Knowledge is not power, action is power.
Today’s New Habit Tip is…
Seconds Easier. Making your new habit seconds easier to do will enable you to take action more quickly, the biggest barrier to success and improvement is not knowledge it is action. Making your new good habit 20 seconds easier to do and your old bad habit 20 seconds more difficult to do will put you more naturally on the path of your new good habit.
My theme for 2011 is to claim my power, so I especially love this tip. This tip is a simple trick to empower us to take the actions we truly desire. When we focus our energy and do something we claim our power.
In chemistry there is a term called Activation Energy. Activation Energy is the energy it takes to get a reaction. In habit forming it is the energy it takes to start a task. The greatest amount of energy is required at the beginning of a task. Therefore anything we can do to make starting that task easier will reduce the required amount of Activation Energy and put us in motion quicker and easier.
When we make a task 20 seconds more difficult to perform those 20 seconds are magnified in our brains. Those silly 20 seconds gives us a chance to consider other possibilities, like reading a book instead of hunting for the tv remote or flipping on the tv instead of finding a book to read. Anytime we can add 20 seconds to a bad habit our mind might considered that delay too long and in those 20 seconds find something else to do. What if in those 20 seconds instead of getting the ice cream from the freezer in the garage, you grabbed a peach from the fruit bowl? What if instead of getting coffee and a muffin at the neighborhood coffee shop you pushed the button on your Keurig and had a grapefruit cup? It is no wonder drive thru restaurants are so popular, if we actually had to get out of the car we might just go home and cook ourselves dinner or at least choose a healthier alternative.
A trick to making this tip work is to make your good habits easier than the bad habits you are trying to replace or simply make your good habits as easy as possible to do. So how can you make your habit easier to do? How can you activate your energy to perform your new habit quicker? How can you change your environment to make it work for you?
When I was in college I was a rower on the crew team. I am a morning person so waking up on a beautiful morning and catching the sunrise over the water was easy, but waking up on a cold rainy morning and getting into a boat on a river by 5AM was not as pleasant. Now I am a dedicated and loyal person, but even the lure of a boat in the rain tested my commitment. To activate my energy quicker and get to the boat house before I realized it was rainy and cold I slept in my workout clothes, and placed my jacket, shoes and anything else I needed at the door (or in the car). I just needed to roll out of bed, stumble to the door, pick up my stuff and go. I often did not really leave myself time to make a decision, I was already moving. I did not give myself a chance to be distracted or question my commitment to my teammates I was already in motion…as long as I got out of my warm comfy bed.
For my 10PM bedtime I am not quite sure what would help me on the 20 second level, but I have started coming home from work earlier. I am up earlier so I land in the office earlier. By being home earlier I have more time to make dinner, clean a little, research for this blog, and relax with my daughter and pets before going to bed.
What can you do to make your habit 20 seconds easier to perform? What can you do to make the bad habits or distractions 20 seconds more difficult to do? I would love to hear your ideas on this, there are so many fun things you can do to apply this tip. Remember when you change your environment to make it work for you; you disrupt the bad habits, the temptations, and the distractions.
If you would like support in creating new habits that could increase your life satisfaction consider my FREE Program 30-Days to a New Habit. You can receive the 30 daily action plans via daily e-mails when you send a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org