Thursday, January 14, 2010
1. Follow the 20-second rule. Adding a mere 20 seconds to an activity can make it no longer worth doing. So if you’re addicted to e-mail, add a password: it’ll discourage you from logging on.
2. If you stop a negative habit, start a positive one. Give your brain something new to concentrate on. If you give up smoking, pick up, for example, reading five minutes of poetry each day.
3. Take baby steps. You can’t make your brain change in one day. So if you’re trying to, say, cut out all sugar, start by cutting back a little every week.
4. Think positive. The biggest tool for stopping negative habits is the belief that your behavior matters.
5. Enlist a buddy. Trying to break a habit with the support of someone else trying holds you accountable.
6. Keep track of your progress. For 21 to 28 days in a row, check off how many days you’ve gone without the habit. You see that progress, which encourages you.
7. Write down your goal. When you pledge to do something, your brain moves from the emotional – “Great idea!” – to the rational: “How do I accomplish this?”
8. Create a vision board. Looking at photos of yourself from before the habit or inspiring ones from magazines helps you visualize what your life would be like without that habit.