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These are my random notes on a presentation by Michael Kim from Habit Design.

About Habit Design

Train to practice positive daily habits through open science.

Building a course for universities to start teaching this to students.

Random Statistics

80% of workforce training is lost within 30 days.

Billions of dollars are lost every year because training is not retained.

Behavior diagram from Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab

We want to be on the Purple Path.

To create a habit you need;

  1. Motivation
  2. Ability
  3. Trigger – this is the queue for the behavior to begin.

If the motivation and ability is low, the trigger will fail.

The low hanging fruit is the top right of the diagram. It is called “preaching to the choir”.

You need to have willpower (it doesn’t get easier as you exercise it). Willpower is like herding a pack of wolves.

The habit loop.

Cue (Click) -> Routine -> Reward -> Cue

The important part isn’t the routine but the cue and reward.

1. Trigger

  • The cue or trigger has to be HOT (act now).
  • These are audio/visual observable marker, thoughts do not work.
  • Bonus: Already a habit (“Anchor”).

2. Baby-step the Routine

  • 5 words or less
  • Right after the cue
  • Don’t focus on time units as the routine
  • “Proximal” vs “distal” goals. You want to focus on the proximal, close term, goals. Distal goals don’t help with the routine because it is too far off. Make behavior too small to fail.

3. Conditional Reinforcement (Reward)

  • Fast feedback, the reward has to be immediate
  • The reward has to only associate with the routine. One meaning
  • Bonus: Routine = reward (running provides the endorphins which is a reward in of itself)

Endowment effect

  • We always value our own work more than others.
  • big things have small beginnings (Example: don’t ask for thousand of dollars for people to donate, ask them for a dollar at first, then come back and gradually ask for more and they will be more open to do it.)
  • 21 days to create a habit is not true. Some research has shown it can take around 66 days.

The secret ingredient—Do it with someone else.

Some ancient proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

This is an example of staying motivated. “Cheer me on” feature of the Nike+ app. It would post your run on Facebook and when you were running if someone liked your post, you would get a cheer while you were running.