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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Switch: #9--Shape the Path and Build Habits

Shape the Path and Build Habits: Our Rider gets tired when there’s a lot of deciding and analyzing to do, so habits are like autopilot. The greater the degree to which we can count on habits or routines, the more the Rider is inclined to go that way. However, we have both good and bad habits. We like to eat more than we should but also enjoy working out. We’ve all used “action triggers” (so named by Peter Gollwitzer from NYU) in our lives. If you’ve ever tied your workout to a certain routine, you’ve used a trigger. In fact, by tying a decision to a routine—like stretching every time you get a cup of coffee—you’re preloading that decision. Checklists also help build routines that we might overlook because we’re overconfident and might miss something. Bottom line: Habits help the Rider guide the Elephant without too much effort.

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