Make it easy
Do This Now
- For each habit, ask yourself, “What is the minimum effective dose?” that must get done to make the desired goal a reality.
- Focus on one change at a time.
- Scale up habits incrementally.
- Kaushal, Navin, and Ryan E. Rhodes. “Exercise habit formation in new gym members: a longitudinal study.” Journal of behavioral medicine 38.4 (2015): 652-663.
- Consistency and low behavioral complexity significantly predicted changes in habit formation over time.
- Pellegrini, Christine A., et al. “Smartphone applications to support weight loss: current perspectives.” Adv Health Care Technol 1 (2015): 13-22.
- Whereas the conventional wisdom about behavior change asserts that more is better, this model suggests that less may be more because extra techniques may add burden and adversely impact engagement.
- Lally, Phillippa, Alison Chipperfield, and Jane Wardle. “Healthy habits: efficacy of simple advice on weight control based on a habit-formation model.” International Journal of Obesity 32.4 (2008): 700-707.
- The programme (‘Ten Top Tips’) consisted of a list of simple behaviours. This easily disseminable, low-cost, simple intervention produced clinically significant weight loss.
- Polivy, Janet, and C. Peter Herman. “If at first you don’t succeed: False hopes of self-change.” American Psychologist 57.9 (2002): 677.
- A “false hope syndrome” is characterized by unrealistic expectations about the likely speed, amount, ease, and consequences of self-change attempts.
- Norem, Julie K., and Nancy Cantor. “Defensive pessimism: harnessing anxiety as motivation.” Journal of personality and social psychology 51.6 (1986): 1208.
- The effects of low expectations and high anxiety on performance may be mediated by the strategies individuals use when approaching risky situations.
- Freedman, Jonathan L., and Scott C. Fraser. “Compliance without pressure: the foot-in-the-door technique.” Journal of personality and social psychology 4.2 (1966): 195.
- Once someone has agreed to a small request they are more likely to comply with a larger request.
Make it fun
Fill your life with activities that you relish so you enjoy the journey.
Do This Now
- For each habit, give yourself a chance to be creative and find specific versions of the habit that are fun for you.
- Focus on what you are adding to your life, rather than what you are taking away.
- Adding variety to your routine can create more excitement, but may hinder the habit formation process.
- Judah, Gaby, Benjamin Gardner, and Robert Aunger. “Forming a flossing habit: an exploratory study of the psychological determinants of habit formation.” British journal of health psychology 18.2 (2013): 338-353.
- Participants with a more positive attitude flossed more frequently. Stronger automaticity was predicted by positive attitudes, and increased behaviour frequency during and prior to the study.
- Tice, Dianne M., et al. “Restoring the self: Positive affect helps improve self-regulation following ego depletion.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 43.3 (2007): 379-384.
- Positive mood or emotion can counteract ego depletion.