If you're tired of all the New Year's Resolution talk and just want to focus on the nitty-gritty of adopting a new habit in 2010, the Six Changes Method can help.
Photo by Mike Baird.
Put together by Leo Babauta of the simple living and productivity blog Zen Habits — and the author of Zen to Done — the Six Changes Method focuses on breaking down the construction of new habits into tiny and easily managed baby steps and reinforcing them on a daily schedule for a minimum of two months.
The strength of the Six Changes Method is that it builds in waves on the basic steps. If you wanted to start your day in a more organised and efficient manner, you don't immediately change everything — it's difficult to change every aspect of your morning routine at once — you instead break the changes you want to undertake down into eight baby steps and institute one per week. The basic outline of the Six Changes Method is:
- Pick 6 habits for 2010.
- Pick 1 of the 6 habits to start with.
- Commit as publicly as possible to creating this new habit in 2 months.
- Break the habit into 8 baby steps, starting with a ridiculously easy step. Example: if you want to floss, the first step is just to get out a piece of floss at the same time each night.
- Choose a trigger for your habit - something already in your routine that will immediately precede the habit. Examples: eating breakfast, brushing your teeth, showering, waking up, arriving at the office, leaving the office, getting home in the evening.
- Do the 1st, really easy baby step for one week, right after the trigger. Post your progress publicly. (Read more.)
- Each week, move on to a slightly harder step. You'll want to progress faster, but don't. You're building a new habit. Repeat this until you've done 8 weeks.
- You now have a new habit! Commit to Habit No. 2 and repeat the process.
Leo's put together an entire site to help people adopt their new habits in 2010, you can check out the core of the Six Changes Method and additional tips and tricks at the link below.