Do This If You Struggle to Change Bad Habits

How Setting Hard-to-Miss Cues & Plans of Action Will Lead to Lasting Change

Like a robotic command that is preprogrammed in your brain’s software, we all have cues that trigger us to behave in a certain way. If your phone buzzes, for example, you check it.

So by realizing that certain stimuli in your life can prompt habitual behaviors, you will be able to use this knowledge to change your current habits. How? Simple. You can start by modifying your surroundings, whether at work or at home, to encourage better habits.

Consider this experiment conducted by a doctor in Boston: To improve the dietary habits of her patients without requiring them to make a conscious decision, she had the hospital cafeteria rearranged. The refrigerators next to the cash register used to contain only soda, but she decided to add water as well. Over the following three months, soda sales dropped by 11% while water sales rose by 25%. This meant that people were making healthier choices simply because the cue to drink water became more prominent than soda.

So obviously simple changes to your environment can make big differences. Want to read before bed every night? Leave the book on your pillow in the morning. Want to run before work every morning? Leave your running shoes at your bedroom door every night. Just make the cues as obvious and accessible as possible to increase the likelihood of responding to them with the habit that you’re wanting to build.

Another way to create stronger cues is to set clear intentions and plans of action. Most people tend to be vague about our goals. “I’m going to eat healthier” is a pipe dream statement for most because they just blindly hope that somehow it will happen. But when you set a clear plan of action, research shows that your likelihood of following through goes through the roof.

A study of US voters found that when people were asked what time they would vote and how they would get there, they were far more likely to show up in comparison to being simply asked if they would vote or not.

So stop saying this vague sh*t about what you’re going to do. And start getting specific. Create concrete plans of action and leave your cues as unavoidable as possible. You’ll be shocked at how much easier the process of building positive habits becomes.

Hope you enjoyed the read.

Much Love,