The beginning of the summer is kind of like the beginning of a mini-new year for me.
It’s the end of the school year. And with the end of the school year comes a whole different routine than the one we have from
September through the middle of June.
I don’t know about you, but it’s often a time when I try to begin a new habit.
Maybe I want to guide the kids to contribute more at home.
Maybe I want to spend more time outside.
Maybe I decide I want to read more a watch TV less.
Whatever the habit is, what I know is that the smaller and easier you start, the higher your chances of solidifying that new habit are.
There is something else you can do in addition to making sure that new behavior becomes an automatic part of your day.
IT’s called an implementation intention.
I first learned of this when reading James Clear’s Atomic Habits.
An implementation intention is a strategy you employ to be very specific about what you will do.
You actually write it down, and you specifically state what you will do, and when and where you will do it.
I use these with all the members in my online groups, and they really work!
Whether you are trying to become stronger or go to bed earlier or spend less time on your phone or drink more water, an implementation intention can really help you get there.
Here is an example of one I shared recently with my clients:
I’ve designed my own planner/journal pages, and I have them in a 3-ring binder. Every day, I fill out a new page, and part of it contains an implementation intention.
I am presently trying to improve my upper body strength, and I am working on establishing doing push-ups every day as a part of my daily routine because they are a great all over strength training exercise, and you can do them anywhere!
So every day — okay, almost every day because I’ve missed a couple days — I do push-ups in the same place at the same time.
My implementation intention is:
I will do (new habit) in/at (specific location) at (time).
I will do 24 push-ups in the front hallway on the rug at 8:15 a.m.
(8:15 a.m. is as soon as the three little guys are on the bus).
I started out with one push-up on April 1st, and then I increased by one until I got to 30 on April 30th.
On May 1st, I started off at one push-up again, and now I’m working my way back up to 31 by the last day of the month.
My goal is to get to the point where I can do 50 consecutive push-ups.
I’m not there yet, but I’m getting closer, partially because every day I write out my implementation intention, and because doing push-ups every day is starting to become automatic.
The simple act of writing it down really helps me stay accountable to myself.
If you are looking to establish a new habit this summer (or any time), especially if you have had trouble in the past, give an implementation intention a try! It works!
If you wanna check out Atomic Habits, click here (affiliate link). It’s REALLY good.