7 Habits – 2 Habits – Automatic Habits – I’m Thinking about Habits

Last week, Karl Krayer and I spoke at a book synopsis gathering at the La Cima Club.  The moderator asked us at each table to reflect on the best “self-help” books we have ever read.  Karl chose Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Just to remind you, here are Covey’s seven habits (from the Wikipedia article):

▪                Habit 1: Be Proactive: Principles of Personal Choice
▪                Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind: Principles of Personal Vision
▪                Habit 3: Put First Things First: Principles of Integrity & Execution

Independence to Interdependence
▪                Habit 4: Think Win/Win: Principles of Mutual Benefit
▪                Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: Principles of Mutual Understanding
▪                Habit 6: Synergize: Principles of Creative Cooperation

Continual Improvement
▪                Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw: Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal of body

On Friday, I presented the synopsis of Switch, the new book by the Heath brothers, and read and spoke about the power of “automatic habits.”  Change is hard because what we do “habitually” is done “automatically,” without extra effort…  So the goal is to develop the right life and work practices, and make sure they are in automatic mode in your own life.  In other words, turn the things you need to do every day into habits that you do “automatically.”

And then I read the article about Twyla Tharp, and her new book The Collaborative Habit.  I of course thought back to her terrific book The Creative Habit.  (I blogged about this here over the weekend).

All of this has led me to reflect pretty deeply about the power of habits.

It seems that people with the best good habits get more accomplished, live saner lives, and basically live lives that we all wish we could live.

People with bad habits have less productive lives, and we seldom envy them.

The question is:  what are your habits?  Are they good or bad?  Which habits do you need to jettison, and which do you need to develop?

Which habits do you practice that make you a highly effective person?

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