The Process of Habit Creation


Habit Development - Explained

Unconscious & Unskilled

All habits happen through the same basic, 4 phase process. CharacterStrong is built to create effective habits of love, compassion, and empathy in our life.

  1. Unconscious and Unskilled: I don't know what the skill is or how to do it and I've certainly never tried it or applied it before, so I have very little or no knowledge and I'm not very good at the skill. This is where I am with basketball - I've never played and really don't know what the rules are. When someone tells me they play Point Guard, I literally don't know what that means. So, I'm obviously not very good at basketball. But, if wanted to get better, I might try to do some research or ask a coach or a friend who knows a lot of about basketball. They might explain the rules, the positions, what good form looks like, etc. After some research and a lot of questions, I might get to the next level in my skill or habit of basketball...
  2. Conscious and Unskilled: I'm aware of what it means to be a good player, but that doesn't mean I am a good player yet. Just because I know HOW to do something, doesn't make me SKILLED at that thing. I think this is where many of us are with skills like Kindness, Honesty, Forgiveness, etc. We KNOW that these things are important and we can define them, but we aren't very SKILLED at them until we start to PRACTICE. If I wanted to get better at basketball, I would show up every day to practice and work on the skills I want to develop. I would shoot shots, pass passes, dribble, free throw, and develop stamina. With enough (and consistent) practice, I would eventually (3-6 months) arrive at...
  3. Conscious and Skilled: Not only do I know HOW to do it, I am SKILLED at doing it. I have put in enough practice to be knowledgable and competent. People want me on their team because I have developed, over time, into a good player. But, if I want to be a great player, I have to practice proactively, consistently, and over a long period of time. Some people say it is 10,000 hours of rehearsal or practice until you can be called an expert or reach this final stage...
  4. Unconscious and Skilled: I do things skillfully without even thinking about it. In basketball, my form for shooting is muscle memory. My passes are intuitive. My dribbling is an extension of myself. I am a master, an expert, a great player. I am unconsciously skilled - not out of luck, but because I have put in the time required to grow.

Wouldn't it be cool if the people in our school were unconsciously skilled at being kind? Wouldn't it be incredible if the students in our community were experts at respect? Wouldn't it be amazing if each of us didn't even have to think twice about giving others or ourselves forgiveness? What if we were all masters of patience or skilled in being honest (even when it was uncomfortable)?

That's what CharacterStrong is all about. Giving people the workout equipment they need to create effective habits of love in their life. We all WANT to be better people, but like any other muscle or skill or habit in our life, we must first learn what that looks like and then relentlessly PRACTICE.

Throughout CharacterStrong, you'll notice the dares all focus on one Character Trait per month. We think consistency is important (and it is said that effective habits when we do things for 24 days straight). You'll also notice that each week focuses on a specific element of that Character Trait and, throughout the week, the dares increase in difficulty (denoted by the weight symbols). That is intended to line up with the 4 Levels of Habit Development above - start small, make you aware, practice, and master. Obviously, it's impossible to master anything in a week, but we wanted to give you a framework to start!