The process of habit formation is complex. What works for one individual might not click for another. I have had clients who only needed to hear things one time and can implement that particular practice that evening and never look back. This is rare. The majority of us struggle in spite of being very intelligent and aware of their status. Habits persist for months and sometimes many years.
A little brain science.
Our brain favors things that require less energy or effort. That is why we really never void ourselves from habits. We just add new ones and over time these become our better practices and hopefully our habits.
Since our brain prefers an easier route, one strategy (hack) to cement a new positive habit involves reducing the energy necessary to execute the habit. Habit experts refer to this as reducing the friction to execute the better habit practice.
Here are some examples:
-In order to eat a vegetable scramble for breakfast instead of the $tarbucks muffin you leave the skillet on the stove and insure that eggs and veggies are in the refrigerator.
-In order to get to the gym before work you place all your exercise clothing at the end of the bed before retiring for the evening.
-If you hire a fitness coach you pay him in advance.
-If you want to read 30 minutes per day you leave your books out in a location you can reach them each day.
-If you don't have access to a gym you purchase a ????? piece of equipment for your home.
Habit hacks to reduce or remove a deleterious habit works in the exact opposite direction You need to INCREASE the friction.
- Clean out the pantry of any food you can not moderate. IF you absolutely need it then you have to fire up a mode of transportation to get it.
- If you are wanting to reduce the amount of television you are viewing then remove the batteries from the remote and unplug the power source at the end of the evening.
- Related to the above and to insure that you get to bed at a reasonable hour you place a timer on the television that cuts off the power when it is time to retire.
- If you need to reduce your social media life then delete the APPS on your phone.
- Place all your adult beverages in the darkest and furtherest corner of the basement. Same goes for those horrible-fore-you chips and snacks.
Improve good habit by decreasing friction. Eliminate bad habit by increasing friction