Anchor your habits so that practising them becomes automatic
- Get a blank index card
With index cards, it’s easy to review the habits you’re practicing. You can also revise as needed by crossing things out and writing a new version directly on the card.
- Write three headings across the card:
a. “After I….”,
b. “I will….”,
c. “To wire the habit into my brain, I will immediately:”
- In the first column write the routine you will anchor your new habit to
This should be an existing routine that you do regularly. You can even use routines you can’t avoid, such as after you turn your laptop on or after you stop for a red light.
- In the second column write the first step of your new habit - keep it small
For example, if you want to develop more patience, you could write “After I stop for a red light, I will take a deep breath.” Keep this action as small as possible - you can add to it over time.
- In the third column write how you will celebrate each time you practise your habit
You may have to experiment until you find what really works and creates a positive feeling within you. Some examples include smiling, doing a small cheer, hi-fiving someone, giving yourself a small thumbs-up, humming a song, etc. You can celebrate when you remember to practise the habit, while you’re actually doing it, or after you’re done.
- Experiment with your new habit
Because our lives are complex and unique, there will naturally need to be adjustments. With practice, you’ll get better at creating Tiny Habits that help you reach your aspirations.
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