Posted in Change management, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, mindfulness, Stress management

What is your bright line rule…?


I am a great believer in doing things differently spurred on by a wish to alter bad habits.  Sometimes I am very successful and develop more effective ways of working and living, however on several occasions the willpower is not strong enough.

I have understood that you always need the knowledge and the skill to make a change but the passion and desire to make it is the strongest.

Think of things that you want to curb:-

  • drinking too much
  • eating junk food
  • looking at your phone all the time
  • taking your iPad to bed

So stopping a habit should be easier than starting a new habit.  To start to go for that run or visit the gym takes effort whereas stopping should be easier.  So why do so many of us fail.  We often decide to moderate are intake of junk food or reduce our phone usage this is never enough and does not work.

However reading a recent article  the suggestion of going cold turkey seems far more successful.  We reduce the mental capacity as we block it from our minds, we are saying no, we are making a bright line rule.  I will not…!!!

James Clear’s blog explains it perfectly the willpower becomes empowering and clear.  You have a new rule and even a new identity with the rule.

My own personal example was wasting time on Facebook, looking at other peoples lives so I drew a bright line rule and closed my page the temptation to look was removed.  Help is at hand you can now have internet protectors “leech block”, or even set a timer so your computer shuts down.

Sir Bradley Wiggins talks about the strict diet of cyclist and he says the only way to achieve this was the sign up of the whole family.  The bright line rule was there were no biscuits in the house and his children and wife signed up to this.

Bright line rules for starting habits are a more productive route.  Earlier I said establishing a new routine takes mental capacity and can often seem to big.  With rules in place you can achieve the new ritual.

  • Reducing time looking at emails – means creating new rules – looking at your emails at set time period in the day and the language to match it:-
  • “I only process emails between 10.00am – 11.00am”
  • The same with fitness – “I visit the gym once a week”
  • Junk food make a clear rule that is achievable – “I don’t eat biscuits” it is about taking just one small part of the habit and creating a rule

To understand more read and also

For a workshop on habits please contact

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