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Build Better Habits

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{Quick Note: If you appreciate my effort into these monthly challenges, please do your best to comment in the group as we go. Your participation is what motivates me.}

Many people think they lack motivation when what they really lack is clarity. It is sometimes unclear when and where to take action.

In the last lesson, we discussed designing a two-minute version of your habit. In this lesson, we will discuss the ideal time and location to insert that habit into your life. In other words, we will find a clear and specific space for your new habit to live. If you can find the right time and the right place for your new habit, everything falls into place.

Here's how to do it:

One effective way to insert a new habit into your life is with an “implementation intention.” An implementation intention is a plan you make beforehand about when and where to act. That is, how you intend to implement your habit.

Scientists have found that if you make an implementation intention, you are more likely to follow through with your plans and stick to your habits. This is true whether you are building habits like recycling, studying, going to sleep early, stopping smoking, and many others.

The simple way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence:

I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].

Let me give you a few examples of what this looks like.

· I will make a green smoothie at 7 am in my kitchen.

· I will stretch at 9 pm in my bedroom.

· I will send my partner a check-in text at the beginning of my lunch break in the office.

· I will open my textbooks at 7 pm at my desk in my dorm room.

· I will make my bed after I turn off my alarm in my bedroom.

The crucial step here is finding the right time and location to insert the new habit into your daily routine. You are looking for the decisive moment where your new habit should live.

Make sure your implementation intention is specific and clear. Here are a few more examples:

· I will drink 16 ounces of water after brushing my teeth in the bathroom.

· I will recycle the junk mail after I get the mail at noon in the mail room.

· I will rank my priorities for the day at 8:30 am at my desk.

When and where you insert a habit into your daily routine can make a big difference. If you’re trying to add meditation into your morning routine but mornings are chaotic, and your kids keep running into the room, that may be the wrong place and time. Consider when you are most likely to be successful. Don’t ask yourself to do a habit when you’re likely to be occupied with something else.

The more tightly bound your new habit is to a specific time and location, the better the odds are that you will notice when the time comes to act.

Week 1 Summary

· True behavior change is identity change. Anyone can convince themselves to visit the gym or eat healthy once or twice, but if you don’t shift the belief behind the behavior, then it is hard to stick with long-term changes. Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who you are. Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.

· A habit must be established before it can be improved. You need to master the art of showing up.

· If you can master the right habit at the right time, everything falls into place. The more tightly bound your new habit is to a specific time and place, the better the odds are that you will notice when the time comes to act.

Your Action Item:

In a group comment, state your clear and specific implementation intention for adding it into your daily routine.



Change Your Habits, Change Your Life Welcome to the 30 Days...


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