Implementation Intentions

100’s of studies have shown that implementation intentions are effective for sticking to our goals. The simple way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence:

I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION]

Meditation:

I will meditate for one minute at 7 am in my kitchen

Studying:

I will study Spanish for twenty minutes at 6 p.m in my bedroom

Marriage:

I will make my partner a cup of tea at 8 a.m in the kitchen

Exercise:

I will exercise for one hour at 5 pm in my local gym

As simple as it sounds, this works.

To conclude here is a study which shows how powerful implementation intentions can be for implementing a particular habit, in this case, exercise 💪

tl;dr:

Group 1: Control – Track how often they exercise

  • Result: 35% of people exercised at least once per week

Group 2: “Motivation” – They were asked to not only track their workouts but also to read some material on the benefits of exercise

  • Result: 38% of people exercised at least once per week

Group 3: “Motivation + Implementation Intention” – Same as group 2 + wrote out an implementation intention

  • Result: 91% exercised at least once per week-more than double the normal rate

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