Many people think they lack motivation when what they really lack is clarity. It is not always obvious when and where to take action.
In the last lesson, we talked about designing a two-minute version of your habit. In this lesson, we’re going to discuss the ideal time and location to insert that habit into your life. In other words, we’re going to find a clear and specific space for your new habit to live. If you can find the right time and the right place for your new habit, everything falls into place.
Here’s how to do it:
One effective way to insert a new habit into your life is with an “implementation intention.” An implementation intention is a plan you make beforehand about when and where to act. That is, how you intend to implement your habit.
Scientists have found that if you make an implementation intention, you are more likely to follow through with your plans and stick to your habits. This is true whether you are building habits like recycling, studying, going to sleep early, stopping smoking, and many others.
The simple way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence:
I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].
Let me give you a few examples of what this looks like.
- I will make a green smoothie at 7am in my kitchen.
- I will stretch at 9pm in my bedroom.
- I will send my partner a check-in text at the beginning of my lunch break in the office.
- I will open my textbooks at 7pm at my desk in my room.
- I will make my bed after I turn off my alarm in my bedroom.
The crucial step here is finding the right time and location to insert the new habit into your daily routine. You are looking for the decisive moment where your new habit should live.
Make sure your implementation intention is specific and clear. Here are a few more examples:
- I will drink 2 glasses of water, after I brush my teeth, in the kitchen.
- I will rank my priorities for the day at 8:30am at my desk.
When and where you choose to insert a habit into your daily routine can make a big difference. If you’re trying to add meditation into your morning routine but mornings are chaotic and your kids keep running into the room, then that may be the wrong place and time. Consider when you are most likely to be successful. Don’t ask yourself to do a habit when you’re likely to be occupied with something else.
The more tightly bound your new habit is to a specific time and location, the better the odds are that you will notice when the time comes to act.
Week 1 Summary
- True behaviour change is identity change. Anyone can convince themselves to visit the gym or eat healthy once or twice, but if you don’t shift the belief behind the behaviour, then it is hard to stick with long-term changes. Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who you are. Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.
- A habit must be established before it can be improved. You need to master the art of showing up.
- If you can master the right habit at the right time, everything falls into place. The more tightly bound your new habit is to a specific time and place, the better the odds are that you will notice when the time comes to act.
Week 1 Progress Check-In
- By the end of Week 1, you should have a two-minute version of a habit that reinforces your desired identity, and a clear and specific implementation intention for adding it into your daily routine.
That’s all for Lesson 3. See you in the next lesson,
p.s. If you want to tell a friend about 30 Days to Better Habits, you can use the sharing links below, or just copy and paste this URL to send to them: 30 Days to Better Habits
Helpful bonuses and downloads
- 30 days to better habits workbook – This 20-page PDF includes an action checklist (including templates for key strategies) for each lesson of the course, plus lesson summaries and a key terms dictionary.
- 30 days to better habits examples – The examples database is a Excel Sheet of 100+ examples of how to implement each strategy covered in this bootcamp for dozens of different habits.