I love reading.
I always have.
My books of choice are those that can help me to improve my performance and experience of life.
Topics include Spirituality, Personal Development, Business, and Health.
When I lived In my previous home reading came easily to me.
However, when I moved to my current home, I noticed that the quantity of reading I was doing dropped sharply.
As much as I thought about it, I couldn’t figure out what was happening.
Instead of reading, I was suddenly drawn to watching more tv, and I didn’t even enjoy the programs I was watching.
Using my environment to change my behaviour
Then, one day, I was listening to James Clear give a talk on his book Atomic Habits.
James mentioned how setting your environment up correctly can support the implementation of a positive habit.
He gave the example of how all furniture in modern living rooms points towards the television.
Therefore, all of the focus is on the television, meaning that you are far more likely to watch television than do anything else when you are in the room.
James offered an example of turning one chair around to face the coffee table, with a book sitting on the table.
This should encourage you to read as you wouldn’t be looking at the television.
This didn’t quite work for me so I adapted the idea to suit my living room.
I rearranged my furniture to place my favourite chair beside my bookshelf.
Its new location meant that I couldn’t see the whole tv when sitting in this chair.
I could move the chair if I wanted to sit in it to watch television but the little bit of resistance this added meant that I would have time to pause and think about what I was doing; giving me the chance to make the right choice.
Simply put, with just a minute of action, I had now set up my room to promote reading over watching television.
In the months since I made this change, I have added an extra hour or more each day.
Of course, this also means that I am watching an hour less television each day.
An hour of reading each day may not seem like much but over a year it adds up to several extra books.
As each of the books I read is aimed at improving my life, the difference over a year is noticeable.
As James Clear points out, if you improve your life by 1% each day, at the end of the year, your life will be 37 times better.
What are you trying to change?
Maybe you are not trying to increase your reading but you are going to want to instill some new habits in your life.
If you want to make that habit easy to implement then you should consider how you can change your environment to support that new habit.
It may take a little experimentation but if you have chosen a good new habit, then it is well worth the effort.
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