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Zen Habits

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I Suck at Habits: How Do I Get Better? By Leo Babauta I’ve had numerous readers tell me that they Suck at Habits.

I Suck at Habits: How Do I Get Better?

And I totally get that, because in 2005, that’s exactly where I was. I sucked at habits. The good news is that I found a smarter way. I learned to understand that habits are a set of patterns that I just needed to repeat until they became more and more automatic … and that setting up the right environment is everything. Let me repeat that: setting up the right habit environment is everything. Worried About What You’re Not Doing. A Brief Guide to Quitting a Bad Habit. How to Want Very Little. By Leo Babauta There’s a part of today’s consumerist world that drives us to want more, buy more, act on our impulses, hoard, spend to solve our problems, create comfort through shopping, seek thrills through travel, do more, be more.

How to Want Very Little

What would happen if we broke from our addiction to wanting and buying more? What would life be like if we didn’t need all that? Imagine a life where we could enjoy simple, free pleasures like going for a walk in nature, meditating, reading a book, writing. The Joy of Letting Go of Stress. By Leo Babauta The holiday season can generally be one of the most stressful times of year.

The Joy of Letting Go of Stress

That’s on top of most families being so stressed they aren’t able to spend quality time together. Is stress building up in you? 31 Perfect Things. By Leo Babauta As we see more and more holiday gift guides, articles espousing the perfectness of glitzy products, I’d like to offer an alternative perspective.

31 Perfect Things

We don’t need to buy things to make our lives beautiful or joyous. We don’t need more glamorous items in our lives to find happiness and contentment. We can find these wonderful qualities in what’s already in front of us. The Joy of Letting Go of Stress. Practicing Slowness & Being Present. By Leo Babauta In our rush to get through the tasks of our day, to complete our errands and answer emails, to look at the next video or link we find … when do we think we’ll find happiness?

Practicing Slowness & Being Present

If it’s not here right now, when will it come? Maybe we think it’ll come when we improve our lives, or meet our goals, or succeed at our business, or finish our college degree. Maybe it’ll come when we go on that next trip, or when we find time to relax. Maybe tomorrow. Or we could try this: Slow down instead of rushing.Pause to savor the current moment.Really notice everything about the moment, and find small things to appreciate.Be grateful for what there is right here, right now.Allow the things that are bothering you to just be in your life, without fighting with them, without pushing them away.Don’t allow little things to offend you.

Let the beauty of this moment wash over you like a warm foamy wave. The Most Important Two Minutes of Your Life. By Leo Babauta Two minutes here and there rarely matter very much over the course of a day, a week, a lifetime.

The Most Important Two Minutes of Your Life

But there are two minutes you could spend, right now, that would have a huge impact on your life. I’ll save you the suspense: it’s two-minute meditation. And it’s extremely simple: take two minutes out of your extremely busy day (cat videos) to sit still and focus on your breath. Just keep the gentle fingertip of your attention on your breath as it comes into your body, and then goes out. Turn Toward the Problem. By Leo Babauta Much of our lives is spent trying to ignore problems, not wanting to deal with them, procrastinating.

Turn Toward the Problem

Bills are pushed to the side to deal with later. People we have troubles with are avoided. Work we don’t want to do is put off while we browse the Internet. The diet is put off until tomorrow as we eat more junk. Fear is the Root of Your Problems. By Leo Babauta Every problem you or I have (and they are many, small and large), is rooted in fear.

Fear is the Root of Your Problems

For some, that might seem obvious: the question is how to beat the fears. For others, it’s not so self-evident: why are my financial or relationship or procrastination problems caused by fear? Let’s tackle both questions — the Why and the How. First the Why: think about each problem you have, and then think about why you have the problem. A few examples:

21 Easy Hacks to Simplify Your Life. “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!

21 Easy Hacks to Simplify Your Life

I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.” – Henry David Thoreau By Leo Babauta If you’re trying to simplify your life, it’s best to follow the four simple steps I’ve outlined before — it’s just the simplest method. Living the Quiet Life. By Leo Babauta When I first started simplifying my life, about 8 years ago, I remember my life being much busier.

Living the Quiet Life

I would say yes to everything, and go to lots of social stuff, and drive everywhere doing a crazy amount of things, rushing wherever I went. By crazy I mean it can drive you a bit insane. These days I know a lot of people who do an amazing amount of socializing online instead of in person — chatting and sending messages and tumbling and posting pictures and status updates. While I understand the need for social connection, I also recognize the addictiveness of it all, to the point where we have no quiet. Quiet space is incredibly important to me these days. The Reality of This Moment. By Leo Babauta As you sit here reading this, pause and expand your awareness beyond your computer/phone … what is the reality of this moment? You’re reading, and there are a bunch of other tasks you want to do on your computer, yes … but there’s also your body.

How does that feel? There’s the area around you, perhaps some people around you. There’s nature nearby. Take a pause to become aware of the actual reality of this particular moment. Do Less: A Short Guide. By Leo Babauta Many of us work in an endless stream of tasks, browser tasks, social media, emails, meetings, rushing from one thing to another, never pausing and never ending. Then the day is over, and we are exhausted, and we often have very little to show for it. And we start the next day, ready for a mindless stream of tasks and distractions. I am a fan of going against the stream of what most people do, and taking a step back.

Fail Faster at Habits. By Leo Babauta There are two extremely common obstacles that get in the way of people succeeding at habit change: Messing up on the habit and then quitting.Not starting because the habit change seems to hard or daunting. Have you faced these problems? The answer is almost certainly yes, because pretty much all of us have. The answer to both of these problems is really the same: do the habit. The problem is that people feel discouraged by failure, or feel overwhelmed or intimidated. The solution is to embrace the “Fail Faster” and iterate philosophy that’s all the rage in software. Most Important: Just Ship The Model T was created after Henry Ford and his partner shipped a very imperfect Model A automobile, and had their mechanics gather real-world information about problems with the car. They only gathered this information by shipping the car. So the most important thing you can do is do the habit every day.

Letting Go of Judging People. By Leo Babauta One of the best changes I’ve made to help me be happier is learning to see judging other people as a red flag. Declutter Your Life. By Leo Babauta There was a time, about 8 years ago, when my life was cluttered. I had too much stuff, and it kept coming in all the time. I had too much to do, and didn’t know how to simplify my schedule. Living With Chaos. ‘In chaos, there is fertility.’ ~Anaïs Nin Post written by Leo Babauta. Recently I wrote about the illusion of control, and living with no goals. The Zen of Tech: 12 Powerful Ways to Keep Your Online Life Simple and Peaceful.

“Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.” – Alan Watts. Zen Productivity. Zen Habits.