits

Sometimes we start many habits at once. Each of those habits come with their own amount of resistance, so if you bulk them all together, you are also carrying the weight of their resistance, combined.

You are placing the odds against you because the more resistance you feel, the more likely you are to give up and fail miserably. So if you try 10 new habits but fail in 8 of them, the success of 2 of them is going to be dwarfed.

  1. Now suppose you focus on ONLY ONE at a time UNTIL that habit becomes part of your Equilibrium. Then you get a "Snowball reward" when achieve it.

  2. You can push yourself really hard on something and make a lot of progress, but only for a certain length of time. Fortunately, this happens in first few days of a new habit when maximum discipline is needed.

  3. Once you are able to put your resistance and ego aside and say "just get it over it", it tends to be easier to repeat the new habit with less and less resistance. So they started to stick. Like exercising muscles that get stronger, your ego and willpower get stronger.

  4. Only then you can start looking to start another habit - but you will be bolder and push through resistance having had "baby steps" confidence that you CAN persevere.

  5. Continue repeating this cycle until you integrate every positive habit you want into your Normality Line.

Snowball More valued - Immediate Progress, More viral

Stop placing the odds against you and built that laser focus that will allow you to achieve your goals over time. You’ve got this.

Build patience - Playing the Long Game

Remember that patience pays, and you have a lot of time ahead of you to do things right.

Accountability Partner or Boss can ramp up New Habits

Often an accountability partner, "do or die" situation, and some discipline would go further than delaying habits indefinitely that are going to benefit us for the rest of our lives.

Imagine you just got a job after months or years of freedom in college, being unemployed or even otherwise at-home mom. All of a sudden you need to report to work every day - Getting up at 6 AM - Bathing, etc and being well groomed - Preparing a lunch, - Commuting or driving in gridlock - Getting to work at 8am, - Greeting and being cheerful to coworkers - Setting up your work space to be neat and clean, - Being productive for 8 hours with few scheduled breaks,

This reflects a SUDDEN difference is habits and WILL give rise to uncomfortable feelings.

However, this may be required from an external authority, like our boss (or boot camp drill sergeant). Our motivation may come from our financial situation, then it's not as hard. Overall, it just sucks and we either deal with it or fail terribly, with other people to witness it.

3, 7, 21, 30, 100 day challenges

  • Commit to your habits by beginning a new challenge of days.

  • No limitations. Track as many habits as you wish. Loop imposes no artificial limits on how many habits you can have. All features are available to all users.

goHabit score - builtin Cheat days allowed

  • It has an advanced formula for calculating the strength of your habits. Every repetition makes your habit stronger and every missed day makes it weaker. (inspired by iSoron loop habit).
  • A few missed days after a long streak, however, will not completely destroy your progress, unlike many other don't-break-the-chain apps.
  • Jerry Seinfield - keep the streak
  • Tiny Habits - BJFogg of Stanford
  • Morning Life Savers

The Mindful game

  • Willingness to Change - accept/don't fight resistance


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