4 Step Approach to Habit Change
- Track Your Habits For 1 Day: Track your daily behavior for one day during the work week. Don’t pick a weekend day. Work creates stress and stress triggers bad habits. Carry around a notepad and bullet point everything you do from the minute you wake up to the minute you go to bed.
- Create a Habit List: From your notepad, identify every existing old habit as either Good or Bad.
- Create a Habit Wish List: On a separate piece of paper, make a list of every new good habit you want to add.
- Habit Merging: Select one old habit from your Habit List and one new good habit from your Wish List and merge them. It doesn’t matter if you are combining an old bad habit with a new good habit.
Example: I want to read more – Let’s say you have an existing habit of exercising on a stair master. Layer onto this habit a new good habit of reading while you exercise. All you need is some reminder, something that cues you to engage in the new reading activity. You might put a book, your kindle or an ipod on your stair master in order to cue you to read or listen to books while you exercise. Your brain will not fight you on this new habit because you are using an existing habit’s neural pathway. You’re not competing with the brain for brain fuel. Your brain will immediately combine the two good habits into one new merged habit.