A Practical Framework for Behavior Change

He reverses these four laws to break a bad habit.  Make the Cue invisible, the Reward unattractive, the Routine harder to execute, and the Reward unsatisfying. He does a fantastic job of providing practical suggestions on how to accomplish each law.[i] James Clear’s book complements Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. The Power of Habit helps us to understand habits, but it isn’t a manual for behavior change. Atomic Habits fulfills that role, providing actionable strategies in a simple to follow format. This book has an even narrower focus. It seeks to combine the strategies of behavior change with tactics designed to produce a leaner fitter body. “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Sun Tzu Continue reading A Practical Framework for Behavior Change

The Relationship between Habits & Identity

Behaviors that are incongruent with our identity don’t last. I would argue that if they persist, they will change our identity. At that point, the two will realign themselves. A simple litmus test for determining if a habit is good or bad is the resulting identity it produces. If the habit is a vote for the type of person you want to become, it is a good habit. If it doesn’t, it isn’t. 

Identity and habits work in a push-pull manner. We can harness the power of identity to adopt a more disciplined lifestyle. Continue reading The Relationship between Habits & Identity

Different Thinking – Different Results

When people fail to change, they blame their willpower. Willpower is the scapegoat of people that needlessly subject themselves to temptation. No one has enough willpower to subject themselves unnecessarily to temptation. If you examine the environment of disciplined people, you will discover they engineered it to eliminate the need to exert willpower. They don’t have more willpower. They avoid the need to use it.  Willpower is an ineffective change strategy. Shaping the Path, on the other hand, is very effective. Commitment eliminates the need for willpower. When we shape our environment correctly, we discourage bad habits. We remove temptations and make good habits the default by making them easier to do, and bad habits more difficult. The more committed we are to shaping our environment, the less willpower we’ll need. The best way to change your life is by changing something you do each day. Change your habits, change your life! Nothing is stronger than habit. Continue reading Different Thinking – Different Results

The Golden Rule of Habit Change

Cues in our environment trigger a response. We need to pre-decided what our new response will be. Our Rider cannot hesitate to guide the Elephant down a new path, instead of performing the well-condition one. We must give our Elephant a new way forward. Instead of telling ourselves not to do something, we need to have an alternative action ready to go. Telling ourselves not to do something, fixates our mind on doing it. When we attempt to suppress a thought, we make things worse. We begin to fixate on it instead. Psychologists call this Ironic Theory. Continue reading The Golden Rule of Habit Change