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How Habits Make Us Free, Energized and Happy, by Gretchen Rubin

Stashed in: #happiness, Practice, @gretchenrubin, Willpower!, Happiness, Life Automation

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Practice, practice, practice!

For someone who’s just written a bestseller on habits (Better Than Before), Gretchen Rubin spends a lot of time talking people out of them. That’s because she firmly believes making a habit shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. Habits should solve life problems that get in the way of your happiness

“Little habits are adding up to something bigger,” Rubin says. “I’m a huge advocate for habits, but I often ask people if they should make one. A lot of people say they want to make the bed every day, or give up coffee, or stop chewing gum. I ask, ‘Do you really care? Do you really want to?’ If it’s not a problem, why would you change it? Focus on what really matters. What you want is a healthier, happier life that reflects your values.”

Habits save willpower.

Please explain how habits let you do more important things in your life. 

Rubin:  The brain wants to make behaviors into habit. This frees up brainpower to deal with novel or complex situations. You conserve energy, because when you act out of habit, you don’t use decision-making, which is very draining. I don’t choose a time to wake up every day — I just always wake up at 6 a.m. It’s easy. I don’t spend time asking myself whether or not I should go to the gym — I just go. Because these are habits, I don’t have to use my self-control, and that ends up being freeing and energizing. I can focus on spending time with my family, or thinking about work.

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