If you’ve ever struggled with how to establish a new habit (maybe something like writing every day for your dissertation), behavioral science has some ideas that might be helpful for you.
In NPR’s Life Kit podcast, behavioral scientist Katy Milkman of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School presents some of her findings. One idea that we found interesting is that some flexibility in setting your goals can help you establish new habits. If you set a goal to write everyday at 10am for an hour, but don’t do it, give yourself the flexibility to fit in an hour at a different time in the day. People who gave themselves the flexibility to fit in a workout at a prescribed time or a different time were more likely to stick to that new habit.