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What Are the 5 Steps for Changing Bad Habits Into Good Ones? | TIME

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Manipulate Your Context

Don’t rely on willpower. The importance of self-control is one of the biggest myths about habit change. Instead, manipulate your environment so you don’t have to exert self-control. Throw out the donuts. Hide the booze. This has been shown to be surprisingly powerful.

Manipulate your environment so as to make what you should do easy and what you shouldn’t do hard.

If you can make good habits take 20 seconds less time to perform and bad habits 20 seconds longer, you’ll likely see big changes in your behavior. Reminders to do the right thing (like signs or even text messages) can be a big help.

And context isn’t just the inanimate objects. Friends are one of our biggest influences and can be a potent tool for habit change.

More on the power of context here.

Don’t Give Up

Changing habits takes an average of 66 days (establishing competency at new skills takes approximately 8 weeks as well) so hang in there and don’t get discouraged. More tips are here.

The research says these are some good daily habits and these are solid weekly habits.

Best books on the subject are The Power of Habit and Willpower. I highly recommend them both.

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