How Building Daily Routines Can Help You Create More

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“Inspiration Is for Amateurs—The Rest of Us Just Show Up and Get to Work”

Chuck Close

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how small changes in habits can have a profound impact in what we are able to achieve across all aspects of our lives.

Mason Currey‘s book ‘Daily Rituals‘ is an interesting collection of observations of the daily routines of many of the great creators and provides an interesting insight into the lives of people who need to develop a body of work. What is apparent across almost all of these examples is commitment to showing up and getting to work. Not too much lolling around waiting for the muse to visit, just simply a matter of putting in the time whether they feel like it or not.

This attitude of ‘show up and do the work’ makes me realize that doing something every day, regardless of how small it is will could eventually yield substantial results. The simple act of writing 500 words everyday will mean that you will have written over 25,000 words for the year. Not too shabby.

A photo a day projects were very popular a year or two ago and seem to be unsustainable to me but doable for a month or one photo shoot a week for a year would both result in a body of work that you could do something useful with.

Changes in other parts of your life would also mean potentially useful changes. 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up had a big impact on my weight loss. Meditating before your day gets going or journaling at the end of the day could lead to more positive changes in your outlook and getting more done.

What small change could you incorporate on a daily basis that would move you in the direction of your goals?

Jump to minute 19:00 of the video below to hear Mason Currey talking about his book ‘Daily Rituals’

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Change Your Habits With Three Simple Steps

I was having a conversation with a friend recently about whether it’s possible to change behaviors, specifically negative behaviors, or are you stuck with them?

I was of the opinion that you can’t change behaviors, or at least it’s exceptionally difficult, and the best you could would be to blunt the impact of negative behaviors.

If you watched the video above you’ll have seen that Charles Duhigg believes that it is possible to change habits using a simple three step process described in the flow chart below.

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I’ve just finished reading Duhigg’s book ‘The Power of Habit‘ in which he describes in detail how individuals, organizations and societies all seem to exhibit this same pattern of a cue triggering a specific behavior, presumably for a specific reward.

For individuals habits are an automatic behavior that involve little conscious thought. You are unthinkingly going through the motions. This of course explains why it’s so hard to change engrained habits but this book provides a practical way of identifying your triggers, testing what they are, understanding what the reward is that you’re seeking and then packaging all this together to make the cue trigger a different, more productive behavior.

I don’t know about you but I feel as though I’ve just been shown an important key to universal behavior and I’m looking forward to working out ways to cut out the Boston Cream donuts!