Designing for habit formation - Deepstash

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Better Control of Emotions Will Help You Make Better Habits

Designing for habit formation

Emotions create habits, not repetition. If you are designing a new habit, you are really designing for emotions.

Intentionally create feelings of success to wire in the habits that you actually want in your life.

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Tiny Habits
  • While trying to form a habit, starting in small increments and utilizing self-motivating feelings of positivity and celebration are strong catalysts and help reinforce the changes.
  • To make lasting changes in our lives, we need to break them down into small, easy to do ‘Tiny Habits’, and then find ways to trigger them. Once we are successful, we need to reward ourselves.
The Power of Celebration
  • Tiny habits are easy to do, and the thing that keeps us going is the celebration of small accomplishments, as feeling good is a vital part of the Tiny habits method.
  • We routinely self-criticize at the tiniest of mistakes but do not celebrate our small accomplishments by saying to ourselves that we did a good job.
  • A celebration is like a habit cementer, and feeling good at any moment is a superpower, which can be used to reinforce your habits and transform your life.
Be Nice To Yourself

Our emotions create our habits, and celebration is the best way to create a positive feeling that waters your new habits. It pays to be nice to ourselves.

Celebrating the tiniest detail of your busy lives, when you remember to hang your keys where they should be or when you tidy up your room, can shift your perspective, and makes your life better in a couple of minutes.

Resolutions Don't Work

Resolutions feel huge, requiring a lot of mental bandwidth and loads of constant motivation to keep up. Resolutions are easy to decide on but tough to maintain daily.

Habits, on the other hand, are naturally easier to do. They are positive daily activities and actions, are brain-friendly, learned behaviors.

Habits: Start Small

Start small with something you already desire or like to do, to ease out the entire process for you right at the start.

For example, if you plan to write more, why not buy a journal and a pen that you want to use, and keep them handy, facilitating the writing habit naturally.

Trigger New Action
Choose a 'trigger' action you already do to initiate the new habit you want to form.
Starting good habits and sticking to them
  1. Harness the dopamine effect: identify the desired outcome. Mentally walking yourself through the process of success and the joys and benefits it brings can teach your brain to be motivated by something other than dread.
  2. Start with baby-steps: identify the “tiny habits”  behaviors — we should start with small actions that we can celebrate.
  3. Use triggers: these new habits follow other routines that are already ingrained into your daily life(triggers), so every time you complete this already existing behavior, there will be a trigger, or an automatic reminder, in your brain to do the new one.
  4. Let it snowball.
B. J. Fogg
B. J. Fogg
“It’s much easier and it’s much more reliable to start habits that are small and get them firmly rooted in the ground by feeling successful”