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Why Do You Read 1000 Things About Change and Never Change?

Stashed in: Practice, Change, Awesome, Willpower!, Life Hacks

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Because real change is hard.

It takes a lot of work and a lot of practice. 

So why is learning about improvement so easy and actually improving so damn hard?

Most any change that requires a lot of consistent mental effort is going to fail because you spend most of the day on autopilot.

Via Charles Duhigg’s excellent book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business:

One paper published by a Duke University researcher in 2006 found that more than 40 percent of the actions people performed each day weren’t actual decisions, but habits.

Any change has to work when you’re on autopilot. The importance of self-control is one of the biggest myths about improvement.

Almost all the techniques for change that have been shown to work don’t rely on thought or willpower.

4. “If-Then” Plans

That’s a fancy way of setting a standard response to a situation so you don’t have to think. When someone asks you to vote for that “other” political party, to inject heroin or consider murder you probably don’t actuallyconsider it. You have a knee jerk script in your head that says “I don’t do that.”

If everything you did required a thoughtful decision, you’d never get out of bed in the morning. Too much of this and you’re a computer. But used deliberately it can be quite powerful.

Via Nine Things Successful People Do Differently:

It’s called if-then planning, and it is a really powerful way to help you achieve any goal. Well over a hundred studies, on everything from diet and exercise to negotiation and time management, have shown that deciding in advance when and where you will take specific actions to reach your goal (e.g., “If it is 4 p.m., then I will return any phone calls I should return today”) can double or triple your chances for success.

More here.

Don't reinvent. Fit the new in the old.

Don’t try to reinvent yourself. You’ll fail. Fit the new into the old. Make the new easier than the old.

You change all the time. The TV shows you watch change, the products you buy change, and the projects at work change. Change is going to happen, no matter what.

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