The Rules for Sticking to a Habit

There are a set of rules to follow if you want to actually stick to new habits. Now, you can ignore these rules, as most people do, and increase your likelihood of failure. Or you can try the rules, and see if they work for you (each person is different, so you have to figure out your own formula).

Here are the rules:

  1. One Habit at a Time. This is incredibly important — most people ignore it because they underestimate how much focus it takes to actually stick to a new habit. It’s easy to start a habit, or even 5 of them at once. Sticking to them is another story. Please note that this is one habit period — don’t think you can do one fitness habit, one social habit, one work habit, etc. One habit only. Do not break this rule.
  2. A Tiny Habit. Do not focus on results as you’re forming the habit. I recently mentioned that I’m doing 3 yoga poses every morning — doing more than an hour is too difficult for me and I tend to quit when I do long classes. Will I get a good workout with only 3 yoga poses? No! I’m not trying to get a good workout, get flexible, become more mindful, or get in shape. Eventually, yes, those results will probably come. But for now, I’m only doing one thing: forming the habit of doing yoga each day. Make the habit as tiny as possible. Whatever you think you should do, cut it in half. Then, if possible, cut it in half again. Maybe once more if your time to do it is longer than 2 minutes.
  3. Once a Day. You might think you can change your entire diet all at once. Not bloody likely. Only do the habit once a day, and again, just for a minute or two each day. Once the habit is ingrained, you can expand, but wait at least 3 weeks before you even consider that.
  4. Focus on Starting. The only thing you need to do is start. That’s the part of the habit that matters in the first month or so. Later on, you’ll run a marathon. For now, just put all your effort into lacing up your shoes and getting out the door. If you’re meditating, just get your butt on the cushion. If you’re eating healthy, just get your healthy snack (carrots & hummus?) in front of you, and take the first bite. If you’re writing, just close your browser, open a text document, and type the first sentence. Just start.
  5. Enjoy Doing It. It’s really important that you get positive feedback for doing the habit, right away. Many people do a habit they hate, which is built-in negative feedback, and then wonder why they can’t stick to it. Do a habit you love, or find a way to enjoy doing the habit. Focus on the positive aspects of it. Also, (…), praise yourself for doing it. Feel good about doing it. This is immediate reward, and it’s necessary.
  6. Watch Your Thoughts. If you start to avoid the habit, or do the habit but feel discouraged, or ever feel like quitting … pay attention to these thoughts. Where are they coming from? Are you rationalizing quitting? Are you giving yourself some negative self-talk? Those thoughts aren’t real — they’re just defense mechanisms your brain uses to avoid discomfort. Let them go, and don’t let them have power over you. You can beat them with some positive self-talk.
  7. Don’t Miss Two Straight Days. This is the key. If you let yourself miss a day, be absolutely sure, incredibly and powerfully sure, that you don’t miss a day again. Miss a day, and let all kinds of alarms go off: you should put yourself on emergency status and do everything possible to not miss the 2nd day. Tynan suggests doubling down, but whatever you do, don’t let yourself slip up again. If you do, you are never going to get good at habits. Don’t do it.
  8. Be accountable. Tell at least one other person about your habit change, and ask them to keep you accountable. A group of 4-5 people is even better (…). It increases your likelihood of sticking to the habit by about 50% in my experience.

How to Learn the Habit Skill

That might all seem like a lot to learn at once. That’s OK. We’re going to learn it simply and easily. Here’s how:

Do the easiest possible habit when you first start.

If you’re not good at habits yet (and if you’re reading this guide, you probably aren’t), then start with the most basic skills — don’t try to do ninja habit skills yet.

You want to practice the habit rules by doing something crazily easy. It will seem a little ridiculous, but spend a little time doing something ridiculous if you really want to be good at it.

Some ideas for habits to start with:

  • Drink a glass of water each day.
  • Put your clothes in your hamper.
  • Wash your bowl when you’re done.
  • Say thank you every morning.
  • Drink tea each afternoon.
  • Eat one piece of fruit.
  • Write one sentence a day.
  • Floss one tooth.

Too easy? Try something harder, and if you fail, then promise me you’ll try one of these.

Read the entire article here. Source: website Zen Habits.

IT / Technical Recruitment

Tonight, May 28, 2020 at 2 pm in Brazil and 7 pm CET in Central Europe we will be part of a live chat as a guest speaker/mentor in cooperation with Caravana Cloud!

The main subjects are technical recruiting and interviewing. I thought you might be interested. We are gathering experienced professionals to help developers be successful and it would be great to have you with us.

For more details, please click here.

