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Easy & Proven Techniques for Building Habits

9 experts tell us their technique to speed up adoption of habits. Quite a variety:

Shalini Rajani, Head – Training & Call Center at Fino Payments Bank: As I grow older, I see around me people not interested to learn from the new generation; they feel only what they have done over a period of time is correct. I am little different; I am very open to learn. The youth, my team members, even my own son, they keep teaching me. This helps me a lot.

The new generation comes to me with their ideas. Even though I have my own ideas, I want them to run their ideas first. My team members keep on coming with new technical aspects or other information to me, and they keep teaching me also. Learning is the most important thing, at any age. No matter how old you are, how senior you are, you have to learn every day. So never say no to learning.

Lalitha Bhatia, Chief Operating Officer at Ageas Federal Life Insurance Company: I was reading Robin Sharma’s book and he has said that it takes 21 days to inculcate a habit. There are things I want to do like adopting some hobby, reading a book or getting into gardening. I want to do something which is away from the routine. Being with plants, taking care of them gives a kind of mental refreshment, and that helped me during the lockdown. I was able to work more on more habits, like I started walking to improve my physical strength. Earlier, I would not get time. So, if you can devote time, you can do it. Working on your physical health is very critical, especially for women. Take care of yourself and have certain targets towards physical stamina and also towards your mental strength.


Nitu Samra, Chief Financial Officer at LeasePlan India: I do invest in reading a lot of motivational content which helps me to do things more passionately. It gives me the zeal that I need to achieve more in life. I recommend having a simple to-do or calendar to plan effectively. The other habit comes from the book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It says ‘dos and calendars are the first level of planning. Over the years, I have come to the 2nd and 3rd levels, which include categorizing what is more important and what is more urgent.

Continuous learning is another way, and if I don’t have that in my plan, I won’t be investing in myself.

Rajashree Nambiar, Former MD & CEO at Fullerton India Credit Company: I use a diary. When I am at a crossroad, I write down what good and bad are going on. If there are any challenges that are bothering me, then I change my style or course of action. When I write down, I get more clarity. As I changed the course, I realize there are new things to be adapted and bought into practice. I believe putting your mind on paper brings in a lot of clarity. It throws light on what you need to be doing in the short and medium term ahead.

Mauli Bodiwala, AGM – HR at The Kalupur Commercial Cooperative Bank: Everyday, we come to know about the good things, but if we convert them into implementation, and that too on a daily basis, only then it becomes a habit. So, if I decide one thing, I continuously follow it up for the next 30 days. If you do it for 30 days, from the 31st day it will definitely become your habit.

There is another strategy I follow to remember things. For something which I have read and I want to know it again and again, I just try to read it again within 24 hours. Then, I repeat it every 7 days, and then I again repeat it after 30 days.

I love teaching as well. So, when I teach my students, I tell them that if you develop this habit, you will definitely remember things. These are the techniques which I apply for formation of habits.

Monu Jain, Country Head – Mid Corporate Banking & SME Business at IndusInd Bank: It is more sub-conscious rather than conscious. Clearly, repetition is the key. Your brain gets rewired. But you also need to pick up some rewards when trying to adopt a new habit. You need to say: ‘If I do this, I will give myself this. Dopamine has to kick in.’

Shoma Narayanan, Executive Director – Group Strategic Marketing & Communications at DBS Bank India: One of the things I try to do is to lock one habit on to another. For example, I already used to read, and so when I decided to start on to my learning journey, I figured that I am going to spend X amount of time reading in a day in any case. So, rather than reading something that was just general interest, I used to ensure that in a month I read at least 2-3 books, which would help with some kind of learning or other. Similarly, with exercising – set a specific time. If you don’t do that you tend to delay it.

Purvi Bhavsar, Managing Director at Pahal Financial Services:

If I am convinced that something needs to be corrected or needs to be adopted, I just go after it! Keep practising – I think that is the only way to go!

Babitha B P, CISO at CSB Bank: My mind is always positive and ready to accept and learn new things.

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