Improvement Pill here.
I wanna welcome you to lesson 5 of the Tamed Course.
In the previous lessons we covered a strategy for this course,
which is to replace your bad habits with good Keystone habits,
then we discussed how habits work,
debunked a couple of misconceptions
and in our last video we discussed
three of the most powerful habits you can adopt.
So by now, you should have a habit in mind
that you’re going to work on for the remainder of this course.
If you do not have this habit in mind,
or if you’ve missed any of the previous lessons
stop this video right now,
and click on the link in the description box below.
It will bring you to a playlist
that has all of the lessons of the Tamed Course in chronological order.
In today’s lesson we’re going to talk about
how to properly start forming your habit.
We’re going to cover how to strategically pick a cue,
how to structure your routine
so that you get closer to the line of automaticity with half the effort,
and finally, how to effectively reward yourself so that your habit sticks.
This is without a doubt one of the most important videos in this course,
so make sure you pay close attention.
Alright, let’s get started.
Remember, the cue is what triggers your brain
to follow through with the routine and reach that reward,
so it’s important to pick a cue that appears every single day
because if you pick a cue like ”waking up to the sun shining on your face”,
sure, you’ll stick to your habit most of the time,
but if it’s ever raining outside,
you won’t be prompted to follow through with your routine.
At the same time, you want to pick a cue that is unavoidable.
Your cue needs to be something that you encounter every day,
no matter where you are,
不管你做什么 甚至你感觉怎样 也都一样
what you’re doing or even how you’re feeling.
For example, the cue from my habit of reading is eating.
Whenever I eat, I pick up a book
or read some informative article online.
This cue is something that I do every single day without fail and it’s unavoidable.
I could be sick, I could be in another country, it doesn’t matter
because I’ll still have to eat.
Other unavoidable cues that you can consider for your own habit
are things like showering, brushing your teeth,
logging on to your computer, or even your commute back from work.
There’s tons of possibilities, and it doesn’t really matter what you select
as long as your cue is something that appears every single day without fail.
Another thing you want to keep in mind
is that your cue should make it possible for you to follow through with your routine immediately.
Let’s say for example, the keystone habit you’ve selected is meditation.
It may not be smart to attach this routine to the cue of, say, arriving at work.
Some difficulties may arise if you plan to spend
your first 10 minutes of work every day meditating.
Your boss might interrupt and give you an assignment,
and lo and behold, you’ll get sidetracked and completely forget to meditate.
What you want to do is pick a cue
that makes it easier for you to follow through with your routine.
For example, if the Keystone habit you’re trying to build is fitness,
it’s extremely effective to sign up
for a gym that is on your commute from work.
That way, when you travel back from work,
you’ll naturally come across your cue, which is seeing the gym.
This cue is great, because when you see it,
you’re only seconds away from starting your routine.
The final thing I want to note when it comes to picking a cue
is that you want to pick a single cue.
You want your brain to associate a single unique cue
with a single unique routine.
If half the time you’re using cue A
and the other half you’re using cue B,
you’re basically building two habits at the same time,
and because of this it can take you twice as long
to reach the line of automaticity,
which again is that point in time
where you no longer even have to think about doing your habit.
All right, so the next thing we’re gonna talk about is the routine.
Now there’s a huge problem with the way
that the majority of people look at their routines.
See, most people who start a new habit
set their expectations for their routine very very high.
They tell themselves that they’ll work out for at least an hour and a half
five times a week,
that they’ll meditate every single day for at least 20 minutes,
that they’ll finish reading at least a book every single week.
If you expect to perform this well every single day,
you’re eventually going to bump into some problems.
Somewhere down the line,
it could be a week, it could be a month,
there’s going to be a day where you have low levels of willpower.
It could be because you’re sick,
it could be because you drink too much the previous night,
it could even be because you’ve been working too much.
Whatever it is, these bad days are unavoidable.
Now, we’re gonna dive deeper
into the concept of willpower later on in this course,
But for now, I just want you to remember
these two facts about willpower.
The first fact is that if your habit is still new,
it requires a decent amount of willpower to stick to it.
The closer your habit gets to the line of automaticity,
the less willpower it will require.
The second fact is that our brain tries its best to conserve willpower,
so when your willpower levels drop below a certain threshold,
it will do everything in its power to try to conserve it.
