How to create change: Part 6- Minimize barriers to change

In life, knowledge and common sense is not enough. Action is most important. In many cases, we have the knowledge of what we have to do. Yet we do not do the correct thing.

The reason is- our habits. When we keep doing a certain thing we continue to do the same thing. We have formed a habit. This is because our brains become wired to do that particular thing. The neurons have formed a strong enough connection and they fire in a particular way.

We can create new habits. Habits that are more helpful and positive. Because our brain is malleable and plastic at any age, we have the power to create new habits at any age.

To do that, willpower is not the answer. Willpower depletes fast. So if we are tempted enough, our willpower gives way and we do the same old thing and not what we intend to do.

So what do we do?

It is in our nature to be drawn to things that are easy, convenient and habitual. So when we try to create a new habit, our initial effort-the activation energy has to be minimal. So if we put our desired behaviour on the path of least resistance so that the initial effort needed is minimal or nil, we can create new positive habits easily. If we increase the activation energy for negative habits, they fall off easily.

  • So if you do not want to do a certain thing, make it difficult for you to do it.
  • If you want to do a certain thing, make it easy for you to do it.
  • Limit your choices.
  • Make rules and follow them
  • Repeated practice is the key.
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