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I was just reading a book about habits that discussed an interesting quirk scientists noticed when comparing people that maintain new habits to people that don’t.
If you’re looking to build the habit of studying regularly, there are a lot of these ideas that I’ve already introduced in older articles. (I love when I read about experts proving my points years after I figured them out through experience!)
When you notice it’s time to start studying, just start studying.
By using time as the trigger (or cue) you’re making it easier and easier to continue studying.
By keeping your study session reasonably short, you ensure that you just get the enjoyable brain stretching aspect of studying. This is all stuff I discuss more thoroughly in other articles.
I’m going to be introducing an idea I haven’t before. It’s something I’ve conceptualized a little but I couldn’t quite form it into something worth trying to explain.
The classic 12 step programs are not scientific but they’re some of the most commonly used strategies people use to break addictions. The 12 step program is not designed to directly break addictions. It’s designed to replace old negative habits with new positive habits.
For years, 12 step programs outperformed many scientific behavioral strategies of changing habits.
Sure, science could break habits pretty effectively.
The problem usually came when the person hit adversity in life. As soon as the person starts to face adversity their new better habits are shaken up. Regularly, this leads to a relapse. Researchers noticed that this phenomenon was less common among 12 step program graduates.
Eventually, they found one of the major differences that seemed to make the difference.
12 step programs encouraged a certain amount of faith or belief. Whether a person was in a 12 step program or not, when a crisis hit, the people with more faith in something (be it god or just some spiritual reason to be better) usually did better.
By all means, I haven’t dug into the data of this research at all. At this point, I don’t plan to but this idea actually makes a lot of sense to me. Most of the students that succeed long term with their study strategies have one or two major factors working for them:
1. They have faith (at the very least, in themselves. They might just be cocky enough to think “I’m not AVERAGE.” Even though, statistically, they probably are.)
2. They’re cyclical and always get back up after they screw up.
So… they might replace their bad habits with good ones for months. Then, something might go wrong causing them to break those habits. At that point, this kind of student, for some reason or another comes back from the screw up.
Faith in themselves?
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