Change your process

Change your habits

Much has been researched, written and podcasted about habit formation. Deep within the human psyche resides an enduring fascination to look better, feel better, sleep better, live better, love better. That’s the good news. Yet the bad news is that most attempts at habit change fail.

  • 25% of people quit their New Year’s resolution after the first week
  • 45% quit by the end of January
  • Only 9% will have stuck with their previous year’s goal by December 31

The reasons for failure are diverse and range from unrealistic goals to forgetting to keep track to loneliness, and even having too many goals.

This app is named HABBIT because the platform enables people to confront their unconscious routines and behaviors by approaching the challenge as a training problem. Users can train for new skills, capabilities and independence by making small, intentional modifications in daily behavior that lead to big outcomes.

Here is some advice for setting effective behavior targets:

Set SMART Goals

Forming proper goals is crucially important in the successful addition or subtraction of a new behavior. Believe it or not, the specific words you use in declaring your goals can set you off on the right or wrong path. So informed design is the first place to start. Try the SMART goal structure:

  1. SSpecific. This is the direct action you will take. "Run", "Meditate" or "Asleep By…."
  2. MMeasurable. Put a number on the goal or make it binary. "Do 30 Pushups" or "No Phone."
  3. AAttainable. Make the goal milestone easy to accomplish. Focus on consistency over strain.
  4. RRelevance. Ensure the goal makes sense in light of your larger desired outcomes.
  5. TTime-bound. Put a date, deliverable or deadline on it.

Below are three columns of example habits. The first two have been effectively designed using the SMART framework. The last column has not been effectively designed. See whether you can tell the difference.

SEEDS (Do’s)

  • Exercise for 15 minutes
  • Contact one family member today to say hi
  • Place my phone out of view when I sit to work
  • Cook a full meal at home
  • Meditate for 15 minutes
  • In bed by 10pm
  • Walk 10,000 steps
  • Journal for 10 minutes

WEEDS (Don’t)

  • No more than 1 alcoholic drink
  • Don’t eat sugar
  • Don’t text ex-partner
  • No caffeine after 12pm
  • No more than 10 minutes of social media
  • Don’t watch cable news
  • No more than 1 snack per day
  • No digital after 9pm

Inneffective / Non-SMART

  • Get more sleep
  • Don’t order delivery so much
  • Be more confident
  • Talk to parents more
  • Show affection
  • No binging Netflix
  • Avoid negative thinking
  • Learn piano

Get Atomically Small

The backbone of HABBIT is based off the best-selling book on habit formation, Atomic Habits, by James Clear. This book has become the bible for many of our friends in human optimization training and those seeking specific skills or improved lifestyle. Atomic Habits invests significant discussion not only in the methodology of habit change but also to establishing a container that is potentiated for change.

Psychology matters. How you identify your strengths and weaknesses will often dictate how you show up in the world. Believe whole-heartedly that you are capable and worthy of your aspired goals and habits.

Environment matters. Most habits are triggered by visual stimulus in our immediate environment. Those triggers produce unconscious physical, chemical and emotional responses. Organize your visual area to bring about the exact behaviors you desire.

Size matters. Larger milestones while audacious are counter-productive. The human mind has a natural aversion to making grandiose effort and will sabotage you with procrastination. Diminish your goals to atomic size and stack them until they grow to noble heights.

Be Part of a Pack

Loner wolves have a difficult time surviving in nature. So too, radical life changes invoked without the support of friends, family or social networks also tend to starve over time.

  1. EEnrollment. Find a way to enroll your social network in your change trajectory, or alternatively, enroll yourself in a group that’s already accomplishing your objectives. Goonies never say die.
  2. AAttention. Give attention to the emotions and resistance you have toward certain behaviors and sharing with others. Most "bad" habits are unconscious ploys to avoid or distract from emotional discomfort.
  3. TTracking. Tracking enables you to see streaks: in what you do, how you do it, with who you do it, where you do it, etc. Persistent streaks become patterns. Patterns become habits. Habits become your personality. It’s urgently important to track where these patterns begin.