I’m sitting in yoga class, breathing in and out. The yoga instructor, in her soft and spiritual voice repeats, “set your intentions for this practice.” And, as I sit here trying to process this advice, I grow angrier and angrier because as many times as she repeats this phrase, I still have no clue what the hell she is talking about.
As much as we hate to admit it, that yoga instructor may have been onto something.
Let’s get right into it. Writing down when and where you will perform a habit has been scientifically proven to increase your odds of actually doing it. It may double or even triple your success. This is one part of implementation intention that requires you to deliberately plan and write down the day, time, and place where you will perform a specific behaviour.
James Clear recommends to write it out as so: “I will [BEHAVIOUR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].”
I will exercise for 30 minutes at 9:00am in my (home) gym.
I will meditate for 5 minutes at 7:00am in my living room.
I will meal prep for 1 hour at 5:00pm in my kitchen.
I will study for 3 hours at 10:00am in my (home) office.
Now, compare that to what most of us do. “Ya, I’ll exercise next week.” “For sure, I’ll meditate tomorrow.” It lacks the concreteness (is that a word?) that will ultimately lead to results. It assumes that we will magically be motivated tomorrow or next week. And if there’s one thing we can’t count on, it’s motivation. Instead, we need to make sure to have a plan that is so thought out that it would be almost embarrassing not to go through with it.
Kicking Motivation Out of the Equation
When 6:00am rolls around, trust us, it’s not motivation getting you out of bed and into that spin class – it’s the fact that you made concrete plans to go. Just like you don’t like when your friends bail on you, your brain doesn’t like when you bail on yourself.
Save Your Brain
It also saves us brainpower. No need to remember all the habits you want to implement and no need to decide if, when, and where you will perform it once the time comes because it has all been pre-planned.
Alright, Alright, Alright, Matt… That’s a Little TMI
Matthew Mcconaughey may be taking this a little too far: “I love making a long list of things to do during the day, and I add everything. I add the simple things that you know you’re going to do anyway in the list, like kiss your wife, you know what I mean? You drop a deuce, whatever it is. I write things that I’m going to do just so it’s more to mark off the list.” Seems like Amy’s on his page:
When Sh*t Hits the Fan
We need to be prepared for failure. When we inevitably make a mistake or slip up, we need to have a concrete plan for what to do. This is where the implementation intention “if-then” strategy comes in.
If I overeat dessert, I will prep healthy meals for the following day.
If I procrastinate my work, I will not turn on my TV until I am done.
If I don’t exercise that day, I will wake up early the next day and skip my nightly TV show.
1. What habit do you want to implement?
2. Choose the time and location where you want to perform this behavior and fill out the following: I will [BEHAVIOUR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].
4. Get writing. (And then, y’know… do it.)
Society, gather ’round! We want to introduce you to our Spotlight segment highlighting the most important part of all this, you guys and your progress.
Today, the spotlight is on Lyndsay Schneidman: one of our first subscribers and an avid “habiter” since 2017. Watch her video all about how her habits (and reading about habits, duh) have helped her feel more confident and overall happier.
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I will [share THS to all my friends] at […now…] in […wherever you are…]. Well, you wrote it down, so now you kinda have to do it.