An Easy Way To Change Your Habits
We all have things to change in our life. Whether we need to prune out bad habits or add more nourishing ones.
But doing it??? It’s often easier said than done.
I’m currently reading the brilliant book The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. He introduces the concept of changing our habits by changing the activation energy required.
Activation energy is the amount of effort it takes to do something.
For the things you want to do less or quit, you need to increase the activation energy.
Make the task more challenging to do.
This means, for example, if I want to spend less time on Facebook, I need to make it much harder to get there in the first place. Deleting the app from my phone or ipad or disabling cookies so my computer won’t remember my password are ways to make it much harder to do that activity. Often times the very hassle is enough to change our mind about doing it. This example is a personal one for me. After I deleted the FB app from my phone and ipad, I was left to only checking Facebook on my desktop computer–which is upstairs and totally out of the way of all other day to day activity. My habit was significantly reduced immediately and I didn’t have to completely deprive myself either. I just made it impossible to participate at every waking moment of my life! Significant life improvement results followed :)
For the things I want to add into my life, I need to decrease the activation energy.
I need to make it as easy as possible to do that activity.
I have always struggled drinking water. I’m sure that I’ve been chronically dehydrated for probably 30 years. I’ve bought fancy water bottles, filters, and set numerous resolutions to no avail. Then I decided to simply fill up a large pitcher of water and leave it out on my kitchen counter all day long. My water intake has increased significantly because it’s so easy to see and remember.
How have you changed the activation energy in your life for positive results? I want to hear your story! Leave a comment and let me know!