James Clear talks about creating and maintaining positive habits in his book “Atomic Habits”. In case you didn’t get it from the first sentence, it’s about habits.
How many times can I use habits in a post? Let’s see.
Making positive habits stick isn’t just about making new habits easy. It’s ALSO about making undesirable habits LESS easy.
You need to create “friction”, or lack of ease for your negative habits.
A classic example of creating friction if you are trying to lose weight, is to move tempting items from front and center in the fridge, to the back of the fridge and to the bottom shelf so that they aren’t the first thing you see when you open the fridge door.
You want to avoid that first instinct to grab the tasty treat that’s right in the front.
This automatic habit is human nature. Human tendency is to WANT and even SEARCH for the path of least resistance.
You have to learn to manipulate this automaticity to benefit you by creating friction with negative habits and making positive habits more efficient.
Let me give you another example. Have you ever moved an app on your phone screen and then automatically went to its previous spot? It’s irritating at first but eventually it becomes automatic again in the new spot.
Apply the same principle here.
Want to NOT grab the Tostitos (mmm…so good) when you open the pantry? Move them to a hard-to-reach location and/or put them in an opaque bag so you can’t see the recognizable logo and brand colors on the outside.
Sometimes you can even get your kids, partner, or friends to hide them! While you might be bribing them with all the money in your bank account initially, your automatic habit will slowly fade away.
Create friction with the habits you want to eliminate or reduce.
Create ease and efficiency with the habits you want to do more often.
Twelve, I used “habits” twelve times. (oh… thirteen now)