There is a vast majority of things you do in life repeatedly. Therefore, the process of improvement in your life mainly comes down to developing good habits and breaking bad habits.
In this article, you will learn simple yet effective techniques to replace your ineffective habits with productive ones. This technique is called the “AMAZING” technique.
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Before we start discussing this technique, let me provide you with a list of ‘Most common good habits’ that people wish to develop:
1. Have a healthy dietary habit.
2. Practice gratitude.
3. Develop good study habits.
4. Never give up!
5. Manage money wisely.
6. Respect the environment.
7. Practice good hygiene.
8. Always tell the truth!
9. Ask for what you want.
10. Be a regular reader.
11. Be punctual.
Likewise, here is a list of ‘Most common bad habits’ that people want to get rid of:
1. Facebook addiction
2. Overindulging on Netflix
3. Worrying about things that could go wrong
4. Watching an endless stream of YouTube videos
5. Not getting enough sleep
7. Not drinking enough water
8. Distracted driving
9. Skipping breakfast
10. Emotional eating
11. Being indecisive
What is “AMAZING” Technique?
Let's assume that you want to develop the habit of studying for 30 minutes, every day. To develop this habit, you will need to allocate seven days.
On the first day, once you are done reading for 30 minutes, note either in your notebook or a device, a big capital letter ‘A.’ On the second day, you intend to allocate 30 minutes for your studies, however, your friends invite you to hang out. You are hesitant to miss out on achieving your ‘M’ for the day. Therefore, you become motivated to refuse hanging out with your friends to keep up with the allocated 30 minutes of study time.
Like this, you will have to perform this good habit with the same pace, consistently adding letters ‘A’, ‘Z, ‘I’, ‘N’, and ‘G’ from the third day onwards. Finally, on the seventh day, when you complete this practice and add the last letter ‘G’ at your text, you will have the word “AMAZING.” This will be a great opportunity for you to celebrate and acknowledge your accomplishment of sticking to your plan for the entire week!
This technique has a powerful ‘Motivation’ mechanism. The positive motivation factor is the prospect of achieving “AMAZING” at the end of 7 days. The negative motivation mechanism is the fact that even if you miss one day in the middle, you will not be able to achieve the “AMAZING” tag at the end of 7 days. For example, let's say, on the fifth day, you did not get time to study. Thus, instead of adding the letter ‘I’, you will have to strike out the entire word and start all over again. This negative motivation factor will push you to stay on the right track.
If you want to solidify this new habit, you can try a new challenge called double “AMAZING”. Basically, this is similar to “AMAZING” technique but only multiplied twice. In this technique, you need to stick to a habit for the next 14 days.
During this period, you will be able to write the word “AMAZING” twice in your notebook. But if you fail to stick to your habit anywhere within these 14 days, you will have to strike out all the letters that you wrote previously and start once again.
On the other hand, if you successfully manage to breakthrough these fourteen days, you will have yourself double “AMAZING” which would be super amazing. Moreover, it indicates that if you aggregate your first challenge of 7 days and the second one of 14 days, you have been sticking to your new habit for 21 days!
There are different types of research which talk about ‘How long does it take to form a new habit?’. One of the most classical research is done by plastic surgeon Dr Maxwell Maltz. He noticed a common trend among his patients after he finished a certain plastic surgery (example: correcting the form of the nose or lips). He observed that it takes 21 days for his patients to adapt and to start getting used to their new face. From which, he concluded that it takes a minimum of 21 days to form a new habit.
“It requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.”
- Dr Maxwell Maltz, plastic surgeon
According to the research in 2009, by the University College, London, it can take about 18 days to 154 days for people to form a new habit. However, 21 days is a good starting point. If you manage to persevere with your new habit for 21 days, you will surely acquire it for the lifetime. Besides, you will have great chances of sticking with it subsequently.
Write down in the comments section below, the good habits you want to develop and I will make sure to follow up and of course, be “AMAZING”.