Published 1st December 2017

What book has impacted the way you think?

A few years ago, I picked up The Power of Habit (when given the chance, a book I encourage everyone to read). I was still living in the US, teaching high school English, figuring out what I wanted my life to look like (I mentioned this in the September Editor’s Note). I still remember that year-- it was a freezing cold winter and I spent a lot of time inside reading. When I began Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, I didn’t realise how much it would change me.

I read about how to form and change habits. Duhigg shares research from MIT on the habit loop, which is made up of three parts: a cue, a routine, and a reward.

I put this research to the test; I wanted to improve as a calligrapher, a hobby I picked up as a way to wind down. Calligraphy requires consistent practice-- it is a muscle that can be quickly lost. I decided to join a friend’s challenge: #365daysofcalligraphy. My cue: when I got home from teaching, I dropped my bag and went to my desk. My routine was writing out that day’s quote, and the reward was sharing it on Instagram.

It worked, and honestly, what kept me engaged was the ‘reward’. It held me accountable, and I liked discovering a new community. Since finishing Duhigg’s book, I have formed other new habits, like training for a half-marathon (the Sundown Half in May 2016). As you think about the new year and what you would like to accomplish, I encourage you to read this research.

For most, the end of the year is a time of celebration and reflection. This month on HQ Asia, we will cover timeless topics like maneuvering a merger and acquisition, and how to manage culture. We will also be sharing articles on transforming workplaces and whether the CEO is really the Chief Executive & Talent Officer (CETO).

We are excited to share these stories with you, which we hope you will keep an eye out for. Please reach out-- whether you have a comment or feedback, a contribution idea, or to share professional goals for the new year. Email me-- I look forward to hearing from you!

- Sara

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