For a long time, I was struggling to stick to the habits that I wanted to stick to.
Each year you're telling yourself that you gonna be exercising, drinking more water, eating healthy, and meditating.
As you start a habit it's exciting and you do it with ease. Sometimes all them in a single day.
But the next day or week you don't feel like doing it anymore. The friction of going to the gym or having reminders to drink water turn you 180 degrees from your initial intention.
How do you start any habit with ease? The secret is hidden in the 3rd law of habit building (from Atomic Habits by James Clear) and that it "Make it Easy".
One of the habits that I set for myself to build in 2021 is to drink the norm of water every day.
But drink more water sounds frustrating: each hour to get a glass of water I need to:
- Get up from my chair
- Go from my office to the kitchen
- Take a glass from the shelf
- Fill it
- Drink water
- Put it back
- Go back to work
Do you see it? A simple act of drinking water turns into a massive amount of steps to go through to achieve the final result.
Following the 3rd law, I tried to make it easier. But how you simplify steps from the list? I started thinking from the beginning of the process.
1. What if I don't need to get up from my chair and walk away from the office? I would need water standing by my desk.
2. But when I finish the first glass I will need to go to the kitchen to refill it. Then instead of the glass bring a bottle.
3. Alright, and how do I make sure that the water is always filled? Bring it to the table the night before.
Now, instead of trying to remember to drink more water daily and sticking to it, I have a simple item in my evening checklist "Fill in the bottle". That's it. When my work is done, I go to the kitchen for a dinner and I fill in the bottle with water and put it back on my desk.
The next day when I go to my office the water is there. Now, every time I turn my eyes out of the screen (every 20 min) - I take a sip from the bottle.
By simplifying the process and reducing the friction of getting out of the office to drink water I have created a way to drink more water without any effort.