Chicago’s Rollout–Change a Habit (3)

In a project, there are five phases:  initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.

With the project of changing a habit, let’s take the first phase of initiating.   This is where you come up with a definition of your project’s goal.   In this case, it’s where you want to change a habit.   So let’s call this step 1.

1.  Choose a habit you want to change

Now let’s talk about planning the project.   You’re going to want to figure out how long you are going to give yourself to complete the project.

2.  Choose a timeframe for the project

Many experts talk about a new habit being established or an old one being changed in about two weeks.

In order to change the habit, we need to analyze the habit loop and figure out what the CUE or TRIGGER, ROUTINE, and REWARD are.

3.  Become aware of the CUE for the habit.

We’ll assume you already know what the ROUTINE is you are trying to break.   But you also need to figure out the REWARD.

4.  Figure out what the REWARD is.

Once you know the reward, you can then figure out how to insert a different ROUTINE after the CUE so that you get a similar REWARD.

5.  Figure out what the replacement ROUTINE will be.

Once you have figured out what the replacement ROUTINE should be, you are now ready to execute the project.

6.  Start the project:  use CUE awareness to become more aware of the CUE, and when it occurs, use the replacement ROUTINE.

You should start recording your progress, so you can review it at the end of the first week, and then at the end of the project in two weeks.

7.  Mark on an index card a check mark every time you catch yourself doing the CUE for the ROUTINE.

8.  Mark on an index card a hash mark (#) every time you successfully carry out the replacement ROUTINE.

9.  Review your progress after one week.

10.  Review your progress at the end of the second week when your project stops.

The last step is the closing progress, because you decided how long the project would last back in Step #2.

So this shows you how to write the steps of a project in a way that divides them into the five phases mentioned above:

Initiating–step #1

Planning–steps #2-#5

Executing–steps #6-#8

Monitoring and controlling–steps #7-#9

Closing–step #10.

Now that is the outline of a project.   Let’s go to the next post for more details about how to practically get this done in your daily life, starting with CUE awareness.



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