From the article originally published on JamesClear.com.

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Research has shown that you are 2x to 3x more likely to stick with your habits if you make a specific plan for when, where, and how you will perform the behavior.

Psychologists call these specific plans “implementation intentions” because they state when, where, and how you intend to implement a particular behavior.

However research has also discovered implementation intentions only work when you focus on one goal at a time.

In fact, researchers found that people who tried to accomplish multiple goals were less committed and less likely to succeed than those who focused on a single goal.

This is important: developing a specific plan for when, where, and how you will stick to a new habit will dramatically increase the odds that you will actually follow through, but only if you focus on a single goal.

What Happens When You Focus on One Thing

Here is another science-based reason to focus on one habit at a time:

When you begin practicing a new habit it requires a lot of conscious effort to remember to do it. After awhile, however, the pattern of behavior becomes easier. Eventually, your new habit becomes a normal routine and the process is more or less mindless and automatic.

Researchers have a fancy term for this process called “automaticity.” Automaticity is the ability to perform a behavior without thinking about each step, which allows the pattern to become automatic and habitual.

But here’s the thing:

automaticity only occurs as the result of lots of repetition and practice. The more reps you put in, the more automatic a behavior becomes.

For example, this chart shows how long it takes for people to make a habit out of taking a 10-minute walk after breakfast.

In the beginning, the degree of automaticity is very low. After 30 days, the habit is becoming fairly routine. After 60 days, the process is about as automatic as it can become.

The most important thing to note is that there is some “tipping point” at which new habits become more or less automatic.

That said, the study cited above found the average habit takes about 66 days to become automatic. (Don’t put too much stock in that number. The range in the study was very wide and the only reasonable conclusion you should make is that it will take months for new habits to become sticky.)

Change Your Life Without Changing Your Entire Life

  1. You are 2x to 3x more likely to follow through with a habit if you make a specific plan for when, where, and how you are going to implement it.

  2. You should focus entirely on one habit. Research has found that implementation intentions do not work if you try to improve multiple habits at the same time.

  3. Research has shown that any given habit becomes more automatic with more practice. On average, it takes at least two months for new habits to become automatic behaviors.

This brings us to the punchline of this article…

The counterintuitive insight from all of this research is that the best way to change your entire life is by not changing your entire life. Instead, it is best to focus on one specific habit, work on it until you master it, and make it an automatic part of your daily life. Then, repeat the process for the next habit.

The way to master more things in the long-run is to simply focus on one thing right now.

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In the School of Thinking, the number one habit to attain mastery of lateral thinking is the DFQ.

SOT #1 Habit …

DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ

DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ

DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ

DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ

DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ

DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ

DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ

DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ

DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ

DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ  DFQ

The School of Thinking

Master of Lateral Thinking

MLatTh(SOT)

This is an elite program of only 100 Master Students worldwide. It is the #1 degree qualification for Lateral Thinking in the world. 

The Master of Lateral Thinking is not available from Oxford, Harvard, the Sorbonne or the University of Melbourne but only from the School of Thinking (SOT). SOT was the first school on the internet (1995) and is still 100% online. 

This is a unique, personal and highly bespoke applied academic program with a one-to-one relationship between the student and the Academic Tutor. This is the original immersion teaching method of the ancient universities. one2one. 

To be considered for this program applicants may apply, online, at the School of Thinking Admissions Office to request an Applicant Interview with the Academic Tutor, Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, who is co-founder and Principal of the school. 

Dr Hewitt-Gleeson is a Vietnam war veteran (Second Australian Task Force) who holds the world’s first Doctor of Lateral Thinking (1980),the first ever academic degree in this now world-famous cognitive skill. His Academic Tutor was University of Cambridge Professor Edward de Bono. His PhD Examiner was Dr George Gallup, Founder of The Gallup Poll at Princeton. His lateral thinking project covered 23 New York City hospitals and 40,000 employees. 

In order to graduate, as a Master of Lateral Thinking MLatTh(SOT), the Master Student must complete 400 DFQs online and design an independently valued x10 Project in two years. 

The purpose of the Applicant Interview is to assess the motivation and commitment of the Candidate and determine if he or she can be awarded a place in the program. If the Candidate is successful he or she may be enrolled as a Master Student SOT and be awarded a place in a Master Class of Ten. There will be ten only of these classes. 

NOTE:

For detailed information please review these three links: 

• The Quick FAQs:  https://tinyurl.com/y8azxfft

• The Academic Tutor: https://tinyurl.com/yassz5u8

• The Offer Document:  https://tinyurl.com/y8wm5z55

The Vice Chancellor of the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Professor Ian Jacobs, is considering bringing the School of Thinking to their campus. In the meantime we are doing a pilot with a selected group of students from their Hero Program.

On 27 June Michael was invited to the campus to conduct an SOT Thinking Instructor Masterclass for 65 of their students. Their Program Manager, Anatoli Kovalev, was delighted with the high level of student engagement and their quick uptake of the SOT lateral thinking skills. More to come!

33 years ago I joined the internet on getting my first Mac in 1984. The first app I started using was email and that has remained my number one preferred app ever since.

https://www.webpagefx.com/blog/images/assets/images.sixrevisions.com/2009/11/09-04_email.jpg

WordPress is my second favourite. I use others like google, wikipedia, and youtube.

After discovering the hyperlink (which I think is one of the greatest ever education inventions in history) I immediately began teaching lateral thinking on the net by email.

In 1995 we launched the first SOT website (there were 10,000 sites then) and we later won the “Top 5% of the Web” award. Since 1979 SOT has disseminated over a half billion lessons globally.

That first decade was the mid-80s to mid-90s when the net was a great hope and filled us with energy and optimism about the future and the coming millenium in 2000.

The culture of the net (or cyberia as it was often called then) was freedom. The internet wanted to be free. It was full of academics, engineers, entrepreneurs, scientists and seekers and there was the School of Thinking.

The net was faster than anything before but nothing like as fast as today and it would crash from time to time and you’d have to resort to the fax machine.

But there was no spam, no pop-ups, no physhing, no trolls, no bullies, no rage-fests, no mud-slinging, no death-threats, no paranoia. There was, however, lots of trust and boundless generosity.

In 2017 the internet still has the School of Thinking but the net has also evolved into a dark age, a crackling chaos, a 24/7/365 whirling, howling, cacophonous wilderness of the greedy grasping global marketplace with its siren songs, ferocious fads, toxic wastes and vicious moods, its callous explosions, its viral plagues and epidemics and cruel and sudden extinctions.

http://blog.nus.edu.sg/crazyaboutis/files/2011/11/cyber.jpg

It is rife everywhere (literally globally) with hidden minefields of traps and secret predators, spammers, snake-oil merchants, the pornerati and paranoid conspirators draining us all down into a whirlpool of a future dark web WWIII cyberwar. Is optimism being overtaken by pessimism?

As the famous evolutionist, Richard Dawkins, pointed out:

Evolution does not always move in a positive direction.