Behavior chains

Behavior chains

Creating new habits that stick is easier if we make use of our current routines, instead of trying to fight them.

Use "if-then planning": choose a regular part of your schedule and then build another “link in the chain” by adding a new habit. For example: "If it is lunch time, then I will only eat meat and vegetables.”

@gauravb

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Self Improvement

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“Micro quotas”

In the process of finding a balance between your desire to dream big and your day-to-day activities, create macro quotas.

These refer to the minimum amounts of work that you must get done every single day to make the bigger goal a reality. Quotas make each day approachable, and your goals become achievable.

Simplify decision-making

Making repeated choices depletes our mental energy, even if these choices are mundane and pleasant.

If you want to maintain long term discipline, aim for fewer decisions during the day: identify the aspects of your life that you consider mundane and then ‘routinize’ those aspects as much as possible.

Plan, but don’t fantasize

Excessive fantasizing about results can be extremely harmful when building new habits. The mistake is in what we visualize.

For proper visualization, there are 2 steps:

  • Planning: Visualizing the process helps you focus attention on the steps needed to reach the goal.
  • Emotion: The visualization of individual steps leads to reduced anxiety.
Eliminate “ah-screw-its”

These are the specific moments where you find yourself saying, “Screw this, it’s not worth the effort!” 

Examine your habit and find exactly where things start to break down. New habits are often very fragile, and it is for this reason that we must eliminate any source of friction that may lead us astray

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RELATED IDEAS

Develop Positive Thinking

Start by becoming more aware of your negative self-talk: do a little tally sheet throughout the day, marking a tally each time you notice a negative thought. Soon you’ll recognize them, and you can squash them.

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Find a partner or mentor you trust who can be your accountability partner, someone to hold you to your word.

Making a commitment to your accountability partner about your goal will make the milestone realistically attainable.

Get Help From Friends

Peer pressure works. And a good support network shows us that change is possible. 

Hang out with pals who have the habit you want. Across many different kinds of behavior (voting, smoking, weight loss and weight gain, happiness,  etc), people are very meaningfully affected by the behaviors of other people to whom they’re connected.

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