Okay, so your willpower levels are low
and you’re travelling back from work, and you see your gym,
which is your cue,
and this means that you have to work out for an hour and a half
What’s your brain going to do?
Your brain is gonna say,
“There’s no way we can work out for an hour and a half
with this nearly empty tank of willpower”,
and I can just about guarantee you
that he’s going to convince you not to go.
so you end up going home
to binge watch the new season of “Stranger Things” while eating Doritos.
You wake up the next morning feeling terrible and guilty,
because you’ve technically broken your New Year’s resolution.
Your motivation to go to the gym just isn’t the same anymore.
You start skipping more days, and next thing you know,
you’re back to square one.
Sound familiar? Well it should,
because this sort of thing happens all of the time.
This is why only 8% of people manage to stick to their New Year’s resolution.
The trap that most of us fall into is that we focus way too much energy
on how hard we should work during our routines.
Instead, we should be focusing on simply showing up.
In fact, someone who goes to the gym every single day
and works out for only 10 minutes
will get to the line of automaticity
much faster than someone who shows up half as much
but works out for one, two, or even three hours at a time.
This is because the only thing that will get you closer to the line of automaticity is consistency.
Let me repeat that again:
The only thing that will get you closer to making that keystone habit of yours
into something you do automatically without any effort,
is consistency, basically how often you show up.
Now a lot of you are probably thinking:
“Well, what’s the point of working out for only ten minutes?
There’s no way I can lose any weight or put on any muscle
if I only work out for ten minutes.”
And you’re right but only to some extent
because getting our habits in the line of automaticity is our number one goal,
but reaping the benefits of these Keystone habits is also important.
That’s why, if you want to get the most out of your Keystone habit,
you need to implement something I like to call the low high bar.
Here’s how it works:
The low bar is the least amount of work you can do
that will still move your habit closer to the line of automaticity.
This means that you need to at least follow all of the steps of your routine,
but you’re allowed to do so with minimal effort.
For example, let’s say that you’re trying to make meditation into a habit.
the low bar for this could be:
“sitting in the proper meditation position that you always sit in,
setting your clock to the number you always set it to,
and focusing on your breathing for just one minute.”
If you think one minute is too hard for you on a day with low willpower,
you can even lower it to thirty seconds.
It doesn’t really matter because you’re still following all of the steps of your routine
and this means you’re still getting closer to the line of automaticity.
Now the high bar is what eventually causes you to reap the benefits of your habits.
It is the most amount of work you allow yourself to do.
So let’s take the previous example of our meditation habit.
The high bar for this routine could be
focusing on your breathing for up to 20 minutes.
This means that you’re allowed to meditate for anywhere
from one minute which is your low bar, to 20 minutes which is your high bar.
Now you’re probably thinking:
“Well, how does this even work?
Why would I ever want to limit myself?”
The low high bar works extremely well because of two reasons.
第一 如果出于某种原因 你的意志力不够
Number one: it makes it extremely easy for you to complete your routine,
if for whatever reason you have low willpower.
The task of meditating for just thirty seconds
isn’t enough to scare your brain into conserving its willpower.
So having a low bar prevents you
from missing days you normally would’ve.
This is crucial, because every single day you miss
sets back your progress towards that line of automaticity.
Missing just one day also tends to cause us to miss even more days
especially in the beginning of our habit building journey.
So by setting a low bar for our routine
we can avoid massive setbacks
that would have likely thrown us back to square one.
The second reason the low high bar is so effective
is because by having a high bar for your routine,
you’ll be motivated to do more than the bare minimum,
even on days where your levels of willpower are extremely low.
This is because, like I mentioned in the previous videos,
it actually takes more willpower
穿鞋 出门 前往健身房
to put on your shoes, head out the door and go to the gym
than the actual workout itself.
Luckily, you know about the low bar,
which, if you implement, means you will almost always show up.
This means that you’ve actually just overcome the hardest part of the routine,
and since you have a high bar for this routine,
I can almost guarantee that you’ll find yourself thinking,
“Well, I spent so much time and energy getting here,
I might as well work out a bit longer.
My maximum for working out is an hour and a half,
so let’s try to do thirty minutes instead of just five.
It’s funny, because at first glance
the low high bar sounds like cheating,
it sounds like a shortcut,
and that’s because it is.
It gets you to that line of automaticity
faster and more efficiently than other conventional methods
Alright, so the last thing we’re gonna talk about is the reward.
there needs to be a prize that’s worthwhile at the end of your habit loop,
otherwise your brain has no reason to record this loop.
