How Hollywood Got Habits All Wrong
Montages - movies are laced with them today. All of a sudden, a character decides in a very short period that they are going to change their circumstances, their relationships, or themselves. Think Rocky Balboa running up the steps at the Philadelphia Museum or Art or when Julia Roberts remakes herself in Pretty Woman.
We all know montages don't happen. Unlike montages, habits take time to break, and forming new ones is just as hard. In the movies, it is easy to stop bad habits and develop amazing new ones. Granted, a lot of times movie characters also have the best coaches pushing them to be their best.
Recently, our team went through Stephen Covey's training on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Thanks to this training, I have noticed several of my bad habits and have started to change them. Despite noticing bad habits and trying to reduce them, I am human, and I do fail.
Here are my non-Hollywood tips on developing better habits.
Sorry, no montages included in these tips.
1. Forgive yourself. You will mess up. You will have days where you end up watching TV and eating pizza.
2. Get friends involved. Letting your friends know you are trying to break bad habits helps immensely! Just last week, I was debating on going to the gym when one of my coworkers spurred me on. I went to the gym and felt much better than if I had stayed at home.
3. Reward yourself. As Tom Haverford in Parks and Rec says, "Treat Yo Self." If you hit a personal or work goal, you deserve a reward, whether it be big or small, that's up to you.
4. Be conscious. Part of the reason it's easier for me now to work on my habits is because of Covey's Time Matrix. I highly recommend you take a look at the Time Matrix. When I find myself sitting watching Netflix for hours, I know I am in quadrant 4, and I need to change that quick.
5. Create a goal. It is much easier to work on forming habits when you have a SMART goal you are trying to achieve. A popular theory says it takes 21 days to form a new habit. I do not agree with that, as I have first-hand experience falling off the wagon after 21 days. I think having a longer term goal pushes you harder and strengthens good habits.
Good luck breaking old habits and making better ones! Maybe someday Hollywood will make a montage out of it!
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