HAVE MORE FUN!

Another way you can change a habit is by identifying and altering the cues that prompt your behavior. This is precisely what many readers have done.

One woman named Lisa cultivated a reading habit by increasing her exposure to books. “I’ve read more books by continually having 20-30 books on hold at the library,” she said. “It saves time on browsing for books. I always have new things to read with a three-week deadline.”

Heather used a similar strategy to reinforce the simple habit of drinking more water. “I use color and placement for visual reminding and motivation. I poured water in a bright aqua water bottle – my favorite color – and placed it on my nightstand so I couldn’t miss it when I woke up.”

Other readers have done the opposite. They reduced exposure to negative cues. One man named Max managed to eliminate his e-cigarette habit. “I quit e-cigarettes with a combination of determination and also quitting coffee at the same time, which was a trigger for me as I’d smoke and drink coffee together in the morning.”

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“When I first moved to China and started to learn Mandarin, I committed to strike up a conversation with the taxi driver whenever I went into a cab (I took a lot of cab rides, 5+ daily). I did it for 2 years no matter the time of day or how tired I was. I now speak fluent Chinese.”

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Similarly, a reader named David told me, “I meditate for 20 minutes after brushing my teeth in the morning. Linking new habits onto a keystone one seems to work.”

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One woman named Cyd curtailed her snacking habit with the following strategy. “My husband still loves his Pringles, as do I, but they’re now kept in a locked car that’s parked in the cold. It works!”

MTS