Remember when Rubin talked about the thirty-day Blast Start to jump start a new habit?
I love this line in the current chapter: “The real test of a thirty-day Blast Start is what happens on day 31.” I used my own 30-day challenge to get started on blogging and I kept my commitment to blog for at least 30 consecutive days. What happened next for me is aptly described by Rubin’s suggestion to use “if-then” planning from the Strategy of Safeguards. If-then planning is to plan in advance what happens after you cross the finish line.
In my case, I knew I would be travelling within days of crossing my “finish line” so I would not be able to maintain more consecutive days of blogging. My ultimate goal is to blog a minimum of once a week and ideally three times. Although that goal hasn’t been achieved yet, I feel I am developing the blogging habit which was the original reason I had given myself this challenge. I have blogged more regularly than I ever had prior to creating this challenge.
Rubin discusses how important it is NOT to focus on rewards because that focus sabotages the habit. She proposes that a habit must be rewarding in some way or one won’t bother to do it. It’s a classic coaching question, “What makes this important?”
Rubin answers the question of how to do this: “By finding my reward within the habit itself, with a reward that takes me deeper into the habit. If I look outside a habit for a reward, I undermine the habit. If I look within the habit for the reward, I strengthen the habit.”
I listened to a teleclass this morning titled “10 Rules for ADHD-Friendly Organization” and that was definitely the perspective of the ADHD coach presenter, Lynne E. Edris. She invited the listener to ask these questions:
- How will my life be better if I am organized?
- Why do I want to get organized?
- What is the root of the problem?
- How will I measure success?
I loved these questions because they get to the heart of what makes the habit of organizing important! They get to the heart of identifying the reward of the habit. They absolutely illustrate Rubin’s perspective.
Rubin’s final thoughts from this chapter:
- “A ‘reward’ changes your attitude toward a behavior”
- “The reward for a good habit is the habit itself.”
- “Continuous progress is the opposite of the finish line.”
What is your reward for the habit you seek to develop?
And by-the-way, Lynne Edris also suggests “Start small!” (Music to my hears!)