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Strategies to Build or Eliminate Habitual Behavior
Strategy 1: Environment Our environment can play a big role in our habits because the environment can make it easier or difficult to perform the habit. The environment is the setting or scenario that can trigger you to do the habit.
For example, if you want to decrease eating sweets, put them somewhere harder to get to so you have work to get them. Also, make sweets less visible. If you don’t see them, then you don’t think of them. If you increase a habit like drinking water, keep it next to where you are working so you see it when you look up and then drink.
In the classroom, if we want our students to use hand sanitizer we place it right at the entrance as students come back in the classroom or hold it out for them to use as they come in from recess. This strategy is likely to increase the chance that they will use the hand sanitizer because it is highly visible or part of their natural flow for returning to the building or classroom.
If there are certain materials like counting manipulatives or special markers that you only want students to use occasionally, you would not have them out on frequented shelves, counters, or tables in the classroom. Instead, you would put these items in a cabinet out of sight or keep them on your teacher’s desk.
Keys to environmental design: 1. Visibility 2. Access 3. Flow
Sources: EmpowerU Build Resilience Course