Derrick Rose, trying to eat less candy [and other habits takeaways]

Welcome to Quarantine 15: a spot of joy in your inbox on work, life, and navigating the start of 2021. In case we haven’t met, I’m Nikki Gusz, a co-founder of Lloyd, a career GPS for young professionals. You can follow me on Twitter @nkgusz or subscribe to this email newsletter here.


Today, around here you’ll find:

(1) A little reflection on the week

(2) A top 10 list

(3) A treat from me

(1) A little reflection on the week

For me, a highlight of this past week was hearing from a group of thinkers on habits, especially in uncertain times. One of my biggest takeaways was that not all habits are the same—even for the same person, trying to implement different habits can vary in approach / “success” (more on this below). We must be determined, while also gentle and patient. Habit change is hard, but there are ways to make it easier!

(2) A top 10 list

Here is a top 10 list from our panel on habits in uncertain times. Panelists included:

  • Dr. Azizi Seixas, Assistant Professor at NYU School of Medicine, Department of Population Health and the Center for Healthful Behavior Change

  • Emily Hochman, CEO of Wellory

  • Josh Bonhotal, Founding Team of Future

  • Samuel Salzer, Behavior Designer and Habit Expert

Below is a top 10 list of what we learned from them.

  1. Habits are ingrained in our everyday life, sometimes without us even knowing it. It's something ideally you do without thinking about it. Research shows that 43% of our daily activities are done subconsciously.

  2. Behavior change often does not go 0-100. Realize success is typically found gradually and over time. Start small. Don't push it off until tomorrow, start with it today (i.e., edit 5 resume bullets, workout for 7-10 minutes). Keep it small and consistent.

  3. To help change a behavior, consider distance as a factor. For example, is the fast food restaurant or gym easier for you to reach? Changing your environment can help build a habit, and think about using distance to your advantage (i.e., make it easier / more convenient to do what you want).

  4. Not all behaviors are created equally—acknowledge that it may be easier or harder to change certain habits than others.

  5. Humans are social creatures. Social support can pull us in the right and wrong directions. When we team up with someone else, we are up to 95% more likely to achieve our goals

  6. NBA star Derrick Rose was a high performing athlete, but even he realized how hard it was to build good eating habits. It is alright to recognize that change is difficult and that you often need to start small.

  7. "Success" with behavior and habits can be hard to quantify and often is in the eye of the beholder. Many people, products, and environments will think about streaks. Realize if you miss once, not all is lost, there can be a compounding interest. Remember your successes and keep going.

  8. If you are building a health related habit, think of the four health pillars: exercise, good nutrition, relaxation and sleep. Working on one of these habits can impact many areas of your life.

  9. Prepare for your habits (i.e., prepare to go to sleep, prepare to work on your job search). Also, employ a paradigm shift—behavior change is not black or white, it is gradual. 

  10. See what you're trying to do as an experiment—see what works and make it more fun!

Thanks again to the awesome panelists.

(3) A treat from me

Do you have a career habit you’re trying to improve? It can be hard to do so on your own. Email me (nikki@withlloyd.com), and I’ll provide a bit feedback and accountability!