Ground States for Habit Change

Aman Manazir
Issue #1
July 23, 2020

Hello everyone,

Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday! This is our very first newsletter, and we're so excited to get things started! Expect a new thought every Thursday at noon, provided we stay on our schedule.

I decided to kick things off with an interesting lifestyle change that I implemented a few months ago which has been extremely helpful to my self-development. As a child, I was an avid reader; however, this habit died off as soon as I entered high school. I recently challenged myself to get back into reading and read at least one book every week of any genre.

I found this difficult to accomplish at first until I ran into the idea of "ground states." Your ground state is what you do in between tasks, your default micro-activity which you use to fill short periods of empty time. Usually, this activity is to follow the path of least resistance, which for most people ends up being scrolling through Instagram or Snapchat, a habit they've built up over several years.

I challenged myself to delete all social media apps from my phone during the day and to take advantage of these micro-breaks; I forced myself to open up the Kindle app and read whenever I was just sitting around in between important tasks.

This strategy proved to be incredibly useful; I found myself reading at least one hour every day, just through utilizing these tiny periods of time. Coupled with reading every night before bed, I was easily able to achieve my goal of a weekly book.

In my experience, the hardest part about picking up reading was the act of opening the book and getting started, rather than the actual reading itself.

Whenever you're trying to adopt a new habit, keep in mind the idea of ground states and use them to your advantage.

Have a great weekend!

My Favorite Things This Week

This week, I read The Ride of a Lifetime by former CEO of Disney Bob Iger. It was a deeply emotional read and incredible book. You can read my review of it here.

A few months ago I started watching this personal finance YouTuber named Graham Stephan. He has a ton of highly informative videos on finance and investing for young people, and I've learned a lot from him.

A couple weeks ago, Tim Ferriss interviewed the legendary actor Hugh Jackman on his podcast. This interview was a transformative experience, and it made me rethink many aspects of my passions.

Quote of the Week

"The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." - Mark Twain

This Week on Manazir

Roads to Understanding - In this blog post, I discuss three different methods that I've isolated that you can use to truly understand an abstract concept.

Can't Hurt Me is a book by ex-navy seal David Goggins, where he details his life story from his traumatic childhood to his impossible record-breaking achievements and the methods he used to build mental toughness. You can read my review of it here.

This Week's Videos

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