The fact na naisip kong basahin ‘to, ibig sabihin andun na yung desire ko na i-improve yung good habits ko and i-eliminate as much as possible yung bad. Pero the beginning part of the book still provides more encouragement to increase your desire to improve. And gusto ko yun kasi once I implement the steps, mas may conviction behind it. Mas mapapangatawanan ko kumbaga.
Madaming tips and strategies yung book para ma-cultivate yung good habits. Madami ring examples pero of course, some or most of the examples wouldn’t apply to my life. So kelangan ng extra effort para makaisip ka ng iba-ibang ways para ma-apply yung strategies na yon sa buhay mo mismo.
THINGS I LEARNED:
- Link your identity to the good habits
You might start a habit because of motivation, but the only reason you’ll stick with one is that it becomes part of your identity.
I think eto yung pinakang tumatak sakin. Kase everytime na maf-frustrate ako sa sarili ko kasi hindi ko nagagawa yung mga sinasabi kong gagawin ko, yung internal monologue ko lagi is, “Wala, ganito na talaga ako. Procrastinator talaga ako. Sa una lang ako magaling.” I identified myself as lazy. When in truth, our identities are not set in stone sabi nga dun sa book. We can edit our identities. Hindi naman ‘to touch move. We can improve. Hindi pwede yung mags-settle na lang ako dun sa paulit ulit kong sinasabi na tamad ako. May choice akong baguhin yung identity ko for the better and stop making excuses like, “Ganito na kasi talaga ko.”
You may want more money, but if your identity is someone who consumes rather than creates, then you’ll continue to be pulled toward spending rather than earning. You may want better health, but if you continue to prioritize comfort over accomplishment, you’ll be drawn to relaxing rather than training.
Naging problema din yung paulit-ulit na excuses na sinasabi ko sa sarili ko. Kasi may power ang repetition. Since paulit ulit kong sinasabi na procrastinator ako, eh di ganun na nga ang nangyayari. So why not baguhin ko yung sinasabi nung voice sa utak ko.
When you have repeated a story to yourself for years, it is easy to slide into these mental grooves and accept them as a fact. In time, you begin to resist certain actions because “that’s not who I am.”
I’m a freelance artist and eto yung fact na alam ko ngayon: I still haven’t fulfilled my potential. Pakiramdam ko kaya ko pang mag-improve, alam ko na ang dami ko pang hindi alam, at ang dami ko pa din gustong i-try. But how can I reach my potential if I believe that within my core, I am lazy. That I have no self-control. Wala, talo na ko agad. Sa panaginip and daydreaming ko na lang ma-aachieve yung goals ko. So I try to remove those negative things from my vocabulary.
And eto din kasi yung lagi kong bukambibig, “Pessimistic kasi talaga ko.” Ilang beses ko nang sinabi yan. So ngayon let’s try to be more optimistic.
When your behavior and your identity are fully aligned, you are no longer pursuing behavior change. You are simply acting like the type of person you already believe yourself to be.
So yun yung favorite kong part dun sa book. Ang lakas agad ng impact sakin. I just need to shift my way of thinking. Ang freeing nung I can edit my identity. Sa sobrang totoo nya feeling ko kaya kong gawin lahat 😂
Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.
When I read this part, I decided right then and there that I’m not a procrastinator anymore. I decided to be an artist, a reader and a learner. I decided that I am the type of person who has more self-control.
New identities require new evidence. If you keep casting the same votes you’ve always cast, you’re going to get the same results you’ve always had. If nothing changes, nothing is going to change.
Quite literally, you become your habits.
- Focus on systems instead of goals
Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.
I think yung isa sa pinaka-hurdle ng marami is yung lack of patience. Kasi hindi naman ako magkaka-abs sa isang 30-minute workout lang. Hindi ko matutugtog yung isang mahirap na piano piece sa isang practice lang. Ang daling isipin na, “Wala namang nangyayari.” Ang daling umayaw. Pero:
Your work was not wasted; it is stored.
Each effort counts. So back to goals. Problematic daw kung masyado kang fixated sa goals. Kase sanay tayo na mag-list ng goals at hindi natin mapipigilan na mainip or mafrustrate. Kasi ang goal, hindi agad agad nakukuha. So, instead of focusing on goals, focus on systems.
So ngayon, nagfocus ako sa mga bagay na magagawa ko right now which will contribute to my goal. If I want to read 15 books this year, I should focus on reading 1 hour a day for example. Kasi kung titingin agad ako sa malayo, ang daling mag-give up kasi feeling ko ang hirap.
This is one of the core reasons why it is so hard to build habits that last. People make a few small changes, fail to see a tangible result, and decide to stop.
So immediately, yun yung ginawa ko. Binago ko yung goal na nakalagay sa Notion ko na ‘Read 15 books this year’ and replaced it with a system to ‘Read 2 hours a day’. Mas may focus.
The goal is not to read a book. The goal is to become a reader. The goal is not to learn an instrument, the goal is to become a musician.
- Prime your environment to your advantage
So guilty ako dito. Ang tagal ko nang sinasabi na gusto kong mag-cut back ng sugar intake ko pero tingnan nyo kung anong nasa harapan ko.
Parang I’m setting myself up for failure. Sana tinutulungan ko din yung sarili ko ano.
The most powerful human sensory ability daw ay vision. So kung ganito yung nakikita ko lagi, asa pa ko na ma-aachieve ko yung intention ko to limit sweets.
Isa pa. Sabi ko magtitipid na talaga ko. Pero ang dalas ko naman maningin ng kung ano-ano sa Amazon. Although hindi na ngayon kasi ang dalang ko na nga gumamit ng phone.
