Changing habits while maintaining your energy

N°282b – Synopsis (8p.) – Learning
Changing habits while maintaining your energy
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Relying on habits enables us to save our energy. Yet, it happens that these habits are no longer suited to a situation or needs that have changed. How can we evolve them?

Albeit they are often subconscious, our habits have a considerable impact on the conduct of our day-to-day activities. Experts thus estimate that they control 40 to 50% of our daily lives!

Our routines constitute an excellent way to save our energy and our cognitive capabilities in the course of a day. Indeed, we create, as time goes by, automatic responses that connect a given response to a given situation, without needing to mobilize our will every time the situation occurs. Habits are thus valuable, since they allow us to spare our cognitive energy and to dedicate it to choices that require more attention. For example, the fact of using each day the same route and the same means of transport to go to work enables us to use our energy for more strategic tasks once in the office.

However, since our habits allow us not to have to question ourselves, they can also lead us to inertia. When we want to trigger a change, at personal level or in the company, it becomes essential to get rid of habits that could block this change and to replace them with others, which will help to head in the desired direction.

Yet, nothing is more difficult than getting rid of a solidly anchored habit. The authors of Change Anything mention a study conducted among 5,000 people: less than 10% had managed to sustainably abandon the bad habit they wanted to eliminate!

Paradoxically, most attempts to change habits fail because we dedicate too much energy to it. We have a natural tendency to target too ambitious a change, demanding significant effort. Once the initial enthusiasm has gone, it then becomes difficult to maintain our efforts durably and we revert to our old behaviors.

In the end, seeking to spare our efforts seems the most effective strategy to succeed in creating new habits. How can we put this strategy in place?

In this synopsis:
– A few preconceived ideas that curb our capacity to change our habits
– Changing habits without wearing ourselves out
– Getting rid of bad habits

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