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Strategies to Build or Eliminate Habitual Behavior
Strategy 2: Convenience
When building habits, convenience plays a huge role in whether we maintain or decrease a habit. If you make it easier to accomplish a task you are more likely to do it. Conversely if you make it harder to accomplish a task, you won’t do it.
Examples: If you are trying to increase exercise, but your exercise clothes aren’t clean, you either need to make sure they are clean and ready before you exercise, or buy enough exercise clothes to last you until your regular laundry day. If you are not a gym person, but prefer to walk, living in an area with established walking paths would make exercise more convenient.
Another example is trying to cook at home rather than eat out. Many times we eat out because we don’t have all the ingredients at home to cook and we’re too tired to make a shopping trip AND food. The solution to that could be planning so ingredients for certain meals are always at home or having groceries delivered so ingredients are conveniently there when you want to cook.
In our classrooms, we often provide pencils so that our students don’t have a reason not to write things down or complete assignments. If students pull out phones or use other electronic devices including their Chromebooks inappropriately, they can lose access to those things making it inconvenient to keep that habit going.