You’ve done a lot in the last eight days to set yourself up for success with your new gratitude practice. But the reality is still that when we are tired and don’t really feel like doing much of anything, we are likely to do what is familiar or easy rather than practice a new behavior.
You can outsmart this brain booby trap three ways:
First, pre-decide as much as you possibly can (what you will do, what materials you’ll need, where you will do it). Say your new habit is to take a savoring walk (see this description for this research-tested gratitude practice). Instead of deciding on your route in the morning right before you leave, figure that out the night before and commit to the time you’ll leave and the way you’ll go in the morning.
Second, and this is the critical part, structure your environment to support your decision. Put your walking shoes by the door. If you think you’ll be tempted to stay home and watch TV instead, put the remote in an inconvenient place that you won’t want to venture into in the morning. (Have access to a dusty attic? That’d be perfect.)
Finally, make a specific plan for what you will do when challenges arise, because they will. If you wake up to find that it’s raining, pre-decide that you’ll wear your blue rain jacket and take that huge golf umbrella your dad left in the closet. If you wake up late, pre-decide that you’ll shorten your walk from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. In the next few days we’ll work on these obstacles a bit more.
What To Do Today
Task #1: Use the “Pre-decide as Much as Possible” page in your workbook to make some decisions now that will help you tomorrow.
Task #2: Do your “Better Than Nothing” gratitude practice.
Task #3: Are you remembering to measure your progress? Don’t forget to check in if you’re using the Facebook page: https://goo.gl/Zj35ZD
What’s next? We’ll work on ambition tomorrow. Keep an eye out for that email!