I often talk about the need to minimise effort if we want behaviour to happen. The easier something is to do, the smaller the payoff for bothering needs to be.
Sometimes we need to do hard things. We want to do hard things.
There’s the thrill of riding a roller coaster, the relief of passing exams and the satisfaction of climbing a mountain. The adrenaline of presenting your ideas to a crowded room.
In these cases, making the hard thing easy would negate its worth.
My number one tip, when people ask about habit change, is your physical environment. Set it up to make it easy to do the right thing and hard to do the wrong thing.
But there’s a problem with relying on your environment. What if it changes?
I was travelling recently but completely forgot to take my vitamins in the morning. Why? The context had changed.
The behaviour of taking my vitamins is tied to my breakfast routine at home, and it turns...
Can I share something with you about my toilet?
It's about the buttons, which look like this...
If you wanted to use the half flush, which button would you press?
The button on the left, or the button on the right?
The fact that I'm asking suggests there is a problem here, doesn't it? The correct button should be obvious.
And indeed, the button on the right, the smaller button, is for a half flush.
So why do I find myself continually pressing the larger button on the...
How are those promises you made yourself going?
You know, the ones about work, family or health?
Don't get dismayed if you've reverted to old patterns – it's natural to do that.
Those old neural pathways are well entrenched. The trick is to repeat your new behaviour so that new pathways form.
That's what I explain in this video.
I cover what happens behind the scenes when it comes to changing behaviour, and the two most impactful things you can do.
You might also find...
Lots of people want to keep a daily journal, but don’t know what to write or find it becomes a bit of a hassle.
In this video I’m going to share the format that will make your daily journaling session easy, fun and repeatable.
PLUS, the behavioural science that makes it work.
Let’s get started.
While I use my favourite bit of tech, my reMarkable tablet, pen and paper is perfectly fine.
Simply draw a quadrant, splitting your page into four. In reMarkable, I’m using the...
Lifesum is a diet App in Sweden that allows users an occasional “cheat meal” — something like pizza or a burger — without disrupting their progress.
So popular was this product tweak that take-up almost doubled.
That’s what habit specialist Samuel Salzer shared in his talk “The Science Behind Habit-Forming Tech, explaining that designing for “failure states” can improve user and business outcomes.
We know that ...
When we hear about behavioural science and evolutionary psychology, it can sound daunting and, worse still, far removed from our day to day decisions and interactions. Low on relevance, high on hyperbole.
But I’m guessing you are more familiar with the tenets of behavioural science than you realise. I’m even going to guess that you hold a lot of the insights into human nature in your hand, twice, maybe three times a day.
Ahh, the humble tube of toothpaste.
If you’re up for...
Is the world moving more quickly, really?
I've been thinking a lot about the speed of change lately, largely because every book or podcast seems to lament how quickly things are moving and the challenge this poses in keeping up.
You've heard it too, no doubt. "Things were so much simpler 10, 20, 50 years ago".
Yes and no.
What if the pace of change is an illusion?
Like this. The image appears to be moving, but it's actually not.
Where a lot of...
What kind of habits do people struggle most with, and what can we do?
In this article I’m going to share three types of habits, and the best strategies to use with each.
A few years ago I wrote a book called The How of Habits, and since then I’ve provided a free “habits inventory” tool on my website that people can fill out to self-assess areas they’d like to improve.
I get the de-identified, aggregate data that indicates what people would most like to get...