For those of you who will have visited the live chat and would like to be part of our research, please answer to our questionnaire.

By answering this questionnaire, you will gain valuable insights about the journey you need to accomplish to get an international job.

Thanks much for your contribution and looking forward to talking to you tonight!

You Don’t Need to Meet Every Qualification to Apply for a Job

Are you that kind of person that thinks that you can only apply for a job if you are able to offer everything listed on the job ad?

You should not!

Please go ahead and try to get a job you dream of, even if you think you don’t have the entire qualification for that position. There are two reasons that support this idea:

1 – When a company is looking for a new employee, the tendency is to list everything they would like the new person to accomplish. Very often they forget to think about what is really necessary and what is “nice to have”. If you don’t try to get an interview, how can you discover if this is the case?

2- Organizations expect people who are new to a role (and particularly people who are new into an organization) to grow into the position. The implicit desire is is that new joiners should ask a lot of questions, seek for mentoring, and to even make a few mistakes as they get acclimated to a role.

You can read more about this subject visiting this article from the HBR (Harvard Business Review).

Please go ahead and give your self-confidence a try!

What is Most Important for You at work?

One of the aspects people use to value the most is work life balance. 40% out of 30.000 global workers interviewed by “The Future of Work and Cities” (a study from WeWork and The Aspen Institute) gave this feedback, comparing to 33% who mentioned salary or 28% who mentioned benefits as the most important aspects. These aspects were also mentioned more often then growth opportunity, business opportunities and leadership quality.

It’s always easy to be overcommitted and to work long hours or to check business e-mails prior to going to bed, but the truth is that a good balance between personal and business life is aimed by the vast majority of workers, interested to protect their personal life and mental health.

When Does a Work Mean Happiness?

Next week I will be taking part of a virtual classroom from a British philosopher, Alain de Botton. In his website, there are a lot of questions or considerations on subjects that might interest you as well, for example:

“We have moved from devising tools for simple aspects of survival to tools that address our aspirations to flourish. Along the way, we made a striking discovery: that coming up with and operating certain tools might at points be very pleasurable. This was a surprise.”

“Satisfying work begins with an insight into happiness. What later gets called an enterprise, a profession or a trade is – at the outset – just an idea about increasing pleasure or decreasing pain. We start the long journey towards work when we spot something that we would like others to enjoy – or a friction or discomfort we would want to remove from their lives.”

Read more about when could a work be meaningful and many other parts of life in tThe Book of Live here. “Life is only 700,000 hours long so we have to make sure the ideas we need don’t get lost – or take too long to find.”

Probation Period in a German Work Contract

How long is the probation period in Germany and what does it mean for the employer and the employee?

The probation period is regulated by law in Germany and can last for a maximum of six months. During this period the employee can finish the contract within two weeks.

If the employer wishes, he can shorten this period. This happens for example when someone has worked before for the company, or if the employer wants to offer better contractual conditions to the employee.

This regulation can be read in German here (point 3).

80,000 hours or 40 years

This is the amount of hours or the number of years you will be probably working during your entire life. Have you thought about these numbers that will define your work life until you will be able to retire? If so, how should these hours be spent? Probably with joy, isn’t it?

For some time ago I’ve found a really interesting website with a lot of insights with this regard. Some information really caught my attention as for example the following two:

  • Mental Health
  • Career Capital

“When thinking about career capital, most people focus on concrete credentials like the brand name of their employer or specific qualifications. However, career capital is anything that puts you in a better position to make a difference in the future, including general efforts at personal development.

The aim is to maximise your impact over an entire 40 year career, and many of the highest-impact positions take decades to reach. This means it’s vital to be on a path you can stick with. And that probably means doing something you enjoy, which lets you get enough sleep, exercise,  build up enough savings, have rewarding relationships, and fulfill other important personal priorities. It also means realising you’re not perfectly moral and treating yourself with some self-compassion. Neglecting to take care of yourself seems to be one of the more common ways for talented people to fail to live up to their potential.

One area we’d especially like to highlight is mental health. Depending on the definition you use, between 10% and 50% of people in their twenties are dealing with some kind of mental health problem. If you’re suffering from one – be it anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD, depression or something else – then probably make dealing with or learning to work around it one of your top priorities. It’s one of the best investments you can ever make, both for your own sake and your ability to help others. (…) Many people who took the time to make mental health their top priority and who, having found treatments and techniques that reduced or even eliminated their symptoms, have gone on to perform at the highest levels.”

What have you been doing in order to grow as a person and as a professional and to develop or maintain your mental health?

Source: website 80.000 Hours, Key Ideas.