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Habits vs. Skills: What's the Difference?

Habits 2 Goals: The Habit Factor® Podcast with Martin Grunburg

Release Date: 07/18/2022

Habits and Goals: The Crucial Relationship show art Habits and Goals: The Crucial Relationship

Habits 2 Goals: The Habit Factor® Podcast with Martin Grunburg

"Habits and goals, by design, complement each other."   Oh, the irony. When The Habit Factor® was published in 2010, the idea of using habits to achieve goals as a process for goal achievement was unheard of. The Habit Factor's subtitle demonstrates its originality at the time: An Innovative Method to Align Habits with Goals to Achieve Success. Due to its predominantly negative connotation, all of the prior goal achievement best practices excluded habit entirely. Processes like S.M.A.R.T. goals did not mention habits. Even scientific research papers that studied the relationship...

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The Wind! show art The Wind!

Habits 2 Goals: The Habit Factor® Podcast with Martin Grunburg

"Everything is difficult before it is easy." ~Thomas Fuller Resistance comes in many forms. The wind is a terrific example. It turns out that without any wind trees cannot grow strong and will topple over. The same is observed in our life. If we are without resistance—if there is no pressure—how can we grow stronger? Pursing goals and ideals provides ample resistance to grow, learn and become stronger. Lifting weights, as an example, proves resistance makes us stronger. The wind offers other clues. MG happens to notice that even boats lying at anchor, FACE THE WIND. This is analogous...

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Balance Exists! show art Balance Exists!

Habits 2 Goals: The Habit Factor® Podcast with Martin Grunburg

"Being off-balance is a sign to adjust, to move in the opposite direction—to regain equilibrium." Far too many Goo-Roos insist that balance is BOGUS—that BALANCE doesn't exist. What they appear to be missing is the dynamism of life. Life is hardly a static event. In fact, the very sensation that one is off-balance is proof that balance exists! The key is the awareness.The sensation of being off-balance presents an opportunity to make an adjustment. The truth is, everyone is off-balance from time to time, arguably MOST of the time. It's the adjustments that help keep one in balance and...

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Habits vs. Skills: What's the Difference? show art Habits vs. Skills: What's the Difference?

Habits 2 Goals: The Habit Factor® Podcast with Martin Grunburg

"Today is the eight day of the month. Tomorrow is the 13th." ~Zen Koan Skills vs. habits. Habits vs. skills. What's the difference? Bound by language, experts in behavioral science tend to struggle as they attempt to delineate the two. (See Zen koan above).   MG suggests these scientists are missing the most important aspect of their relationship: How similar habits and skills are! There are many favorable reasons to regard habits and skills as nearly identical.   First, it helps to remove the predominately negative connotation that habits carry. Skills are rarely, if ever,...

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Negativity! show art Negativity!

Habits 2 Goals: The Habit Factor® Podcast with Martin Grunburg

"Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things they are transformed." ~Thich Naht Hanh In a universe comprised of energy, it's impossible to extract negativity. So, what is it's value? It turns out, negativity has tremendous value. Within medicine for instance, a negative Covid-19 test is very positive. Science experiments with negative results bring the scientist closer to a correct solution. Negativity can be problematic in relationships. Most humans tend to gravitate toward positive, kind and loving relationships. Even though people who are negative may be smarter or funnier, they are...

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PAIN! show art PAIN!

Habits 2 Goals: The Habit Factor® Podcast with Martin Grunburg

"Genius is the infinite capacity for taking pains." ~Thomas Carlyle Pain is something everyone can relate to. Pain hurts. Yet, what happens when we pursue a goal and along the way, encounter pain? Should we just quit? Another definition of pain is "careful effort; great care or trouble." Pain is often a requirement for growth and learning. And, pain is a key, leading indicator that one is on the path toward something meaningful and worthwhile. Hence, Carlyle's great quote above. Your goal may be getting more fit, or writing the next great novel. Rest assured, tremendous pain stands between...

