This Wednesday: My Manifesto for Habits, plus an assortment of other manifestos.
Writing a personal manifesto is a great exercise for clarifying your thinking — and it’s also a creative, absorbing process. I’ve written my Twelve Personal Commandments, and I also collect Secrets of Adulthood, which aren’t manifestos, but related to the same impulse.
As I’ve been writing Better Than Before, my book about how we make and break habits, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about habit-formation.
I decided I should write my manifesto for habits. Earlier, I’d done a similar exercise, where I distilled each strategy of the book into one sentence, and I also made a list of Secrets of Adulthood for Habits, but they aren’t quite manifestos.
Voila, here’s my Habits Manifesto. What would you add (or subtract)?
You manage what you monitor.
You’re not very different from other people, but those differences are very important.
First things first.
By giving something up, you may gain.
What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.
Self-regard isn’t selfish; when you give more to yourself, you can ask more from yourself.
Make it easy to do right and hard to go wrong.
There is no finish line.
Make sure that the things you do to feel better don’t make you feel worse.
Temporary often becomes permanent, and permanent often proves temporary.
You can’t make people change, but if you change, others may change.
I love manifestos, and anything even vaguely manifesto-like. If you love them, too, check out…
Google’s manifesto about Ten things we know to be true
Mindy Kaling’s Voice Checklist for her writers’ room
Tolstoy’s 10 rules for life
Have you ever written a manifesto for yourself? Or do you know of other good ones? I collect them.