How to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

"You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine." – John C. Maxwell


According to James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, there are four-step loop that underlies our behaviour: cue, craving, response, and reward. When this loop is repeated, it can form new habits in our life. To build or break habits we need to modify each step of the habit loop. This blog post is more or less summary of Atomic Habits.

James Clear's Habit Loop : Cue, Craving, Response, Reward

James' work was actually heavily influenced by Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit, which uses three-step loop: cue, routine, reward. Both James and Charles are great author. Charless' framework is simpler, but James' explanation is more systematic.

Charless Duhig's Habit Loop : Cue, Routine, Reward

The key to building lasting good habits is focusing on creating a new identity first. Our current behaviors are simply a reflection of our current identity. Start with changing the identity (what we believe we are), then changing the process (what we do), then changing the outcome (what we get).

Good habits will bring positive compounding for our life especially in productivity, knowledge, and relationship. To build good habits we need to emphasize all four steps in habit loop in a positive way.

  1. Cue: Make it obvious
  2. Craving: Make it attractive
  3. Response: Make it easy
  4. Reward: Make it satisfying

In the other hand, bad habits will bring negative compounding such as stress, negative thoughts, and outrage. To break a bad habit we need to emphasize those four steps in a negative way.

  1. Cue: Make it invisible
  2. Craving: Make it unattractive
  3. Response: Make it difficult
  4. Reward: Make it unsatisfying

My Year in Review: 2018

"You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results." – James Clear

This blog post is a regular review of what happened in my life in 2018, what went well and what went wrong. I already started this year-in-review habit since 2011. Hope we can learn something from here.


Intermezzo: For better year-in-review contents, maybe you should watch these two following videos and then just skip all the remaining article.





January
This was the first time I started a new year without any resolution. Instead, I committed to do new habits: making my bed every morning, meditation, exercise, drinking less sugar, daily reading, and weekly charity. I used Habit Tracker app to monitor the progress, and finally.. I made it partly. Some habits were still lack of consistency. However, at least I made good progress.


At work, we went through 2016 with ups and downs. After working with more than a hundred projects, we took a break to have company gathering for both Jakarta and Bandung team.


We had two-days trip in Lembang and visited Dusun Bambu, Farm House, Floating Market, Gracia Spa, Kawah Putih, and Glamping Lake Side. For some people it was their first experience visiting Bandung and meeting Bandung team in person. Everyone had fun, and hopefully I could bring them to some farther place next time.


I started my volunteering activities in 2018 by joining Kelas Inspirasi Lombok. It was my second time participating in Lombok. This time we went to Kabupaten Lombok Utara, one of the most under-developed areas in Nusa Tenggara Barat. Despite the school infrastructure that was not good, the kids were very enthusiastic to go to school to meet their friends and teachers.


There was one person that inspired me the most in KI Lombok. He was Pak Luji Hartono, former head of village (kepala dusun) in Selengen, who really cares about his citizens. Whenever people in Selengen had some challenges (for example, it used to be very hard to find clean water there), Pak Luji worked hard to find the way either seeking government support or organizing local communities to work together to solve the problems. He was really the inspiring man in his village.


My First Trip to Eastern Indonesia

Last November, I and other twelve volunteers from Jakarta, Denpasar, Tobelo, and Manokwari were traveling to Serui to share our enthusiasm in improving Indonesian education to teachers in Kabupaten Kepulauan Yapen, Papua. We happily spent our time and energy as our contribution for this beloved country in a volunteering movement, Ruang Berbagi Ilmu (RuBI).

Most of us chose Yapen as our volunteering destination since it was one of the farthest places in RuBI 2018. We might have no idea whether we would visit there unless it was for an important moment like RuBI. Flying from Jakarta to Yapen was like flying from Paris to Moscow but without any direct transportation. To get to Yapen, we had to take flight from Jakarta to Biak, via Makassar. Then from Biak, we had to take another flight or take a local ship to cross to Serui. Darius, one of the volunteers, even had to drive for four hours from Tobelo to get to the nearest airport in Ternate, before flying to Makassar, Biak, and Serui. And we did all those trips voluntarily without any sponsor. 😊

"Unity in Diversity" (Papua Hei, Yapen, 2018) – 📸 by Darius

Preparation for Papua
The volunteers were not random people. We had to submit an essay about why we wanted to join this program and what we would share to teachers in remote area. After the committee carefully assessed our essays and selected the applicants in September 2018, we gathered in Jakarta to have briefing and get to know with each other. We then met for several times to understand who our audiences were. We learned that the local education activists in Yapen came from various elements in the society, not only teachers but also pastors, army, and professionals. We also gathered few times to discuss about our knowledge sharing materials. We carefully prepared every materials to share with those experienced teachers.

And eventhough the number of volunteers in our group decreased from 30 to 13 people due to various circumstances (well, it was a voluntary activity, nobody could be forced to do anything), we kept our enthusiasm high because we learned that kids in Yapen were very enthuastic to come to school to learn from their teachers although those kids had to walk quite far to get to school. 💪🏽



[Briefing Relawan Narasumber dan Dokumentator RuBI 2018] Puji syukur briefing relawan narasumber dan dokumentator RuBI hari Sabtu kemarin telah berjalan dengan lancar. Acara ini dihadiri oleh 64 orang narasumber dan 14 orang dokumentator. Antusiasme energi positif sangat terasa di setiap sesinya. Relawan itu bergerak dan menggerakkan untuk saling berkolaborasi. Terus semangat untuk bergerak meningkatkan kualitas pendidikan Indonesia yang lebih baik lagi. Penggerak RuBI 2018, Bergerak Bersama, Berbagi Selamanya ! ___________________________________ Facebook dan Youtube : Ruang Berbagi Ilmu Instagram dan Twitter : @rberbagi_ilmu Website : www.ruangberbagiilmu.com #RuangBerbagiIlmu #Relawan #RelawanRuBI #RelawanRuBI2018 #RuBIBersama #RuBIIstimewa #RuBIKolaborAksi #BergerakBersama #berbagiselamanya #briefingrelawan
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From the moment I wrote my essay to join RuBI Yapen, I remember Bu Helena, my science teacher in SMP St. Mikael Cimahi, who moved to Papua 16 years ago. She and her husband started a ministry and built a school in Jayapura. Right after the announcement of selected volunteers, I contacted Bu Helena and asked her if I can visit her school for few days, and she happily welcome me. I invited other RuBI volunteers to join me, and Andreas was willing to allocate more time to share happiness to elementary and middle school students in Sekolah Papua Kasih.

I also conducted some research about tourism in Papua, but unfortunately there were only few references about traveling in Jayapura, Biak, and Serui. Most articles I got were from TripAdvisor and some outdated blogs. Other information like local public transportation (flight, boat, bus, etc) were also very limited. Surely there were a lot of homeworks for the government tourism office of Papua to promote the beautiful sides of Papua besides Raja Ampat.