Hello there beautiful human! My aim here is to help you reach your maximum human potential. First understand that the results which you want and that which you loathe are produced by the same essence. In order to get the results you want we must employ the same essence which delivers your current results. That is the force of habit, resonance, it is musical. The energy that is present in all things has memory and prefers to draw from memory unless truly pushed to create something novel. For this reason our habits become increasingly difficult to change the longer we have enacted them. Three very important things to keep in mind when looking to change current habits are frequency, duration and intensity. Similar to exercise, changing habits can be accomplished to a greater extent if we can employ the principles of FID. We live in a world of polarity. Just as there is no up without a down or front without back, there are also no good habits without bad habits. In this way if one aims to simply stop a bad habit without creating an opposite habit to fill the space, that vacuum will result in relapse back to the habit preferred by memory. So what we really need if we are to take control of our results aka our lives is to master the process of ritual so that we may choose which habits are preferred as default programs in our software.
A great way to start this is with intensity. Intensity can be positive or negative and will relate to the pain or pleasure you feel during the action which is or is to become habit. Let’s say I want to create a habit of reading on a daily basis. If I work myself into a state where I focus on all the benefits of reading and understand that I will have a greater knowledge base to draw from and be more capable of helping, entertaining, informing and interacting with others as well as being able to synthesize new ideas and learn about practices which can ultimately make me healthier, happier and even wealthier I would feel a tremendous surge of excitement at the idea of picking up that book! Likewise if I really delved into the thought that if I don’t read my current understanding will not increase, I will be imprisoned at a lower level of understanding and doomed to a life of mediocrity, then I would be feel a tremendous sense of hopelessness if I don’t pick up that book. My personal preference is to use positive intensity much more frequently than negative intensity, although both are effective, having the memory of all these negative outcomes could possibly cause more focus on fears and not so much on the desired action.
Frequency is very straight forward. This is the law of repetition, and repetition is the father of mastery. This is simply how often you will engage in the desired habit. This will take thousands of repetitions in order to become effortless and replace the undesirable habit at the unconscious level. A very important point with regard to frequency is that it is possible to perform an action mentally, that is to imagine taking the action you wish to become habit, and still gain credit towards the necessary number of repetitions to create a new habit. Let’s say I would like to stop eating bagels every morning for breakfast and instead drink a vegetable smoothie with some healthy fats. In order to build sufficient strength to make this my new default habit I would have to wait many days to reach the point where this habit becomes unconscious at 7 repetitions a week. Now if I mentally perform the action every night before bed I will upgrade to 14 repetitions a week and move twice as fast towards making this habit.
Duration goes along with Frequency in a way. This refers to how long the activity lasts during a given session. So let’s say I want to make a habit of meditating. If I can meditate for an hour a day instead of 5 minutes a day, I will progress this into a strong habit more rapidly provided that I do each session every day. A common pitfall people make in seeking to form new habits is to turn the duration up very high but then they become saturated and lose the daily consistency. Training for 30 minutes a day in anything for a year will make you more proficient than training 3 hours a day for a month. I like to use long duration sessions with habits that I’m seeking to grow but it is crucial to be aware of the power of shorter duration and higher frequency.
With this understanding my friend we may now structure and monitor habit formation in a way which is precise and mathematical. Decide the habit it is you wish to form, and create a plan based on frequency, intensity and duration to replace the negative habit with the positive. Thank you for reading, much love to you.