The Intuitive Way To Create Habits
The Four Laws of Behavior Change are a simple set of rules we can use to build better habits.
Just remember to make it:
I knew about these but didn’t settle into my head until I read Atomic Habits, and it all clicked.
1st Law – MAKE IT OBVIOUS
Habits are easier to start if you have an implementation intention, which is a plan you make beforehand about when and where to act.
The implementation intention formula is: I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].
Habit stacking is another exercise that can help. The habit stacking formula is: After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].
Small changes in context can lead to large changes in behavior over time.
Every habit is initiated by a cue.
2nd Law – MAKE IT ATTRACTIVE
Temptation building is one way to make your habits more attractive.
The strategy involves pairing an action you want to do with an action you need to do. The formula is: After [HABIT I NEED], I will [HABIT I WANT].
Habits are attractive when we associate them with positive feelings and unattractive when we associate them with negative feelings.
Create a motivation ritual by doing something you enjoy immediately before a difficult habit.
3rd Law – MAKE IT EASY
Human behavior follows the Law of Least Effort. We will naturally gravitate toward the option that requires the least amount of work. Therefore, you are more likely to succeed if you create an environment where doing the right thing is as easy as possible.
Reduce the friction associated with good behaviors. When friction is low, habits are easy. Increase the friction associated with bad behaviors. When friction is high, habits are difficult.
4th Law – MAKE IT SATISFYING
The first three laws of behavior change increase the odds that the behavior is performed. The fourth law increases the odds that the behavior will be repeated.
The Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change says, “What is immediately rewarded is repeated. What is immediately punished is avoided.” To get a habit to stick, you need to feel immediately successful, even if it’s in a small way.
Success is not a goal to reach or a finish line to cross. It is a system to improve, an endless process to refine. If you make habits obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying, you will be more likely to stick to them. If you keep making tiny changes, you will discover remarkable results.
How do you think these laws of behavior change can affect how you add or remove habits in your life?
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