Tapos minsan, habit ko lang na i-open yung food delivery app and mag-browse ng restaurants kahit wala naman akong balak umorder nung day na ‘yon. Eh since puro pagkain yung nakikita ko, napapa-order tuloy ako.
So instead of wasting my energy to gather enough willpower to refrain from doing those things, alisin ko na lang sila sa paningin ko. Sabi nga, ‘Out of sight, out of mind.‘ So yun yung isa pang nareinforce na strategy sakin kasi I’m sure nabasa ko na ‘to somewhere noon. Optimize your environment.
Isang example din pala yung phone. When it’s near you, you tend to always reach for it out of habit. Although hindi na ‘to applicable sakin kasi iba din yung impact sakin nung book na Digital Minimalism. Kahit malapit sakin yung phone ko nawala na yung dating nya. Kayang kaya ko na syang i-ignore.
It’s easier to avoid temptation than resist it. Self control is a short-term strategy, not a long-term one.
Okay so yun yung isang way to optimize the environment para ma-prevent yung bad habit. But we can also use optimization to help our good habits. So yung example na ginawa ko dito is nilagay ko yung workout clothes ko sa living room area namin the night before. So pag gising ko sa umaga, makikita ko sya and mana-nudge ako to exercise. I also ordered a big 1L water bottle na bibitbitin ko lang sya kahit saan to remind myself to increase my water intake.
So tinutulungan ko din yung sarili ko na gawing convenient yung mga good habits para mas ma-attract ako to do it.
- Instant gratification is overrated
This is more of like an insight and not a strategy. We should train ourselves on delayed gratification. We are placing too much value on instant gratification which puts us at a disadvantage.
Just like yung examples dun sa book, bakit may mga nagyoyosi pa din kahit alam naman natin for a fact that it increases the risk of lung cancer? Same with too much alchol, it’s bad for our health. Unhealthy eating habits could lead to being overweight and also increase the risk of certain medical conditions. So bakit pa din natin ginagawa? It’s because of instant gratification. Smoking could lead to death in 10 years pero “nakaka-reduce sya ng stress” ngayon (I’m not a smoker btw). Eating junk is harmful in the long run pero ang sarap kasi ng chips and sweets right now.
The consequences of bad habits are delayed while the rewards are immediate. With good habits, it is the reverse: the immediate outcome is unenjoyable, but the ultimate outcome feels good.
Pero I think makakatulong yung next strategy kasi it talks about rewarding yourself after a good habit. Para andun pa din yung instant pleasure after doing a good habit.
- Make your habits attractive
So yung ginagawa ko ngayon, I pair an action that I need to do with an action that I want to do. So for example. Ngayon kasi, sobrang pleasure ko ang pagbabasa. Siguro dahil nga sanay ako noon na lagi kong bitbit yung phone ko and ngayon hindi na, so nag-compensate ako dun sa Kindle ko. Yung Kindle na yung lagi kong hawak.
Noon, my feelings about reading is like a chore. Andun yung desire ko to rekindle my love for reading pero the act of reading doesn’t excite me. Pero ngayon, reading is like a treat! So to make my not-so-attractive habits attractive, I considered reading as a reward.
So uunahin ko muna yung mga tasks na boring like cleaning the litter box, loading the dishwasher, making the bed. Kasi alam ko na after ko gawin yung mga yun, magbabasa na ko. And ang sarap gawin nung thing na gusto mong gawin pag tapos ka na sa mga chores.
So isa yun. Ang convenient lang din kasi yung reward ko, is also a good habit. Ang isa ko pang naiisip na reward ay watch Netflix. Kaso wala akong series na pinapanood ngayon kaya reading talaga yung reward sa ngayon. Kakatapos ko lang kasi panoorin yung Modern Family. Naiyak ako sa season finale. And yes hindi good habit yung watching Netflix pero we can’t be perfect. As long as the majority of our decisions are contributing towards good habits, it’s still a win.
May naisip pa kong isang reward pero eto naman simultaneous dun sa not-so-attractive action. Kahit passion ko ang mag-drawing, nakakapagod din talaga minsan sa utak. Lalo ngayon na nagte-take ako ng online classes. So ang ginagawa ko, while drawing, I listen to my favorite podcasts. And eto lang yung time that I let myself listen to podcasts. So kahit medyo taxing yung pagd-drawing, I still find excitement from it kasi alam kong makikinig ako ng favorite kong podcasts while drawing.
- Create a visual tool to track your good habits
I think this is not for everyone pero I enjoy tracking my progress. Although ang dami ko nang habit tracker na na-try noon, walang tumagal. Pero I am trying something new right now. Nag-experiment lang ako and we’ll see kung masu-sustain ko. Maybe I’ll share it in a different post.
It’s like a daily scorecard and it enables me to track my productivity monthly and yearly. And since digital yung tool, ang daling ma-compare yung month by month. Siguro yun din yung reason kung bakit hindi ko na-maintain yung habit tracker ko noon kasi ang hirap i-compile and kunin yung average ng results. Kaya din ako nag-switch from analog to digital kasi mas efficient sya for me.
RATING [4.5 🌟]
Another life-changing book kaya it deserves a high rating. Minus .50 lang kasi just like the book Digital Minimalism, it could’ve been shorter.
OTHER NOTABLE QUOTES
At some point, everyone faces the same challenge on the journey of self-improvement: you have to fall in love with boredom.
Don’t break the chain. Try to keep you habit streak alive.
Click to view my digital book shelf.