On Habits

Edited from Nurturing Good Habits Should Be a Habit:

* People do more things through habit than through reason.

* Habits make or mar one’s fortune.

* Habit is second nature.

* Man is a slave of habits.

* Custom in infancy becomes nature in old age.

Since habits are formed by repetition, the Competency Cycle aka the Four Phases of Learning come into play:

The Four Stages

__Unconscious incompetence__

The individual neither understands or knows how to do something, nor recognizes the deficit or has a desire to address it.
__Conscious incompetence__

Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize the deficit, without yet addressing it.
__Conscious competence__

The individual understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires a great deal of consciousness or concentration.
__Unconscious competence__

The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it becomes “second nature” and can be performed easily (often without concentrating too deeply). He or she may or may not be able teach it to others, depending upon how and when it was learned.
Though all this may be relevant from the point of view of learning a new skill or enhancing an old skill, from another perspective, after one has formed a habit and is able to do it unconsciously, one should still do it consciously to live intensely. Practicing the art of living consciously develops your presence, which according to some psychologists is an “occupational therapy” and very good for stress management.

Why not start a blog today and write in it, each day, about what you’ve done to make your goal a habit?  As is all the rage, do a 30 Day Experiment blog.  You have nothing to lose, since those 30 days are going to pass anyway — you might as well go for it!  In a matter of days, you’ll have integrated some new life-enhancing habits that benefit you in every area of your life.

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