One day you got up, went about your routine & did something that you loved, perhaps a habit of sorts, without realizing that it would be the last day that you are doing it. This sparked this piece of content.
People are continuously trying to form new habits with assistance of technology. Habit-forming apps which use streaks or just a to-do list with repeating tasks largely talk about a study which is quite shaky. I am talking about 21 days to form a habit study. It’s funny how even Laxmi Chit fund doubles your money in 21 days. The original version of the study was about how patients who undergo plastic surgery or limb amputation take 21 days to accept their new mental image, i.e., a new face or getting rid of the phantom limb feeling. Somewhere over time, that 21 days became about habit. You aren’t alone if you have failed, even after 21 days. We all have a graveyard of habits, filled with even the ones that we love. The hard part is that even making something you love, a habit, is a task.
One of the things that I eventually found success with is making new habits part of an existing workflow. One of those is something I call the night routine. It involves soaking chai seeds & almonds for the next morning, coffee for decoction overnight, & then a bag for morning deliveries via Supr. I found doing a habit standalone is more taxing than adding 1 task to an existing routine. This keeps accountability, frees you from anxiety of doing it, & at the same time leaves a feeling of incompleteness when you don’t do that one thing but the rest pushing you to do better.
With ever-increasing distraction ready to always fill-up your space & time, a workflow assisted habit will make wonders to your new habit goals. I think of this as the memory palace approach of habit-forming. These aren’t triggers necessarily, but a scaffolding to accommodate new behaviors. As Nobel Prize winning Dr. Daniel Kahneman would say, let your 2nd brain take over.
If you are unable to find a workflow to attach your new habit, perhaps find something which anchors your day. An anchor can be anything that makes you feel you. It’s an intrinsic task that you do for yourself that makes you happy & usually is something that feeds into your personality. For example, my anchor is learning something new every day. I know it sounds too basic, but it is something that really makes me happy & often times knowing that whatever I learned today might never be useful.
In my quest to see if there exists a habit app which can:
- Enable linking of new habits with existing ones
- Enable creating flows & gamify those
- Social accountability by creating a group like how it works in fitness related apps
I am sad to report that I found none.
If you have found any interesting ways which worked for you to form new habits, outside the usual ones, please do share in the comments below or tweet me @satanatwink.