Habits are routine behaviors that are performed automatically, requiring little or no conscious effort. They help us solve recurring problems, conserve energy, and manage routine tasks efficiently, freeing up mental resources for more demanding activities.
Examples of Habits
- Drinking a glass of water
- Snacking on chips
- Making coffee first thing in the morning
- Going to sleep at 10PM each night
- Brushing your teeth each evening
- Watching TV after work
Transformative Practices are deliberate, effortful activities that involve focus, thought, and willpower. They challenge us to grow, learn, and improve by engaging our conscious minds. These practices often lead to personal growth, learning, or significant life change, but they require more energy and focus than habits.
Examples of Transformative Practices
- Running each day
- Working out at the gym 4x a week
- Reading a new book each week
- Starting a newsletter
- Learning a new language
- Starting Crossfit
The Habit Bait and Switch
People that buy habit books don’t actually want to create new habits. They want to create Transformative Practices.
The problem is that Transformative Practices can never be habits. They require too much willpower, effort, and thought. They will never be automatic and will never occur with minimal conscious awareness. The science that applies to habit formation does not apply to Transformative Practices.
This is why, year after year, new habit books keep getting published. People are being taught the wrong science and being given the wrong tools for the job.