Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Habit Forming

So, I was browsing through the Kindle store the other day, when I saw the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg I read the description, and was sold.

I've never bought a Kindle book before, mostly because I don't get a lot of time to do eyeball reading. Instead I do all my reading via audiobooks, but the impulse buy got me. That one-click purchase thing is a smart move by Amazon.

Anyway, I started reading the book right away, and it's really fascinating. I'm learning a lot of stuff about habits, how to create good ones and replace bad ones. Apparently, with habits you have a cue, which is the thing that causes you to perform the routine of the habit. Then there's the reward, which is the thing you get for performing the routine of the habit.

What I most want to do by way of this book is establish a writing habit in my life. I was thinking that I could set an alarm on my phone to ring at a certain time each day, and when that alarm rings, that is my cue. Then I could perhaps have a chocolate or something once I manage to write for a half hour or 500 words or whatever. That would be my reward, and I could have it despite my no-sugar-for-the-rest-of-the-year vow. I was also thinking of allowing myself even greater rewards if I manage to write for a week straight, and greater yet at two weeks and so on.

I went out and bought myself a bag of chocolate this morning, and I was thinking of getting that song called "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield for the ringtone of the alarm. It's the only song I know that's got lines in it about writing.
"Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find"

Here's to hoping that a song like that can cue me into a habit of writing. After all, there's chocolate involved right?

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