It's sometimes hard to get into a healthy habit, because we simply forget to do the habit. It's funny, but that's one of the main reasons we fail.
Thankfully, it is very easy to fix with some help.
We need to remind ourselves that we need to perform the habit, over and over again. As I explained it here, habits are created by repetition and all we have to do is to use create a reminder.
Easy, right? This post will show you how to create a reminder...and how to use it.
Why we need help to get into healthy habits
Do you know why Kled is a dominant force in the top lane?
He has help. He fights together with a giant lizard named Skaarl. Whenever Kled is alone he can barely damage an enemy, but when Skaarl comes back they destroy everything and everyone.
That's a great example and shows that additional help is always valuable and it's nothing to be a shamed about. We aren't superheroes, we are gamers that want to get into new habits.
The problem is that healthy habits are not very addictive at first, so we need to push ourselves for a while using a reminder.
How does a habit reminder look like?
I like to use simple objects near my computer that remind me of a particular habit.
The first thing I experimented with was a poster on my wall, next to my computer with this picture on it:
I used this to correct my posture. Whenever I died in game, I would notice this picture and get disgusted immediately. The hump of Quasimodo was all it took.
Basically, any item works if the first association upon seeing it is the healthy habit we're trying to get into. We can put dumbbells on the table if we want to train our arms, or put our guitar in our lap if we want to learn Wonderwall by Oasis.
I would suggest, however, to stick with smaller items or items that would push us to do multiple actions rather than just one.
Creating the easiest but most effective reminder
We print out a checklist with habits we want to work on and use tape to put it on the wall behind our computers.
Please note that we need to be realistic when adding habits. One time consuming habits at a time will be more than enough. I've seen people try to establish 5 or more habits simultaneously, but it never works.
If we try to achieve more than we can manage, we'll simply stop at some point.
- We have a limited amount of time
We only have a little amount of time per day that can be used for new habits. Trying to juggle between 5 habits, because we need to spend at least an hour per day to work on one of them.
- We need to quickly justify that habits can be established. The less time we spend on a habit, the more likely we are to quit.
- Individual habits don't get enough consistency for our brains to make them automatic.
We should start with habits that seem easy, for example, replacing soft drinks with water. This is easy because we simply stop buying soft drinks and bring a big glass of water to our table like Pink Ward does.
When habits become harder to get into we start to use an additional trigger. Whenever we are in a queue, champion select or dead, we take a look at it and work on our habit.
If you want to share how you're doing or want to ask any questions, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck and have fun!