Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Using "Implementation Intentions" with GTD to Create and Strengthen New Habits Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Using "Implementation Intentions" with GTD to Create and Strengthen New Habits

    Dr. Peter Gollwitzer, professor of psychology at NYU, has been doing research on how goals and plans affect cognitions and behavior. Through his research he coined the term "implementation intentions".

    An implementation intention is a specific plan of action that tells you exactly when, where and how to perform an act in the future. For example, for my specific intention to start exercising, my implementation plan specifies:
    • when I plan to exercise (Mon./Wed./Fri. after work)
    • what exactly I will do (swimming), and
    • where I will do that (recreation center).

    Then, I can take my implementation intention (action plan) and convert it into a positive, action-oriented statement that motivates me:

    "I look forward to exercising regularly by going swimming three days a week at the recreation center, after work.

    Research indicates that people with planned implementation intentions are more successful in creating new habits and accomplishing goals than those without them.

    From Habits and implementation intentions (PDF doc):

    One of the reasons why implementation intentions are so powerful may be that control over behavior is at least partly transferred from the person (i.e. reliance on motivation and willpower) to the situation where behavior should take place (i.e. reliance on cues that automatically initiate responses). An implementation plan thus aims at establishing automatic cue–action links. These (planned) automatic responses thus mimic habitual responses and may in fact turn into genuine habits when practiced sufficiently frequently.

    Regarding GTD, I can appreciate how the context-based Next Action methodology fits nicely with this model of implementation intentions. Clearly, you are more likely to succeed in accomplishing your goals when you've got a predefined action plan in place, that tells you exactly:

    What to do ("What's my next action?")
    - Define the next immediate physical step you can do towards accomplishing your goal.

    Where to do it ("Where will I complete this next action?")
    - Decide where you plan to do the NA, by putting it on an appropriate "At Context" list (@Office, @Calls, @Errands, etc...)

    When to do it ("When will I complete this next action?")
    - Learn to prioritize your NAs by indicating which ones are more urgent than others and need to be done sooner. Do the remaining NAs as soon as possible.


    These methods for getting things done (Next Actions and Implementation Intentions) make a lot of sense to me. Most importantly, these are straightforward systems that work well for me. And it's always nice to know about scientific research that confirms the effectiveness of these principles.

    Anyway, just found this topic interesting. Thought I'd share!

  • #2
    Crossing the Rubicon

    Thanks for sharing!

    The Zurich scientists Storch and Krause have develloped Gollwitzer's Rubicon Modell into what they call the 'Rubicon process'. Please read the article at

    http://www.majastorch.de/download/ResourceStorchK2.pdf

    Using the Rubicon process persons can build attitude goals and motivate themselves for action before they set action goals and try to do something.

    Rainer
    Last edited by Rainer Burmeister; 07-31-2008, 04:26 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thats wonderful article!
      Are you author?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CirtexHosting View Post
        Are you author?
        No, I'm not the author.

        But it's great stuff, indeed.

        If you set an action goal, and the emotions ingrained in your body don't agree, you have almost no chance to move on. But you can change the way your body feels about a goal, and change your attitude, if you care, and if you dare.

        Rainer

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by WebMarketer View Post
          [*]what exactly I will do (swimming), and
          Thanks for sharing this! I think this makes a lot of sense.

          One thing I would add is that "swimming" is not specific enough. For a long time I had a goal to start running, and I did exactly nothing towards that goal, despite having "Go Running" on my daily action card. Then I found the Couch to 5K Running Plan which details exactly how far/long you should run/walk each day, progressively. When I made an iTunes playlist for my iPod that matched those times exactly (i.e. played a fast song for 3min to indicate running, then a slow song for 5min, repeat), I was running a 5K in no time at all. (I actually doubled the pace of this plan, with no problems, as I was in decent shape when starting.)

          The more specific the intended action, the more likely we are to do it, it seems.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for sharing!

            Originally posted by WebMarketer View Post
            An implementation intention is a specific plan of action that tells you exactly when, where and how to perform an act in the future. For example, for my specific intention to start exercising, my implementation plan specifies:
            • when I plan to exercise (Mon./Wed./Fri. after work)
            • what exactly I will do (swimming), and
            • where I will do that (recreation center).
            What happens when, on Monday, your boss keeps you late at work for a couple hours? Or the dog gets sick and has to be taken to the vet? Or your wife immediately presents you with your daughter's low report card?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Brent View Post
              Thanks for sharing!

              What happens when, on Monday, your boss keeps you late at work for a couple hours? Or the dog gets sick and has to be taken to the vet? Or your wife immediately presents you with your daughter's low report card?
              Then... you still do it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Brent View Post
                Thanks for sharing!



                What happens when, on Monday, your boss keeps you late at work for a couple hours? Or the dog gets sick and has to be taken to the vet? Or your wife immediately presents you with your daughter's low report card?
                Actually, once you establish a consistent schedule, it's a lot easier to get other people to respect it. Whether it's scheduling exercise time or an appointment with yourself to get work done, other people just need to know when you'll be available.

                As for true emergencies, they happen and you deal with them. But in most cases they don't happen often enough to truly up-end an established long term routine. FWIW, I've been attending the same aikido class on the same schedule for more than ten years. Sure, I've missed some for a variety of reasons, but I've made more than I've missed.

                Katherine

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by WebMarketer View Post

                  What to do ("What's my next action?")
                  - Define the next immediate physical step you can do towards accomplishing your goal.

                  Where to do it ("Where will I complete this next action?")
                  - Decide where you plan to do the NA, by putting it on an appropriate "At Context" list (@Office, @Calls, @Errands, etc...)

                  When to do it ("When will I complete this next action?")
                  - Learn to prioritize your NAs by indicating which ones are more urgent than others and need to be done sooner. Do the remaining NAs as soon as possible.
                  I think I disagree with this, so let me try to challenge it.
                  In your example of exercising, I would make a project. Each NA would be in my agenda for the specific day/hour (I make a commitment regarding the hard landscape, ei exercising 3 times per week at specific times). So that gives me:
                  what: project goal
                  where: can be part of project material
                  when: agenda

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X