Why Do You Read 1,000 Things About Change and Never Change? | TIME
Eric Barker stashed this in Diabolical Plans For World Domination
It turns out that being lazy CAN lead to change. Thanks, Eric!
Changing Your Environment
If there are no cookies in the house, guess who’s not eating cookies at 3AM? Manipulate your environment so you don’t have to exert self-control.
There’s a great story on NPR that shows just how important context is in maintaining (and ending) bad habits:
According to her research, the number of soldiers who continued their heroin addiction once they returned to the U.S. was shockingly low.
“I believe the number of people who actually relapsed to heroin use in the first year was about 5 percent,” Jaffe said recently from his suburban Maryland home. In other words, 95 percent of the people who were addicted in Vietnam did not become re-addicted when they returned to the United States.
You’re often lazy, busy or distracted so most things that are out of sight really are out of mind.
Another way to use our laziness positively for change: The 20 second rule.
20 Second Rule
Make the things you want to do take 20 seconds less time to start and the things you want to avoid take 20 seconds longer to get going. Amazon makes a gazillion dollars every year because of that “One Click” button. Before the cash register at a store there’s the “impulse buy” section. Take the same idea, use it to your benefit.
Lower the activation energy for habits you want to adopt, and raise it for habits you want to avoid. The more we can lower or even eliminate the activation energy for our desired actions, the more we enhance our ability to jump-start positive change.
Eric gives many more techniques in the article. It's a good read.
This in particular is a very good point:
Pick one of the techniques. Plan for 20 minutes. You might struggle to implement for a couple days, but after that, it’s easier to stay the course than it is to deviate. That’s the secret.
Don’t try to reinvent yourself. You’ll fail. Fit the new into the old. Make the new easier than the old.
You change all the time. The TV shows you watch change, the products you buy change, and the projects at work change. Change is going to happen, no matter what.
The question is, will you be in control of the change or will the change control you?