Why should it remember something that doesn’t benefit you in any way?
There are two requirements that your reward must fill.
第一个条件是 习惯完成后 奖励必须立刻得到
The first requirement is that the reward must arrive immediately,
or at least very soon after the routine.
Let’s say for example that you’re trying to build a habit of working out.
If you tell yourself that your reward for working out
is that you’ll look better three months down the line,
that’s a bad reward,
because the part of your brain that’s responsible for building habits
will not associate that reward with your routine,
it’s too far away.
Here’s a good example of an immediate reward:
when I was building my habit of working out,
I would treat myself to a fantastic meal right after,
something like a delicious steak or a large bowl of curry.
This is a good reward,
because it comes immediately after my routine,
and because of this, my brain starts to associate
my routine of working out with the reward of food.
If you’re doing this properly,
you should start noticing small cravings during your routine.
While building my habit of working out,
I started to catch myself thinking about the food I would eat right after,
and that’s a very good sign
because the more your brain associates a reward with a specific routine,
the closer you are to that line of automaticity.
The second requirement for a good reward
is that it has to be pleasurable.
Let’s say that you’re trying to build a habit of reading books every day,
and the reward you assigned for this habit is “knowledge”.
This is a terrible reward,
because although knowledge is good,
and can easily lead to a happier life,
it in itself is not that pleasurable.
What you could do is assign the feeling of accomplishment as the reward,
and focus on that when you finish your reading.
Now the feeling of accomplishment is okay and it’ll do the job,
but if you want to have the most success in building your habits,
if you want your habits to feel exciting,
it’s best to stick to what I like to call “primitive rewards”.
Primitive rewards are things that have always been rewarding,
tracing back for millions and millions of years,
比如吃东西 性爱 玩乐 社交
things like food, sex, play, socializing,
were and still are some of the most important activities for us.
These things ensure the survival of our genes,
and because of this they’ve evolved to become extremely pleasurable.
So instead of assigning the reward of knowledge
or even the feeling of accomplishment to your routine of reading,
it’s a lot more effective to assign something like play or relaxation.
For example, you could say, “If I do my routine of reading,
I can relax and watch an episode of my favorite TV show right after.”
Watching your favorite show is fun and pleasurable
and that makes it a pretty good reward.
So just to recap on everything:
first, you want to pick a single unique cue
that you come across every single day without fail.
Assign this single unique cue to your unique routine.
It’s also important to note that this cue should make it easier
for you to follow up immediately with your routine.
Next, you want to figure out the steps of your routine.
Do you have to go somewhere?
Is there something that you have to set up?
What do you do?
Whatever it is, identify each and every single step.
After doing so, we can now create a low high bar for this routine.
Your low bar should be so easy that it’s impossible
for you to come up with excuses to not do it,
something easy like doing one push up.
Your high bar should be an amount
that you see yourself doing on a perfect day,
something like a hundred push-ups.
And finally, you want to assign a reward
that you can receive immediately after your routine
that is also very pleasurable.
If you’re having trouble thinking of good rewards,
you can always just use one of the primitive rewards I mentioned before
比如吃东西 玩乐 社交
like food, play, or socializing.
You now have everything you need to start building your Keystone Habit.
so what I want you guys to do right now
is to sit down and carefully think about your cue,
your low high bar for your routine, your reward,
and write all of that down in the comments below.
It is important that you write this out,
because this is what you’ll be following starting today,
until you reach that line of automaticity for this habit.
I’ll include an example in the comments below,
and I’ll also try my best to provide constructive criticism for as many of you as possible.
In our next lesson, we’re gonna start speaking about willpower.
I’ve mentioned willpower a couple of times throughout this course,
and that’s because willpower is directly tied to your ability to stick to your habits.
We’ll be discussing what it is and how it works in our next lesson.
The Tamed course was brought to you
with the help of the patrons of this channel.
you can donate as little as one dollar a month,
and even then I’ll be extremely grateful,
because each and every single dollar takes some pressure off of my shoulders.
This allows me to create more content like this course for absolutely free
without having to worry about putting a roof over my head.
请查阅我的 Patreon 页面
Check out my Patreon page to find out more
about the perks and benefits that all my patrons receive,
and for all of you that are starting your habits today,
I wish you the best of luck and massive success.