Learn how to get rid of bad habits and develop good habits.
Law 1: The starting point (problem).
- Make it obvious to create a good habit.
- Make an invisible to remove a bad habit.
- This looks into the cues behind our actions.
Tools: Make a list.
Write out your good habits and your bad habits. This will allow you to recognise what you need to work on and what habits are already ingrained in your lifestyle.
Use habit stacking.
Habit stacking is when you pair a new habit with something that you already habitually do. An example is when I brush my teeth I will then go and get my gym clothes ready for the next morning.
Design your environment.
An example being if you want to start flossing regularly place the floss in a visible area within your bathroom environment.
Implementation of intention.
The simple way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence: I will (BEHAVIOR) at (TIME) in (LOCATION). You also want to plan for when things don’t go to plan. Fill out this sentence “When situation X arises, I will perform response Y.”
Law 2: How to stay motivated (problem).
- Make it attractive to create a good habit.
- Make it unattractive to remove a bad habit.
- This looks at the cravings behind our actions. Why we do them.
Find something you already want to do and connect it with the habit you need to do.
Create or find a community.
A community that wants to achieve the same thing you do will give you a supportive social environment.
Law 3: Finding Flow (solution).
- Make it easy to create a good habit.
- Make it difficult to remove a bad habit.
- This looks into our response to our actions.
Use the two-minute rule.
Small habits will build into larger habits. When starting a new habit, it should not feel hard. Tell yourself I must commit to two minutes then if you want to continue that is up to you. As long as you start and complete 2 minutes this gives you the foundation of repetition to ingrain the new habit and build on it over time.
Create an ideal environment.
An environment where it is easy to do the right thing and difficult to do something that will reinforce a bad habit.
Law 4: Reward (solution).
- Make it satisfying to create a good habit.
- Make it unsatisfying to remove a bad habit.
- This looks into the reward response to our actions.
We need to find the point where our actions have a perfect amount of manageable difficulty. We want to be challenged but at the same time don't want to be overwhelmed by the challenge.
We want to see visual progress.
A great way of doing this is habit tracking. An example is having a list and ticking off the elements you successfully manage each day.
You will want to form an ability to be accountable for what you are trying to achieve. Examples of this include hiring a coach, writing a contract for yourself which states what happens when you miss something you've committed to. In your habit contract, you should write your objective, the consequence and what you will do for accountability.
The objective could be I will hit a calorie goal within 100 calories each day.
Consequence if I fall outside this objective, I will not be able to order take away next week. Accountability I will fill in a spreadsheet as my evidence which shows me a run-down of my weekly calorie intake to visually show me if I have achieved my goal each day.
Have a plan for when things don't go to plan.
Never miss … twice. An example if you're trying to eat more vegetables and you go a day without eating any vegetables make sure the next day you get your daily intake of vegetables in to get you back on track. Never miss two consecutive opportunities.
Conclusion: if you want a habit to last you need to be willing to make it apart of your long-term life. For true behaviour change to occur you need to change your identity. You need to ask yourself the question does this behaviour hinder or advance me to becoming the person I want to be?
It’s up to you to choose the person you want to be. You then become your habits.