Building Healthy Habits in 2020 – Step 2

Question of the Week

Happy Friday! It’s time for another Five-Minute Friday financial check-up. This time, we’ll continue a short series on building better habits for 2020, drawing on James Clear’s Atomic Habits.

Last week, we started with the first principle: make it obvious. We focused on creating awareness around current habits and how we then use that information to develop a habit around what you want to do. This week, we’ll look at principle #2: make it attractive. This principle makes the habit so irresistible that you can’t help but want to follow through. It’s really the anticipation of the reward — not necessarily the reward itself — that gets us to take action.

How do we make a habit attractive? Clear suggests:

  • Use temptation bundling: Pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do.
  • Join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior.
  • Create a motivation ritual: Do something you enjoy immediately before the difficult habit.

Temptation bundling is similar to the habit stacking I mentioned last week. For many of us, social media is a guilty pleasure. So, for example, if you need to update your beneficiary designations, allow yourself check Facebook after you get it done.

You can also make a habit more attractive by talking it up. Have a conversation with your friends about money and how they are managing it. Establish a regular check in with your financial advisor.  Join groups that focus on money management. These are all good ways to make a habit attractive.

Lastly, if the temptation after the task doesn’t work, try doing something before the habit that you enjoy to really get you motivated. Say having a healthy meal, taking a walk or chatting with a friend.

All of these methods will help the new habit become pleasuring in and of itself.


Quote of the week

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao-tse, Chinese Philosopher


Task of the week

This week we have another brainstorming task. What temptations or motivational rituals can you create to help you accomplish your new habits? How can you tie them together? The list you made last week of the habits your currently do will come in handy here.

Also, brainstorm three ways you can join a culture that already does what you want to accomplish. Choose from 1) the close (friends, family, advisors) 2) the many (create a study group, tribe, etc.) and the powerful (those you admire doing what you want to do).

Don’t forget to let me know how it’s all going. You can connect with me at the links below.