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  • How do behavior changes fit into GTD?

    Suppose I want a new behavior -- something as simple as staying hydrated by drinking three cups of water for every cup of coffee consumed.

    It isn't really a next action.

    It isn't really a checklist item.

    I know there is other software that tracks repetitive actions, but I really don't want to go there -- I want to fit it into GTD, if I can.

    Am I trying to force something in that just doesn't fit?

    Thanks,
    Rob

  • #2
    i suppose it depends on whether you want to be reminded by your system or not. Sometimes when I'm trying to bed in a new behaviour i put calendar reminders sort of at random throughout the day with notes in it to remind me. That can work.

    On the other hand I keep a journal completely separate from my GTD system, and a further seperate small book of affirmations. Although I see them frequently, theyre not things I have to see every day.

    Personally I would just try both out and see what goes for you.

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    • #3
      Goal vs. Project

      This is something I've been having a hard time with as well. What I have determined is that things like these (go to bed earlier, drink more water, exercise more) are really Goals and objectives. Thats why they don't work when they are put in the projects or even reminders categories.

      One of the main differences between goals and projects is perspective. Projects are short while goals are usually made of multiple related projects, and therefore each goal has numerous next actions.

      In making it all work david has a project planning trigger list that is quite useful in situations like the to help identify ALL the planning necessary for a particular project (and extended-goal).

      So my suggestion is to tag it as a goal and then go through the list and see how many related projects there are that need to be done first before you can realize your goal. I know I've been surprized by how much planning and research I actually needed to do just to learn how to type a little faster. "practice typing for 20 min every day" then putting that in a calendar never worked for longer than a week. It's still in progress but I have been regularly practicing typing for several months now after following this structure.

      I hope that made sense. That's the first time I've tried to explain that to anyone.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bradenchase View Post
        In making it all work david has a project planning trigger list that is quite useful in situations like the to help identify ALL the planning necessary for a particular project (and extended-goal).

        So my suggestion is to tag it as a goal and then go through the list and see how many related projects there are that need to be done first before you can realize your goal.
        Found the list -- yes, thanks. Sounds like you are saying such a change is really part of a much bigger picture -- and identifying it as a goal, then working on that goal using David's trigger list, will be helpful.

        I'll try it.

        Thanks,
        Rob

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        • #5
          Use a tickler file to remind you to change a habit

          I've got some habit changes on my projects list, but some don't have any tangible next actions per se. What I need is an occasional reminder to check my behavior until I have the habit on cruise control. Even after I make the change I leave a revolving note in my tickler file to remind me not to fall back on old bad habits. It works pretty well.

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          • #6
            you just want reminders

            This fits in GTD as part of your reminder system. Since you are changing a habit that requires daily thought, you need a daily (or hourly) reminder.

            I have had Projects like "keep track of when I am off-track". By its very nature, I am not paying attention to being sidetracked when I'm down some rabbit trail.

            The perfect reminder? An alarm, repeated several times a day, that I would use to pause and check what I've been doing for the last little while.

            Example: GOAL: better hydration for physical health; PROJECT: Hydrate better after drinking coffee; NEXT ACTION: @Waiting For self to drink coffee, to then follow w h20; then put a post-it in your paper planner OR put a little check box in the paper planner OR set an all-day appointment (drink coffee yet? have water), with optional alarms for those times you drink the most coffee.

            You don't need extra software; these fit perfectly into GTD.

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