Change your habits: the emotional side

Welcome to a quick 4 week, change your habit help line based on Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s book Switch.

Week one

Week Two

This week is about the emotional side of changing habits, which is probably what most of us struggle with when we try to change. And yelling at yourself or getting tough are not the answers.

1. I gotta feeling. This is best summed up as SHOW don’t tell. We are creatures of immediate gratification. It makes me happier right now if I play Farmville then if I do the hard work of writing. Except tomorrow I will feel crappy that I wrote nothing and made no progress on my goal to becoming a best selling author (or even to write 500 words a day). Besides, writing those 500 words will make me happier in both the short and long term.

2. Break it down. This is basically the same as think small from last week. When we have a monumental task before us like write novel, we get freaked out. If we break it down until we are no longer scared to take that first step, we can do that. So if you can’t commit to writing 500 words today, how about 100 or 50 or writing for just one minute. You can build on it tomorrow.

3. Learn to do better. This might be learning specific skills, but most of the time it’s just cultivating the mindset of “I can do it.” There are two types of people: those who believe abilities are innate and unchanging and those who believe that abilities can be learned.

Guess who are more succesful?

Those who believe they can learn skills. Believing you can do something or that you can change is the first step.

Do you need to work on the emotional side of change? Can you see steps here that might help you make a switch?

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2 thoughts on “Change your habits: the emotional side

  1. Wow, the emotional side of change. I always forget that when making new habits, one needs to bring more to the table than the desire to change. Since I’m in the midst of making changes to my work routine, I’m going to dig past the “want” and dredge up the emotional need.

    Thanks for such a timely post, Asrai. :)

  2. Pingback: Creating new habits: The world around you « Asrai Devin- the Maven of Mischief

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