We had a great breakout session about “How to build habits” at the QS conference that just finished in Amsterdam.
Lots of people were excited about continuing the conversation and sharing resources and ideas so I said I would start a thread here with some notes from the breakout session and hopefully other people will post their own notes, thoughts, questions etc…
I am sorry I didn’t get everyone’s names or twitter handles so I hope you will post here.
Nancy Dougherty @nancyhd already posted a great list of resources, some of which she brought up during the session:
One of the big things that emerged was that it helps a lot to design your environment, in order to make certain habits easier.
John Amschler’s @jxa living room is set up as a gym, no TV and no couch in front of the computer.
Yosef Safi Harb @ysharb leaves his laptop charger at the office so that he doesn’t spend time on his laptop when he gets home.
Someone else mentioned telling the kids the TV is broken and that worked to get them out of the habit of watching it.
Nancy didn’t get a car so that she would ride her bike to work every day.
Another related strategy that got a lot of energy in the room is to become very snobbish about a certain thing, like coffee or certain kinds of food so that you get used to really high quality coffee or food and lose the test for junk food or develop an aversion to it and can’t go back to the mainstream.
Overall, it seems that tricking works especially when it involves something positive and the process is somewhat akin to “replacing your mom”.
This is interesting because Laurie Frick said in the her closing session that for her the Zeo is a “mechanical mom”. So it seems that a nurturing quality to our intentions around our goals and habits is very important.
Yosef developed his own system for tracking the behaviors he wants throughout the day and plans his day the evening before.
I find it really inspiring as I have been thinking of doing something very similar:
Someone mentioned a Ted talk by Benjamin Zander who managed to get people to like classical music in 30 minutes.
I have to catch my plane now so I will stop here