Got 5 minutes to learn about anchors and chains? Good! So let's talk habit formation.
To form a new behavior (eg- meditating for 5 mins at night) needs a little dash of motivation, sufficient ability and crucially, a prompt.
Often folks abandon new habits because they forget to do them and run out of time in their busy lives - "it's night time already, where did today go?!"
That's where the prompt comes in - it's something that triggers you into a given behavior before the rest of your day continues.
The worst type of prompt?
A random or intermittent one, where you tell yourself to remember to meditate. You might, you might not remember, you might remember the next day or when it's not appropriate (you can't meditate in the middle of a group presentation).
What's a better prompt?
Well you can set an alarm.
For example, every 8pm your smartphone buzzes and tells you to meditate. Already far better, you'll get the "interrupt" that gets you to remember regardless what you may be doing at that particular moment...
But what's an even better prompt?
One that's anchored with an already existing routine in your day.
For example - if you shower each night it might be directly after that. You might need to put a yellow sticky on the bathroom mirror to remind you for the first few times, but after that chances are you will naturally remember to do your meditation because it's just what happens after your evening shower.
And we can take it further with chaining... where you anchor things to things that are anchored to others etc... building up a chain of new behaviors.
Example - evening shower -> meditate for 5 minutes -> 5 minutes stretching -> 5 minutes planning the next day's schedule
Sounds simple? Because it is!
So what new habit are you trying to make solid, and how can you anchor and chain it?