- Practice Spanish – 186 days (every day)
- Daily vitamins – 186 days
- Meditation – 186 days
- Practice guitar – 138 days (I slipped a bit)
- Vegetarian – 129 days (I’m carnivorous on weekends)
I try to create “good” habits – taking small actions every day that can transform your life. It takes on average ~65 days to form a new habit.
I use Habitbull an app to track my habits. It’s free. Set up a habit like “exercise” and then click the button that indicates “yes” or “no” every day to record your activity. I don’t like having many “no’s” staring me in the face. I bought the premium edition ($5) so I could add more habits and export my data. If you want a more comprehensive system, try Goals on Track (~$5/month) with which you can create sub goals, milestones, track progress, and stay motivated (with many e-books).
Don’t look at your stock portfolio (every day). According to Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, when our portfolio is up, we’re happy. When its down, we are extra miserable. This is known as “loss aversion,” as humans tend to value losses twice as much as gains. “What happened in the past is water under the bridge,” he says. “From time to time, it’s good to imagine life as starting from scratch.” Get in the good habit of focusing on the firm/stock you’re buying, not the daily fluctuations.
Read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. This book changed my life. It made me rethink my diet, exercise regime, mental state. Its exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. Duhigg shows that by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.
Listen to Tumaini by Berta Moreno. An uplifting and joyous musical journey that takes listeners on a vibrant tour of Kenya. Informed by the bandleader’s life changing experience volunteering in the Kawangware region several years ago, this heart-led new release seamlessly intertwines elements of soul, jazz and traditional African styles. It was a great honor to help produce this album. Get in the habit of listening to this one!
Watch (DisHonesty) – The Truth About Lies, directed by Yael Melamede based on the work of behavioral economist Dan Ariely. This film explores the human proclivity to lie with personal stories, expert opinions, and archival footage. By becoming aware of how lying is a habit of humanity, we can more directly confront it.