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31 tips for making and breaking habits

Category: Blog & News

A recap of the tweets I posted each day in January to start the new year.

Habit tip #1: You don’t have to start on a special day. Just start.

Habit tip #2: Making decision to take action is not the same as actually doing it!

Habit tip #3: Ask yourself, what will my life be like in 6mths if I do/do not change? In 5 years?

Habit tip #4: Overcome fear of change by amplifying fear of NOT changing

Habit tip #5: Ensure benefits of change are significantly greater than sticking with status quo

Habit tip #6: Desires of short-term will trump long term unless you plan and pre-commit yourself

Habit tip #7: Fastest way to habit change? Change your environment to support change

Habit tip #8: Want to drink less? Use smaller glasses. Eat less? Use smaller plates

Habit tip #9: Plan for real not ideal world ie you at your most exhausted rather than rested

Habit tip #10: Reframe as gaining rather than losing something to avoid bingeing and relapse

Habit tip #11: Two options to make habits 1. Start small and ramp up or 2. Go hard and ease off

Habit tip #12: Forcing yourself to remember to do stuff chews up brain capacity you can use on more important things

Habit tip #13: Habits eliminate lowgrade decisions. Obama has suits in only 2 colours

Habit tip #14: Build new behaviour around something that you do or that happen to you everyday

Habit tip #15: Spend time with people who support not undermine your new behaviour

Habit tip #16: Anticipate roadblocks and create if/then plans to overcome

Habit tip #17: when refusing offer of indulgent treat say “I don’t want” not “I can’t have”

Habit tip #18: Habits negatively correlated with satisfaction? Putting off work, exercise or sleep

Habit tip #19: Habits negatively correlated with satisfaction? Softdrink, smoking, unhealthy food

Habit tip #20: Habits negatively correlated with satisfaction? Too much eating, shopping, TV

Habit tip #21: Intermittent triggers don’t help, intermittent rewards do

Habit tip #22: Surveyed 100 people, worst bad habit? Using Internet/social media more than they should

Habit tip #23: Missing a day doesn’t matter, a stable context does 

Habit tip #24: To make a habit, start with Why before What then When

Habit tip #25: To break a habit, start with When before What then Why

Habit tip #26: To make a habit, make it easy

Habit tip #27: To break a habit, make it hard

Habit tip #28: There’s no set number of days to make habits. Aim instead to shrink & repeat in stable context

Habit tip #29: Reward yourself for following the process rather than the progress you make

Habit tip #30: Rules mean you focus on them rather than the reason for the change

Habit tip #31: It’s not up to you whether you have habits, it’s up to you which habits you have.

For more on habits check out The How of Habits, my self-guided book to help you make and break habits using behavioural science.