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Thread: Developing Habits

  1. #1

    Developing Habits

    I recently read an article in the New York Times about habit patterns--what makes people develop or keep habits (quiz here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/0...sonality-quiz/). I'm interested in two things:
    1) Is there a correlation with your habit personality and your MBTI type?
    2) Given your MBTI and habit personalities, what strategies do you use to form habits? What has worked, what has failed?
    I'm in the process of conducting a habit experiment on myself, so I'll be interested to hear your insights.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Linnea's Avatar
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    Questioners question all expectations, and will meet an expectation only if they believe it’s justified, so in effect, they meet only inner expectations. Once Questioners believe that a particular habit is worthwhile, they’ll stick to it—but only if they’re satisfied about the habit’s soundness and usefulness. They resist anything arbitrary or ineffective; they accept direction only from people they respect. Questioners may exhaust themselves (and other people) with their relentless questioning, and they sometimes find it hard to act without perfect information. If you’re thinking, “Well, right now I question the validity of the Four Tendencies framework,” yep, you’re probably a Questioner!
    1. I would say that correlates with my personality type...

    2. I'm not awfully successful in forming new habits. I start doing something and then I get bored and move on to the next experimental habit before the first one has had time to actually become a habit. Habits that I don't tell anyone about tend to stick around better. I dislike the feeling of obligation that comes from telling people about something I think I should do regularly.

    I found tiny habits interesting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    I'm terrible with good forming good habits. Regular exercise and healthy eating come to mind has habits I am constantly trying to form and generally failing to do so.

    My personality really works against me. You'd think I would be able to rationalize the benefits and be willing to pay the cost, but it turns out it works against me in that I am constantly aware of the costs. For example, I never get "runner's high" or any of that psychological stuff. I will feel some short term endorphin related post exercise goodness, but by the next time I'm due to exercise, it just seems like work to me. The exercise junkies I know are constantly raving about how good they feel about their workout that day (even hours after its over). It's like they look forward to the next one. I think they are crazy, but I admit it's a beneficial psychosis.

    And my INTP nature is also opposed to daily schedules of any sort. This is also counter productive to setting aside time for things I should (but don't necessarily want) to do.

  4. #4
    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    I'm pretty good at it. I try not to think of things as habits, but as becoming more efficient at whatever I want: mental and physical health, relationships, career etc.

    I've probably tweaked my weightlifting program 50 times since I've started. I used to tweak my practice routine every day. When you do that, it doesn't feel like a chore or a routine, you're engaged and trying to actively accelerate.

    I guess the key to keeping something a "good habit" is to make sure you square it with the overarching principles. With weightlifting, I'm trying to get stronger while losing weight, and there's only a certain number of ways to crack that nut. With music production, I'm trying to get quicker and more creative, so again there's only a certain range of activity that will help that.

    Boredom = diminishing returns for me. Maintenance is needed for only a very few things, like flossing your teeth and clipping your nails. Active expansion is the key to growth.

    /tedxtalk

  5. #5
    I have realized in my reading that I tend towards extremes, which makes some things hard to stick with. I can become a vegan with relative ease (though I stopped when I felt like I was eating more processed foods as a result), I've almost completely cut soda out of my life. I've built my life so that I can walk most places I need to go so that I'm more active. That said, I've found it nearly impossible to get daily exercise (other than walking) or do other small things on a regular basis. I think one of my issues is that I try to make all the habits at once--I'm going to exercise and read and meditate and pack my lunch every day. I also feel less obligation to myself than to others. Anyway, we'll see what I can change.

  6. #6
    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuseedesBeauxArts View Post
    I think one of my issues is that I try to make all the habits at once--I'm going to exercise and read and meditate and pack my lunch every day.
    IME it's key to start with the lowest hanging fruit and build from that.

  7. #7
    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuseedesBeauxArts View Post
    I'm in the process of conducting a habit experiment on myself, so I'll be interested to hear your insights.
    I'm in a similar space right now, trying to gradually add layers of habits to my habit portfolio. I enjoyed The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg - it's sort of a Gladwellian analysis of how habits are formed, what sustains them, and how you can hack your brain to build the ones you want.
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

  8. #8
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    I'm fond of mental habits that are conducive to being more conscious, but not so fond of physical habits that are sort of the opposite of that.

    ...I engage in physical habits only when necessary, but would never otherwise impose one on myself on purpose. Making conscious decisions in the moment seems to cover all the same bases.
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

  9. #9
    Member synagogue's Avatar
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    It's just basically crucial.

    So much of what we do on impulse has been programmed into us through repetition. Once we realize this and begin to consciously choose the actions we take, and start to ingrain these desirable behaviors into our programming through using our willpower, that in my belief is a critical step in personal evolution and developing the freedom to be able to choose our destinies, rather than fatalistically yielding to personality profiles, astrological charts, psychiatric diagnoses, and the like.

    When I signed up for the old forum, I was INTP; sometime in the past few years I started testing INTJ. That wasn't necessarily a goal of mine, but it came about because I determined to investigate whatever gears were in motion, as best as I could see, to produce the world of effects in which we're living. When I see something in action that I think is essential, I have no choice to but to align myself with whatever laws are being dictated by that power. So I'm saying that taking appraisal of the world as I can see it, and submitting to it, is the reason I'm "INTJ". The way you establish order within yourself, is through practicing desirable behaviors consistently, shaping new habits, and organically cultivating new character traits within yourself.

    I think this is the only way to effect lasting changes within ourselves. It stands in opposition to what most do in this day and age, which is replace one mask with another, which can only create new forms of character armor which remain prone to disintegration due to their lack of integrity. They remain anchored in social validation (which is certainly helpful, but will come as a necessary byproduct of having truly changed our habits), and thus must remain dependent on such validation in order to crystallize their personas. Really, in order to even feel like a person, they need others to keep validating their (mere) personas.

    I don't think we should have anything to do with "personas," personally. I think we should think the thoughts we've chosen to think, and behave the way we are. Personas are great for artistic expression, but fall short in the realm of vital, spontaneous, organic, transformative connection. Personas imo, can only create a world of spiritual bankruptcy. And look around.

    Anyway.

  10. #10
    Member synagogue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuck View Post
    I'm pretty good at it. I try not to think of things as habits, but as becoming more efficient at whatever I want: mental and physical health, relationships, career etc.

    Active expansion is the key to growth.

    /tedxtalk
    This. It's about practice and efficiency.

    If you've read the Bhagavad Gita (and anyone who hasn't should check it out), it has some great insights on why we should perform our actions with disinterested concentration, as opposed to having our minds on the overall goals or benefits we may be seeking. I think that's key behind what you're getting at here.

    Everything we are doing is practice, and efficiency is a necessary product of correct practice. It's all about performing the best we can, right now. Beyond this moment right here, we should just let it do what it do.

    I feel like I've typed a lot of platitudes in here, but it's really just the way it is.

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