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How to integrate a new behavior

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  • How to integrate a new behavior

    What's the best approach to integrate a new behavior, for example to smile when you meet someone? And what's the creteria that the behavoir is integrated successfully?

  • #2
    For the first question, create reminders that pop up frequently. Where are you frequently? In front of the computer, in your bathroom, in the office? Put reminders where you'll see them. Also note that a tickler is a great place for reminders.

    For the second question, it depends entirely on the behavior you want to integrate.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
      What's the best approach to integrate a new behavior, for example to smile when you meet someone? And what's the creteria that the behavoir is integrated successfully?
      Lots of reminders to do the behavior in whatever form you like reminders. Pages from your cell phone, sticky notes, a rubber band around your wrist, whatever works.

      IMO the criteria for integration is that you still perform the behavior regularly as appropriate without any of the reminders being present and that the behavior persists for some time. Doing it one day without a reminder is not enough. Most research says 30 days to instill a new habit. I think that's optimistic unless you only work on one behavior at a time. I think more like 2-3 months is about right.

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      • #4
        making change stick

        Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
        What's the best approach to integrate a new behavior, for example to smile when you meet someone? And what's the creteria that the behavoir is integrated successfully?
        Go through the audio "making change stick" on gtd connect. It has been a life changer for me! In fact personally that was the best that I got from the free trial of gtd connect.

        Regards,
        Abhay
        Last edited by abhay; 01-03-2009, 02:37 AM.

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        • #5
          Higher level of motivation required.

          Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
          What's the best approach to integrate a new behavior, for example to smile when you meet someone?
          There is no way to smile when you meet someone if generally you don't like people. Your smile will look insincerely. In my opinion new habits stick if they are connected to the inner, higher level of motivation.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
            There is no way to smile when you meet someone if generally you don't like people. Your smile will look insincerely. In my opinion new habits stick if they are connected to the inner, higher level of motivation.
            TesTeq, hi there! I agree with you. That means you could never change a behavior if you don't like people. On the other hand the behavior determines the inner world. So there're two ways: from inside to outside (motivation first) and from outside to inside (new behavior first). So pretend you don't like people How would you make yourself smile (in time) without motivation?

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            • #7
              One thought...

              Borisoff,

              You have asked whether a person should implement the new motivation first or the new behavior first when that person is trying to acquire new behavior, such as smilling at people.

              Most people want to be doing their new behavior for the right reasons. In some cases, it's worth forcing the new behavior for a while and the motivation may catch up (example: may be worth quitting the behavior of smoking and sticking to your guns even though you don't 'feel like it' partway through). In other cases, the motivation may matter more. (I can't think of a specific example).

              I tend to lean toward behavior first. If I make myself smile, I already will feel a bit better (though sometimes I don't WANT to).

              If you don't like people, how about smiling at them and, while you consistently do that habit, trying to learn to like them at the same time? I know it's a hypothetical, but that'd be one approach.

              JohnV474

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              • #8
                treat it as an experiment (with tracking, natch)

                In addition the the suggestions above to practice, I'd suggest something I'm developing [1] that's orthogonal to GTD: Treating life as a scientific experiment. Part of the method is tracking in-progress experiments on a (wait for it) list! This becomes a natural basis for reminding (it's reviewed in the places/times you find effective), and, like a GTD project, should be a well-defined experiment with hypothesis, tests, measures, and definitions of success. Importantly, in your hypothesis you'll say what you're trying to do - in this case the motivation behind smiling. Are you trying to be happier? To be more connected with others? To provide joy in others' lives? Figuring out metrics can be a fun challenge, as is deciding, How do I know when I'm done?

                This approach is really opening my mind - thoughts are welcome.

                Happy experimenting!

                [1] http://thinktrylearn.com/

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