Updated: Dec 1, 2021
It is almost time! The year of 2021 is almost here, and with it the thoughts and dreams of a better and more productive new year. Year after year we start with two lists. The first one has all the amazing and brave goals that we look for to achieve. The second, all the "not so good" behaviors and habits that we want to interrupt. Every year is the same, we try our best to follow our intentions but usually when December comes not much has been changed. Our aspirations are still far away and our bad behaviors bigger than never.
Without a good plan it is almost certain that we will fail again, but it does not need to be this way. Bellow are some great tips of how you can create good habits or break bad ones. Pick a behavior and follow along. To create a new habit there are 4 things we can do: 1) Make it obvious; 2) Make it attractive; 3) Make it easier; 4) Make it satisfying. Let's break them down! To make the behavior more obvious you can try a few things: a) Fill out a habit scorecard. Write down your new habits in a paper or online sheet so that you became more aware of them. b) Use implementation intentions: "I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION]".
c) Use habit stacking: "After I [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT]".
d) Start designing your environment. Make the cues of the new good habit more obvious and visible. To make the behavior more attractive try this ones: a) Use temptation bundling. Pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do. b) Join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior. c) Create a motivation ritual. Do something you enjoy immediately before a difficult habit. Making the behavior easier... is surprisingly easy (kkk): a) Reduce the friction. Decrease the number of steps between you and your good habits. b) Prime the environment. Prepare your environment to make future actions easier. c) Master the decisive moment. Optimize the small choices that deliver outsized impact. d) Use the two-minute rule. Downscale your habits until they can be done in two minutes or less. e) Automate your habits. Invest in technology and one time purchases that lock in future behavior. And lastly, make it more satisfying: a) Using reinforcement. Give yourself an immediate reward when you complete your new habit. b) Making "doing nothing" enjoyable. When avoiding a bad habit, design a way to see the benefits. c) Using a habit tracker. Keep track of your habit streak and "don't break the chain." d) Never miss twice. When you forget to do a habit, make sure you get back on track immediately.
“Be the designer of your world and not merely the consumer of it.” ― James Clear
Did you follow along the tips of creating a habit with pen and paper and your behavior in mind? If so, you are ready to continue, but if your answer was NO, please go back to the top and start following along. Just by reading this information you won't make any real changes. To change we must act. Go on, I'll wait for you =)
"Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile." ― Abu Bakr
Now, to break a habit all we have to do is the opposite of what we've done: 1) Make it invisible;
2) Make it unattractive; 3) Make it difficult;
4) Make it unsatisfying. Break it down! To make a behavior invisible: a) Reduce exposure. Remove the cues of your bad habits from your environment. How to make it unattractive? a) Reframe your mind-set. Highlight the benefits of avoiding your bad habits. And if we want to make it more difficult? a) Increase friction. Increase the number of steps between you and your bad habits. b) Use a commitment device. Restrict your future choices to the ones that benefit you. If nothing else works we can make it unsatisfying: a) Get an accountability partner, a coach or a friend. Ask someone to watch your behavior. b) Create a habit contract. Make the costs of your bad habits public and painful. No matter what behavior you choose to create or break, if you follow these tips I am certain you will have greater years to come. No more untouched lists or unachieved dreams, but beautiful stories to tell and amazing results on the belt. Remember my friend, just consuming information will not be enough, try it out, test it out, take action towards your goals. If you think you can't do it alone, let me know! I would be delighted to connect and to help on your quest! Until next time!