Habit's change

14 Oct 2012

I am reading the book “The power of habits”. It gets me to think about the habits that I've changed.

I think the first extremely bad habit that I've eliminated is biting nails. I've been trying to think in terms of the framework suggested in the book. It doesn't really fit.

Biting nails

The biting-nail habit was eliminated; it was not suppressed and replaced, as the book suggests that a habit can only be suppressed and replaced. It cannot be eliminated.

The framework suggests that a habit occurs between cues and rewards. When we want to change a habit, we have to use the same cues and the same rewards and form a new habit between them.

My biting-nail habit was eliminated when I was working in a small company (around 10 persons). I was 18 at the time.

The number-one reason that I've stopped biting nails because the keyboard I had at the office was so disgusting. (Welcome to a third-world country)

And, within a few days, I've stopped biting nails forever. The urge to bite nails is forever gone, even though under stress, I might get back to biting nails. But it's like once a year.

In this case, I think it is that a tragedy eliminates a bad habit.

Study every morning

When I was 17, I studied for the university entrance exam. I magically formed a habit that I work up at 6am everyday, studied like 4 hours, and went to school. I normally hung out and did some stupid non-study-related stuffs at school. Well, I already studied for 4 hours in the morning.

When teachers asked why I was late everyday, I told them I had a chronic headache just to get them off my back.

The habit was a superb one. I studied with no stress at all, and it was amazingly efficient and effective.

Then, when the exam was over, I've stopped doing that immediately. The habit is goal-oriented.

I'd like to keep the habit, but I still can't do that. One of the problem is that my goal (finish the exam) is not very long-termed.

That's the mistake. If I want to form a lifetime habit, I need a lifetime goal.

This is exactly why I'm reading this book. I want to form a new habit. I hope I'll succeed.