#658 How to Break a Bad Habit

Easy as 1, 2, 3

In our last +1, we had fun tweaking James Clear’s 4 Laws of Behavior Change as we applied The 3 Laws of Creating a Great Habit.

Pop quiz!!

a) You remember the 3 Laws?

And… More importantly:

b) Did you do the theoretical work of dropping your habit into that model?

And… MOST importantly:

c) Did you do the practical work and get to work on building that habit?!


a) The 3 Laws of Creating a Great Habit:

1. Make It Obvious
2. Make It Easy
3. Make It Awesome

b) If yes, High fives! If not… “Needs work!!” (“That’s not like you!” 😘 )

c) If yes, High fives! If not… “Needs work!!” (“That’s not like you!” 😘)

Today, as promised, we’re going to have fun DELETING a bad habit.

Enter: The Three Laws of Breaking a Bad Habit.

1. Make it Invisible ( love that word “Invisible”!)
2. Make it Hard
3. Make it Terrible

For our purposes, let’s assume the habit you’d like to break is to use your phone less; specifically, to quit blowing your brain up with blue-bits late at night.

First, how do we make it Invisible? Well, how about we set an alarm for the time we want to put our phones away (science says at least 30 minutes to an hour before our ideal bed time) then, when that alarm goes off we shut down our phone and bury it in our closet? That’s a solid way to make it “invisible.” (Note: Same game works in the morning (and any time!) when you want to crush some Deep Work.)

Second, how do we make it Hard? Well, we DON’T make it Easy. Put the phone way back in your closet. Or, better yet, to use a Dan Millman story, put it in a safe in your garage behind a bunch of luggage and other stuff so you have to climb through all that just to get it. Or maybe give it to your spouse (or roommate or kids or…) and tell them to hide it somewhere. (Or whatever! You get the idea. lol)

Finally, how do we make it Terrible? James offers some fun tips here. You could make a commitment to a trusted friend that if you break your commitment to stop doing whatever it is you want to stop doing, you’ll send an “ouch, the size of that $ amount hurts” check to your least favorite charity. Make it really painful to fail. That’s a good way to succeed. (So is the social support/accountability, btw. Double bonus!)

Three Laws. Your #1 Habit you want to break.

1. Make It Invisible
2. Make It Hard
3. Make It Terrible

Today’s +1.

Your turn!

Three Laws. Your #1 Habit.

1. Make It Invisible
2. Make It Hard
3. Make It Terrible

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