All posts tagged: The Power of Habit

Resolutions

Several years ago I stopped making New Years’ resolutions.  A recent New York Times article on making and keeping resolutions noted that one-third of our resolutions don’t make it to the end of January, while another Times article suggested that only 10% of resolutions are fully met by year’s end.  I’m proud to say I’ve kept my particular resolution since 2014! What I did in 2014 was to set seven rules for how I wanted to live for the next third of my life, and I recently added an eighth.  Because they are part of my computer wallpaper, I look at them every day.  The one that generates the most comment is the last one, which is basically “Don’t be a grumpy old man.”  That may be a hard one for setting metrics (laughs per day?) but I basically know when I’m following this rule or when my crotchety index is on the rise. Many of us make resolutions or set rules for our lives, counting on our willpower to reinforce good habits or to …

The Power of Habit

Habits are not destiny

“Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision making, but they’re not.  They’re habits.”  That’s according to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit:  Why we Do What We Do in Life and Business. I got to thinking about the habits that we undertake while reflecting on the discussions from a recent management team retreat.  We were probing how and why we do certain things to see if there were routines – or habits – we wanted to break or establish. Scientists tell us that habits emerge because our brains are looking for ways to save effort.  We all can identify habits – both personal and professional – that impact our lives.  Just as we have good and bad personal habits, organizations have good and bad routines.  We want to avoid habits that turn important decision-making over to a process that occurs “without actually thinking,” but at the same time we want to build routines that support our goals and aspirations. Thankfully, habits and routines can …

Begin the New Year

  For many Americans, the Labor Day weekend — not January 1st — is really the beginning of the new year. School years begin in late August and early September. Some parents — like us — have just dropped off one or more children at college this weekend. (In Claire’s case, she flew off to California on her own, but we did physically deposit Andrew in his dorm room for his sophomore year.) The somewhat slower rhythms of July and August at work, coupled with vacations, seem to be a bigger break in anticipation of starting over than the December break provides before January 1st. And this year, many Americans are just beginning to focus on the presidential race and the choice facing our country. So while Candice, the twins and I took a two-week family trip in mid-August to visit with our parents and siblings, we took the advice of those who said family trips don’t equal vacations and decided to tack on four days around the college drop-off to make sure our batteries …