Despite the greater power of intrinsic motivation, people frequently rely on extrinsic motivation — the easy carrot or stick — to try to prod themselves or others into action. But it turns out that extrinsic motivation undermines intrinsic motivation, so rewards can turn enthusiastic participants into reluctant paid workers, and transform fun into drudge work.
How can I deprive myself of something without feeling deprived? When it comes to habits, feeling deprived is a pernicious state. When we feel deprived, we feel entitled to compensate ourselves—often, in ways that undermine our good habits.
Now is an unpopular time to take a first step. Won’t things be easier — for some not-quite-specified reason — in the future?
People raise the bar when they consider starting a new habit, and then, from an impulse that’s either enthusiasm or unconscious self-sabotage, they suggest refinements that make the habit prohibitively challenging. A person decides to start exercising, and instead of aiming to walk for twenty minutes a day, he decides to start a routine that […]
To shape our habits successfully, we must know ourselves. We can’t presume that if a habit-formation strategy works for one person, it will work just as well for anyone else, because people are very different from each other. this goes for most of life. Just because it works for me doesn’t mean it will work […]
People with better self-control (or self-regulation, self-discipline, or willpower) are happier and healthier. They’re more altruistic; they have stronger relationships and more career success; they manage stress and conflict better; they live longer; they steer clear of bad habits.
Habits are the invisible architecture of daily life. We repeat 40 percent of our behavior almost days, so our habits shape our existence, and our future. If we change our habits, we change our lives.
In Better than Before Gretchen Rubin looks at how we create habits when it’s hard.