Happy New Year!!
What better time to talk about how to build habits that we can stick to than at the fresh start of a new year??
Let’s begin by talking about an experiment that the book Atomic Habits by James Clear uses when introducing ways to start a new habit. We are going to take straight from this experiment and apply it to ourselves.
The experiment took place in 2001 with 248 people. The idea was to build better exercise habits over the course of 2 weeks. The people got split into 3 groups:
Group 1: Control group – they were asked to track how often they exercised.
Group 2: Motivation group – they were asked to track how often they exercised as well as to read some information on the benefits of exercise. The researchers also explained how exercise improves heard health and prevents heart disease.
Group 3: Intention group – they got the same instructions are group 2 but they were told to develop a plan for exactly when and where they would exercise the next week. They were given a specific sentence frame to complete:
“During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on DAY at TIME in PLACE.
That’s it. So simple, right??
Here’s the conclusion of the experiment: Groups 1 and 2 had 35% and 38% of people exercised once per week. (Are you as surprised as me that the group who got the education didn’t have much improvement?)
Guess the percent of people in group 3 who exercised at least once per week?
91%!!! Holy moly!
The simple act of planning WHEN and WHERE leads to a direct result in implementation.
Let’s practice that sentence frame again.
“Next week, I will DO WHAT on DAY at TIME in PLACE.”
Next week, I will MEDITATE FOR 10 MINUTES on TUESDAY at 8:00PM in THE LIVING ROOM.
You can reword it a bit to suit your needs, but it is important to keep the WHERE and WHEN in the sentence.
TOMORROW, I will work out at 5:30PM at IRON HOUSE STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING.
On Sunday, I will meal prep my lunches for the week at 2:30pm in the kitchen.
I will study for my test for 20 minutes every day in my bedroom at 6pm.
So now I want you to try. Write down an intention that you are going to implement being sure to include the WHERE and WHEN.
Now that you’ve written it, say it out loud. Don’t just read it in your head. Say it out loud and bring it to life – saying it out loud makes it real!
You’ve planned it, you’ve written it down, you’ve said it out loud, so now you HAVE to do it! Haha!
Every Monday in my Facebook group, I ask our members to state their intentions for the week. Now we have a framework to do it and make it mean something. Always be sure to include WHEN and WHERE.
I'd love for you to join the group! Click here to join - don't forget to answer the membership questions so that I know you're a real human!
I hope y’all have a fantastic 2022!