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How to use big change to make new habits

Change is disruptive

Think back to the last time you had a major change happen in your life. For example, changing jobs, moving in with your partner, having your first child or getting a dog. It’s a disruption. You have to find a new route to work. You have to get up earlier. You can’t get in the bathroom at the same time you always do. Your life is dictated by something smaller and noisier than you. Your routine is upended.

Change creates new reminders

All routines (habits) are initiated by a reminder. When a major change occurs in your environment, situation or physical condition some of your reminders will change – which means so will some of your habits. Big change can be an exciting opportunity to create new good habits. It can also dangerous time for your existing good habits.

Change is good

When you know a major change is going to occur in your life, take some time to think about what new habits you want to create as a result. Use the change to create good new habits. Take advantage of it. Some of the reminders that could change are:
  • New job
  • New route to work.
  • Earlier or later departure time from home.
  • More or less time to exercise in the morning before work.
  • New or no coffee shop on the way to work.
  • New or no lunch place at work.
  • New or no gym at work.
  • New or no place to walk at work.
  • New or no vending machines with unhealthy snacks.
  • Earlier or later arrival time at home.
  • New house
  • New route to work.
  • Earlier or later departure time to work.
  • New clothing uniform.
  • New location for foods.
  • New or no walking or running routes.
  • New cupboard in the bathroom.
  • New arrival
  • Less time to get ready in the morning.
  • Less time to cook healthy meals for yourself.
  • Less time to go to the bar.
  • Less control over your own time.
In addition to thinking about new habits to create you should also take some time to think about what existing habits you want to keep.

How to use change to your advantage

First of all identify one habit you want to maintain and one new habit you want to create.

Next identify what the current reminder and what the new reminder could be.

Then use the “Three Notes” method to create or modify the habit.