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Implementation intentions

Implementation Intentions illustration: A blank ballot paper is shown as the result of vague plan to vote at some point. A completed ballot paper demonstrates how a specific logistical plan on when, where and how they'll get to the polling station got the job done.

These are a super useful trick to increase the chances of action, be it your own others. Essentially, a vague intention of “I plan to do that,” is much less likely to be followed-through on than if you get specific. It takes out the ambiguity of when and where you’ll do something because that’s already decided. For example, asking voters simple questions like how they’ll get to the polling station has been shown to increase turnout on the day. You can use this to your own advantage too — get specific with yourself to help you get things done, be it how and when you’ll workout, or when you’ll study or whatever.

Here’s a simple template for implementation intentions you could try:

I will [do X] at [time] in [location].

I learned this, and many more tips, from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, all about how to create good habits and break ones.


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