The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


What Are 'Habits'?

Habits are regular actions that support us. Due to the power of Accumulation, habits can add up to huge results over time.

Habits require Willpower to create. It's better to use Guiding Structure to help install the habits you want to adopt.

Habits are easier to install if you use triggers. For example, make a note to take your vitamins every time you wash your teeth.

Focus on installing one habit at a time until it feels automatic and you can move to the next one. Remember that your Willpower is limited.

Josh Kaufman Explains 'Habits'

What about things we want to do on a daily basis, like exercising? Is that a goal, or a state of being? Neither, actually.

Habits are regular actions that support us.

Exercising, brushing your teeth, taking vitamins, following a particular diet, or keeping in touch with friends and family regularly are all examples of habits that keep us happy and healthy.

Due to the power of Accumulation, small habits can add up to huge results over time.

Most Habits take on one of four common forms: things you want to start doing, things you want to stop doing, things you want to do more, and things you want to do less. For example, you might want to start exercising regularly, stop watching television, drink more water, or spend less money.

Habits typically require Willpower to create. As such, it's best to use the techniques we discussed in Guiding Structure to make it easier to do what we want to do.

If you want to go to the gym first thing in the morning, packing your gym bag and laying out workout clothing the night before makes it easier to go, since you've structured your environment to require less effort to act.

Habits are easier to install if you look for triggers that signal when it's time to act. For example, if you want to take vitamins, it's easier to remember to take them if you use another habitual action as a trigger for action. Instead of relying on your mind to remember to take your vitamins in the middle of the day, you can use brushing your teeth in the morning or evening as a reminder.

For best results, focus on installing one habit at a time.

Remember, you only have so much Willpower to use before it's depleted, and overriding your default mode of action requires willpower. As a result, if you try to install too many habits at the same time, it's likely you won't succeed at adopting any of them for long.

Focus on installing one habit until taking action feels automatic, then move onto the next.

Questions About 'Habits'


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Will Durant, historian, paraphrasing Aristotle, ancient Greek philosopher


From Chapter 7:

Working With Yourself


https://personalmba.com/habits/



WANT TO BE NOTIFIED WHEN UPDATES ARE PUBLISHED? Subscribe to Josh Kaufman's email newsletter. You'll receive Personal MBA updates, Josh's award-winning research, and useful resources that will help you make more money, get more done, and have more fun. It's free!

The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


About Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman is an acclaimed business, learning, and skill acquisition expert. He is the author of two international bestsellers: The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours. Josh's research and writing have helped millions of people worldwide learn the fundamentals of modern business.

More about Josh Kaufman →