Predecision

There's a whole body of research on something called implementation intention -- a snoozer of a phrase if there ever was one. But it's relevant to us, bigtime.

An implementation intention is a written statement that supports any goal, any desired outcome, by setting out in advance when, where, and how we will achieve this goal.

"I will drink a large glass of water upon waking, whether I feel thirsty or not."

You then set up your environment to succeed by placing the glass of water on your nightstand.

What this is, in essence, is a predecision.

People are two to three times more likely to work out if they say -- and write down --something like, "I will do at least one pushup, no matter what (though more are better), before I check my email. Every time."

You link a desired behavior with something you regularly do.

Same with voting: "I'm going to vote on November 3 at 10 am at my town hall polling station (produces 3x the voters -- really hope everyone reading this votes this year!).

Before I learned this little trick, I used to wake up and hope I felt motivated/inspired to do whatever. I hope I have the energy to run a few miles, hope I can finish this essay, hope I can stay hydrated, hope I eat salad for lunch ... now I just write it down with a time and place attached to it. It works insanely well.

Many folks blame themselves for lack of motivation, but what they actually lack is clarity. With an implementation intention, you make it clear and obvious where the behavior is going to occur, and when.

Try it!

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After a lifetime of not really drinking enough water / staying hydrated, I got tired of it and decided to do something about it (lots of men seem to have this problem, in my experience, way more so than women).

So I wrote down the specific intention and altered my environment -- I now LOVE downing that big glass of water upon waking. I also bought a couple of cool small glass pitchers that I keep filled with filtered water, placed conveniently around the house.

I also have two shaker bottles of coldbrew matcha most days, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I keep them out as visual reminders. I predecide that I'll drink them. Do this enough times and it becomes almost automated.

You can do the same! It works.

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