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How to Quit Bad Habits Right Now Using "Friction"

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https://www.dansilvestre.com/quit-bad-habits/

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How to Quit Bad Habits Right Now Using "Friction"
To quit bad habits, make them so hard to do that even thinking about starting it leaves you exhausted. Follow these 2 simple steps to remove bad habits from your life. And some recommendations on to remove those habits by adding layers of "friction".

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How Friction Can Help You

In tech, friction refers to the steps a customer needs to take to perform a certain action. Too many steps and your funnel starts to leak.

For you, on the other hand, the harder it is...

1115 SAVES


To Quit Bad Habits

  • Grab a piece of paper and write down all the habits that you think are unhealthy and want to get rid of. Once you have finished, rank them in order. Now start with number #1. Fo...

1354 SAVES


Quitting Social Media

  • Remove all social media apps from your phone
  • Change your passwords to something impossible to remember. Save them in a document/cloud
  • Log out after each session.
  • The ra...

728 SAVES


Quit Excessive Web Browsing

  • Use a time tracker to figure where you spend most of your web browsing. Knowing the time-wasters is the first step
  • Remove the Bookmarks bar. Next time you want to browse something, you...

703 SAVES


Quitting Coffee

  • Sell, donate or throw away your coffee maker at home. If you want coffee, you’ll need to go outside.
  • Put tea next to the coffee.
  • Don’t drink sodas, as most of them are caffeina...

396 SAVES


Quit Compulsive Shopping

  • Never buy an item on the first impulse.
  • Unsubscribe from all newsletters with “discounts” and “special offers”. 
  • Same for the physical life: don’t go to the mall to buy so...

531 SAVES


Dealing With Binge Eating

  • Don’t even buy snacks at the supermarket. 
  • Switch your meals to defaults by eating the same things over and over again. 
  • Trade unhealthy snacks with healthy ones.&nbs...

667 SAVES


SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

What causes bad habits

Most of the time, bad habits are simply a way of dealing with stress and boredom.

Everything from biting your nails to overspending on a shopping spree to drinking every weekend to ...

"Benefits" of bad habits

All of the habits that you have right now — good or bad — are in your life because they provide a benefit to you, even if they are bad for you in other ways.

And because bad habits provide some type of benefit in your life, it's very difficult to simply eliminate them. Instead, you need to replace a bad habit with a new habit that provides a similar benefit.

How to break a bad habit

  • Choose a substitute for your bad habit
  • Cut out as many triggers as possible. 
  • Surround yourself with people who live the way you want to live.
  • Visualize yourself succeeding and avoid negative self-talk.
  • Plan for failure and find things that can help you bounce back when you make a mistake.

"Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking."

Marcus Aurelius

Where Happiness Comes From

Phenomena that happen outside of us don’t cause happiness. They might be correlated with happiness but it’s not a cause-and-effect relationship. 

The most important part is what happens in our brain between the external event (a good cup of coffee) and our state of happiness.

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."

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Bad habits

Nothing sabotages your productivity quite like bad habits.

They slow you down, decrease your accuracy, make you less creative, and stifle your performance.

Impulsively surfing the internet

It takes you 15 consecutive minutes of focus before you can fully engage in a task. Once you do, you fall into flow, a state of increased productivity.

Click in and out of your work enough times to check the news of social media, and you can go through an entire day without experiencing flow.

Perfectionism

We freeze up when it’s time to get started because we know that our ideas aren’t perfect and what we produce might not be any good.

But you can never produce something great if you don't get started and give your ideas time to evolve.

7 more ideas

Default choices

Default choices

90% of your daily decisions happen automatically, many shaped by your environment. Thus, most decisions are a habit, not a deliberate choice.

To make smarter choices, design smarter...

Designing your life

Design your life like a choice architect:

  • Encourage smarter decisions you want to do by making them more accessible.
  • Add friction to habits you want to quit, making them less accessible, or remove the option to perform them completely.

Richard Thaler

Richard Thaler

“First, never underestimate the power of inertia. Second, that power can be harnessed.” 

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Everyone wants to cultivate better habits. The problem is very few of us want to do the work to make those habits a reality.

Develop better habits by:

  • Thinking really small: it accumulates and adds up in a big way;
  • Shifting your evironment, so that good habits are easier to keep;
  • Piggybacking new habits on old habits: 
  • Surrounding yourself with good people:
  • Keeping it simple: short lists, reachable;
  • Picking yourself up when you fall.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” 

Aristotle

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

Taking On Two Or More Habits At Once

No matter how much enthusiasm we have for the goals, taking on even just two habits at once is setting ourselves up for failure, because greatly increases the difficulty of sticking to it.

Pick only one habit to change and devote all of your energy to that, and once it’s on autopilot, move on to the next one.

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Struggling To Build Healthy Habits

  • We tend to bite off more than we can chew, go too fast too soon, and then get overwhelmed too quickly.
  • We’re conditioned these days to expect and receive instant gratification.

Your “Big Why”

As you’re determining the habits or resolutions you’re trying to set, make the habit part of a bigger cause that’s worth the struggle.

You’re not just going to the gym, you’re building a new body that you’re not ashamed of so you can start dating again.

Healthy Habit Building 101

There are 3 parts to a good or bad habit: Cue (what triggers the action), Routine (the action itself), Reward (the positive result because of the action).

You have trained your brain to take a cue (you see a doughnut), anticipate a reward (a sugar high), and make the behavior automatic (nom that donut). 

Compare that to a cue (you see your running shoes), anticipate a reward (a runner’s high), and make the behavior automatic (go for a run!).

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Feeling busy

We live in a distracting world, and it’s not getting any better. We are constantly bombarded with new information.

It's natural to think we need more discipline or willpower to resist the ons...

Acceptance of distracting technology

Technology companies work hard to create products that bring convenience and delight. In turn, they benefit when we use these technologies more.

Our willing acceptance of distracting apps and our culture of constant busyness shows how normal these things have become. So, feeling busy and distracted is not your fault. However, you can take up the responsibility to change the defaults of distraction and busyness.

Remove distracting apps

The smartphone is the simplest and most effective way to reclaim your time and attention.

In contrast to hacks like disabling notifications, removing apps cuts the distraction where it starts. The app is still available, and we can still use it and check email and read the news, but we can do it on our terms.

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Priming the Environment

Whenever you organize a space for its intended purpose, you are priming it to make the next action easy. This is one of the most practical and simple ways to improve your habits.

Ideas to prime your environment

  • To draw more: Put your pencils, pens, notebooks, and drawing tools on top of your desk, within easy reach.
  • To exercise more: Set out your workout clothes, shoes, gym bag, and water bottle ahead of time.
  • To improve your diet: Chop up a ton of fruits and vegetables on weekends and pack them in containers, so you have easy access to healthy, ready-to-eat options during the week.

Make bad behaviors difficult

If you watch too much television, unplug it after each use. Only plug it back in if you can say out loud the name of the show you want to watch. (Which prevents you from turning on Netflix and “just finding something” to watch.) This setup creates just enough friction to prevent mindless viewing.

Routines and structure

Having no routine or structure is so much more draining mentally, physically, and emotionally than any routine could ever be. 

You're depriving your body and mind of the energy an...

Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy

"Good habits are hard to form but easy to live with. Bad habits are easy to form but hard to live with." 

No e-mails in the morning

If you immediately check your email or social media accounts when you wake up in the morning, you’re starting your day off in reactive mode instead of proactive. It means spending the best part of the day on other people's priorities.

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