Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Breaking The Habit!

We all have them and while some are good ones, ore often than not, they're bad and we want to change them. Mine is picking at the cuticles on my fingers and biting the inside of my cheeks. I'm telling you, this is going to be some challenge after doing it for the last 10 to 15 years! Habits are what I'm referring to and featured on "Anderson" today, is Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Here, he teaches us the steps required to break any habit you want: 
1. Identify your habit’s routine
There is a basic pattern at the core of every habit, a kind of neurological loop that has three parts: A cue, a routine and a reward.
To understand your habit, you need to identify the components of your loop. The easiest place to start is with the routine: what behavior do you want to change? (For instance, I once had a bad habit of eating a cookie from the cafeteria every afternoon.)
2. Experiment with different rewards
Rewards are powerful because they satisfying cravings. But we’re often not conscious of the cravings that drive our behaviors. To figure out which cravings are driving particular habits, it’s useful to experiment with different rewards. For instance, on the first day of my experiment to figure out what was driving my cookie habit, when I felt the urge to go to the cafeteria and buy a cookie, I instead went outside, walked around the block, and then went back to my desk without eating anything. The next day, I went to the cafeteria and bought a donut, and ate it at my desk. The next day, I bought an apple and ate it while chatting with my friends. Eventually I figure out that what I was really craving wasn’t cookies, but socialization: Whenever I went to the cafeteria, I saw my friends.
3. Isolate the cue
Every habit has a cue, and experiments have shown that almost all habitual cues fit into one of five categories:
Emotional State
Other People
Immediately preceding action
So, if you’re trying to figure out the cue for the ‘going to the cafeteria and buying a chocolate chip cookie’ habit, you write down five things the moment the urge hits (these are my actual notes from when I was trying to diagnose my habit):
Where are you? (sitting at my desk)
What time is it? (3:36 pm)
What’s your emotional state? (bored)
Who else is around? (no one)
What action preceded the urge? (answered an email)
After just a few days, it was pretty clear which cue was triggering my cookie habit — I felt an urge to get a snack at a certain time of day. The habit, I had figured out, was triggered between 3:00 and 4:00.
4. Have a plan
Once you’ve figured out your habit loop — you’ve identified the reward driving your behavior, the cue triggering it, and the routine itself — you can begin to shift the behavior. You can change to a better routine by planning for the cue, and choosing a behavior that delivers the reward you are craving. What you need is a plan.
A habit is a formula our brain automatically follows:

When I see CUE, I will do ROUTINE in order to get a REWARD.
So, I wrote a plan of my own:
At 3:30, every day, I will walk to a friend’s desk and talk for 10 minutes.

It didn’t work immediately. But, eventually, it got be automatic. Now, at about 3:30 everyday, I absentmindedly stand up, look around for someone to talk to, spend 10 minutes gossiping, and then go back to my desk. It occurs almost without me thinking about it. It has become a habit.
5. Look for ‘keystone habits’
But where should a would-be habit master start?
Our lives are filled with habits, and time is limited. Knowing how to improve behaviors doesn’t resolve a central question: where to begin? Is it better to create an exercise habit, or reform eating patterns? Should someone focus on procrastination? Or biting their fingernails? Or both at the same time?
The answer is to focus on ‘keystone habits.’ Some habits, say researchers, are more important than others because they have the power to start a chain reaction, shifting other patterns as they move through our lives.  Keystone habits influence how we work, eat, play, live, spend, and communicate. Keystone habits start a process that, over time, transforms everything.
Identifying keystone habits, however, is tricky. To find them, you have to know where to look. To begin, ask yourself a central question: which habits are most core to my self image? Does exercise make you think about yourself in a different – and better – way? Then exercise might be your keystone habit. Or is it how you communicate with your spouse and kids? That might be your keystone habit. Or, how you get work done?
There are dozens of potential keystone habits, and my book spends significant time explaining how to identify and change them. But, at their core, they all share something in common: keystone habits shape how we think about ourselves. And all of them can be changed, once you know how to diagnose and influence the habit loop.

The Fishtail Braid Guide!

Style Trend: The FishtailBraid

Upgrade your Spring/Summer style by rocking the latest style trend, The Fishtail Braid. Everyone's trying it so why not give it a go? The only thing you need is about 5 minutes, a little creative ability and the need to get your hair off of your face. 
Follow these steps or head to for the entire read-up. 

Step 1: Pull hair back with your pointer fingers, as if you were going to wear your hair half up/half down.

Step 2: Split gathered hair into two sections

Step 3: Pull a chunk of hair from section two; this will be piece three for the time being.

Step 4: Cross piece three over section two.

Step 5: Join piece three with section one. Piece three is also now section one.

Step 6: Pull a chunk of hair out from section one; this will be piece four for the time being.

Step 7: Cross piece four over section one.

Step 8: Join piece four with section two. Piece four is also now section two.
Step 9: Hold both sections one and two in your left hand. Using your right pointer finger pull a chunk of hair up from the right side of your head from the hair hanging down; as if you are pulling hair to french braid.
Step 10: Cross this new piece over section two.

Step 11: Join this new, crossed piece with section one.
Step 12: Repeat steps nine through eleven, only hold sections one and two in your right hand and using your left pointer finger pull a chunk of hair from the left side of your head from the hair hanging down; as if you were french braiding.

Step 13: Pull sections one and two away from each other as if you were tightening a pony tail. (Don’t worry about the end result being too tight. This kind of braid always finds its way to become loose.)

Step 14: Keep repeating steps nine through thirteen and tightening until you can’t pull any more hair hanging down and tighten.

Step 15: Just like in the beginning of the tutorial you are going to pull a chunk of hair out of section two, only from the back/underside of section two.

Step 16: Cross this new piece of hair over section two.

Step 17: Join the new piece of crossed hair with section one.
Step 18: Repeat steps fifteen through seventeen only pull the piece of hair out of the back/underside of section one. Cross over the new piece over section one and join it with section two.
HERE IS A TIP! Make sure to keep tightening the braid, otherwise it will fall too much
Step 19: Continue fishtail all the way down and secure with a pony tail holder.
Step 20: Towards the bottom of the fishtail braid where you stopped pulling pieces from the hair that was hanging down may be a little too loose. Using bobby pins clean up any loose hairs that you want tucked in.

All Done! Click to Enlarge :)
VoilĂ ! You now have a fishtail braid! You can even add colored hair extensions  to add a little spice into the braid! Happy Braiding!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Of Course You Can" Principles.

Be a believer and keep faithful! When you are feeling discouraged, simply tell yourself: 
.I know I Can!

These tried and true principles gives  the positive thinker powerful results!
  1. Stamp your goal indelibly on your mind.
  2. Always imagine yourself as succeeding with God's help. 
  3. When a negative thought enters your mind, immediately cancel it with a positive thought.
  4. Mentally minimize difficulties; maximize your strengths.
  5. Deny the power of difficulty over you. Affirm the power of faith to overcome. 
  6. Believe in yourself. 
  7. Always be genuinely friendly.
  8. Keep on learning, growing and improving yourself.
  9. Build a ladder to your dreams -  Determination, dedication, discipline, attitude.
  10. Every day practice the greatest of all affirmations, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

                          Norman Vincent Peale  

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