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Creating a writing habit

January 27, 2015

At the beginning September we all set writing goals for the year. In January we reported our progress to date. Some of us need help! The main problem we all had was finding— and protecting— dedicated writing time.

Last week, Life Coach Milisa Burns and movement expert, Julia Wyncoll, led a workshop focused on developing new exercise habits. But the ideas they presented apply to developing good writing habits as well.

They cited Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, who found that all habits have three components: a cue, a routine and a reward. If you can identify the right cue and the right reward, you can establish almost any habit. Here’s how:

1. Choose a cue or trigger for a particular behaviour.

2. Choose a reward to have at the end of the new behaviour. Assess the reward after a few days. Choose a new reward if you didn’t enjoy the first one. After a couple of weeks, see whether you crave the feeling you get from the new habit.

3. Choose the routine you want to become a habit. Habit cycleSound easy? Milisa and Julia suggested these additional strategies, based on research. These tips will help establish new routines to turn them into good habits:
• Create some accountability—tell a friend or enlist a writing buddy.
• Schedule the routine in your calendar with a reminder.
• Keep a record of how you felt before and after the new routine for a week or two. Analyze your notes.
• Create a fun “peak” and good end to your writing sessions.

Cookies anyone?cookies


2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2015 10:41 am

    Thanks for this helpful information! I am going to try it out.

    • Valerie McDonald permalink
      January 27, 2015 2:06 pm

      Let me know which strategies work!

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