By Leo Babauta
That’s been my experience this week: I’ve remembered to do my replacement habit some of the time, and forgotten most of the time. (Read my Quit Journal.)
This is the reason that I recommended that you choose Level 1 bad habits this month if you’re not already good at forming habits â€” these easier habits are mostly easy because it’s easier to remember to do your replacement habit when the bad habit is physical and predictable.
When the bad habit or triggers come at variable times, it’s hard to remember to do the replacement habit. When the bad habit is a mental habit (like negative thinking), it’s hard to notice you’re doing them, and it’s hard to notice the trigger, so you forget.
That said, here are some ideas for getting better at remembering to do your replacement habit:
- Make remembering a big focus for your day. Think about it when you wake up, put a sign on your computer, talk to other people about it, think about it most of today. If it’s not important, you won’t remember.
- Put up a sign or some other note around where your trigger normally happens.
- Wear a rubber band or bracelet, or draw a smiley face on your hand, as a reminder to yourself.
- Ask other people to remind you.
- Put up a note on your mirror, so you’ll remind yourself at least once a day.
- Send yourself email or phone reminders throughout the day.
The main thing is to put this at the forefront of your consciousness more often, and you’ll remember more. You won’t be perfect at it at first, if it’s a difficult habit to remember, but that’s OK. Get better each week.