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The Accordion Method: How to Improve Productivity & Creativity show art The Accordion Method: How to Improve Productivity & Creativity

Habits 2 Goals: The Habit Factor® Podcast with Martin Grunburg

"The successful person is just the average person, focused." Why are deadlines important? Deadlines create pressure. Pressure creates focus and concentration, which are essential components of productivity and creativity. The accordion method, much like the whimsical musical instrument, works by creating pressure and then releasing it. The accordion is a terrific model for how anyone can intentionally use pressure to be more focused and productive. The challenge for many people is that they don't appreciate the value of pressure, largely because it creates discomfort. Thus, few people impose...

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Strengths vs. Weaknesses show art Strengths vs. Weaknesses

Habits 2 Goals: The Habit Factor® Podcast with Martin Grunburg

"So many Goo-Roos preach the idea that you should just focus on your strengths. The reason it's called 'Personal Development' is it involves both—improving your weaknesses and capitalizing on strengths." "Shouldn't people just focus on what they are good at?" Someone asked MG this question when he recommended tracking fitness habits even if fitness isn't someone's strength.  It's crucial to point out that The Habit Factor® methodology is both a specific process to develop habits by following P.A.R.R., and a general framework that allows the user to identify their goal along with the...

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EFFORT! show art EFFORT!

Habits 2 Goals: The Habit Factor® Podcast with Martin Grunburg

"Effort is the special ingredient that helps one to develop discipline. P.A.R.R. is the process that reduces the effort." Effort, as a concept, is so significant that it's part of the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path. While there are very few things we can control directly, our effort is one of them. In a post-game press conference, pursuing his 4th NBA title, Steph Curry reminded the press, "The one thing I can control is my effort." What makes the topic interesting is that it's the desire to be lazy—to put in less effort— that often sparks innovation and creativity. Exhibit A, B, and C: The...

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How to Use Scheduling to Build Habits show art How to Use Scheduling to Build Habits

Habits 2 Goals: The Habit Factor® Podcast with Martin Grunburg

"An essential ingredient to scheduling and habit building is experimenting." MG and Jen discuss this week's all important topic: How to use scheduling to best cultivate habits. In short, the day and time you choose to cultivate a habit largely depends upon the habit itself. If the habit is creative, such as "writing" you may want to set aside the times of day you are most creative. If the habit is exercise related, than you'll want to identify the best times and days you'll have the time and energy. By following P.A.R.R. (Plan, Act, Record & Reassess), and identifying the "targets" days (and...

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"Today is the eight day of the month. Tomorrow is the 13th." ~Zen Koan

Skills vs. habits. Habits vs. skills. What's the difference?

Bound by language, experts in behavioral science tend to struggle as they attempt to delineate the two. (See Zen koan above).
 
MG suggests these scientists are missing the most important aspect of their relationship: How similar habits and skills are!

There are many favorable reasons to regard habits and skills as nearly identical.
 
First, it helps to remove the predominately negative connotation that habits carry. Skills are rarely, if ever, thought of as "bad" or negative.

Second, it reinforces how POSITIVE HABIT BUILDING FOLLOWS THE SAME PROCESS AS SKILL BUILDING. This is precisely what The Habit Factor's P.A.R.R. method has taught since 2010.
 
When it comes to developing good habits, the same sort of desire, effort, and practice is required that skills demand. Which underscores how ineffective "The Habit Loop" is when it comes to intentional habit building.

Further, by juxtaposing P.A.R.R. against "The four levels of competence" model, developed by Martin M. Broadwell, we can see how both habit and skill capability improve similarly.

LEVEL ONE: Unconscious Incompetence:
I don't even know that tying my shoes will be helpful.

LEVEL TWO: Conscious Incompetence:
I've just started to learn, and I'm really struggling.

LEVEL THREE: Conscious Competence: I'm much better at tying my shoes now, and it's getting easier.

LEVEL FOUR:  Unconscious Competence: The highest level: I tie my shoes without even looking or much thought!

Level four is where both habits and skills share the greatest similarity and, interestingly enough, they reside in the same place in the brain!.

It always takes effort and practice to develop good habits, just like it does for skills.
 
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