Popularity of habits
Good habits are very important for success. The little things you do everyday eventually become your net worth, your health and your overall quality of life.
A good number of books recently came out about habits. These books provide some key research on how habits work, some info on why they are effective and ways to make them stick. Some of the best books include:
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, Atomic Habits by James Clear and Mini Habits by Stephen Guise.
Why are Habits Critical?
People use, a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex to take a planned action or make a decision. But to act on a habit they use a different area called the basal ganglia.
What makes habits so powerful is that the basal ganglia requires a lot less energy than the prefrontal cortex. And when a habit is formed it frees up your conscious mind to focus on other things while you are performing a habit. For example you can have a random conversation while driving, but it will be much harder to do it if you are writing an article or solving a math problem.
So is developing good habits all you need in order to achieve success in life?
Habits alone aren’t enough
Good habits a great, but they are clearly not enough to achieve the success you want in life. Just think about it. You can build the best habits in the world and execute on them everyday. But if you do not have a clear direction purpose or goal you will still be lost. Additionally, how do you know if your good habits are actually good for YOU?
For these reasons, good habits are just not enough.
In order to achieve true success and optimal quality of life you need 3 critical things
An Ambitious Goal
What good are good habits if you are not striving for anything? Where will your habits get you? You need to have something in your life that you are moving toward. Something that gives you a massive sense of purpose and drive.
Studies even show that having a big goal and a sense of purpose improves things like your health and your immune system.
Plus if you are not moving forward towards something you are just moving backwards and looking for problems.
So clearly you need to have a sense of purpose that makes you get out of bed each morning and execute your good habits so that you can get what you truly want in life.
In fact part of your habits should be to work on accomplishing your big goal.
Implement Keystone Habits
Once you have your goal it absolutely must be supported with good habits. Habits of working towards your goal, things like reading, writing, selling, planning learning and whatever else you need to accomplish your goal. If you can make these actions habitual you will need less mental energy to perform them and it will get you closer to success.
Additionally you need a supporting foundation. You need things like proper sleep, exercise, proper nutrition. If these things are not in place everything will crumble. You will not be able to move towards your goal and you will have a super hard time sticking with other good habits. These are essentially your keystone habits.
With other habits, like taking certain supplements, doing certain mediation routines or metal or breathing exercises you will need to experiment. The thing is you never know which one is truly good for you.
The key is to balance 3 things in your key habits, health, wealth and happiness. Because if one of these areas gets out of whack the other will crumble and your health and well being can get. As long as you have a habit or 2 that fall into each category you will be in good shape.
For example, for health you can have, sleep at least 6 hours, exercise and drink enough water. For wealth you can have to work at least 1 hour on your big goal everyday and on happiness you can make sure to have a social interaction each day. These are all critical habits that are scientifically proven to boost your mood, health and overall quality of life.
Our habit directory and habit building app have a detailed breakdown of over 200 habits. Additionally we identify “recommended” habits so that you know which ones to focus on.
Develop a consistent practice of evaluating your habits and results
How can you determine if a habit is truly good for you? Let’s take yoga for example. If it helps 60 out of 100 people it is assumed to be effective. But what if you are one of the people it doesn’t help.
Conversely, let's assume that a study shows that affirmations are only effective for 40 out of 100 people. The finding will show that affirmations are generally not effective. But what if you are one of the 40 people that affirmations are effective for.
Some people need 8 hours of sleep to function other people function better on 6. Some people are early risers others are night owls. CBD makes certain people calm while others get anxious when they take it. The list goes on and on. And you need to determine what are the most effective and the least effective habits for you.
This is done by keeping track of the habits that you do and how they make you feel. Our habit tracker does just that. You track all of the habits and activities that you do everyday. Then you rate each day on a scale of 1 to 5. You can rate your overall day or you can do an in depth rating of things like productivity, mood and health.
With this information our one of a kind machine learning algorithm will provide you with input on what are your most effective habits, your least effective habits and even recommend new habits for you to try based on other people who fit your demographic and psychographic profile.
In conclusion, just focusing on habits to live your optimal life is just not enough. You need to do the following:
- Have a massive goal as essentially your north star. Once you accomplish one goal you will need to set another. As you should be always moving forward toward something.
- Determine the keystone habits that are essential for you to reach your goal while maintaining balance in life. Remember that you need to balance health, wealth and happiness. The overwhelmingly scientifically proven habits for a successful healthy life are adequate sleep, adequate water intake, exercise, social interaction and work towards a goal.
- Develop a consistent practice of evaluating how your activities and habits affect your results and quality of life. Than you want to experiment with the information that you have. For example, if you are not getting good results waking up early try working at night. If you are not happy when you lift weights try doing cardio ect.. Our app will be a great help for this.
It will take some time and experimentation but eventually you will find the right combination of habits and activities to create the optimal balanced routine in your life.
To your success!
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