Ground States for Habit Change

Aman Manazir

Welcome to my website! This is my very first article, and I'm so excited to get things started!

I decided to kick things off with an interesting lifestyle change that I implemented a few months ago which has been extremely helpful to my self-development. As a child, I was an avid reader; however, this habit died off as soon as I entered high school. I recently challenged myself to get back into reading and read at least one book every week of any genre.

I found this difficult to accomplish at first until I ran into the idea of "ground states." Your ground state is what you do in between tasks, your default micro-activity which you use to fill short periods of empty time. Usually, this activity is to follow the path of least resistance, which for most people ends up being scrolling through Instagram or Snapchat, a habit they've built up over several years.

I challenged myself to delete all social media apps from my phone during the day and to take advantage of these micro-breaks; I forced myself to open up the Kindle app and read whenever I was just sitting around in between important tasks.

This strategy proved to be incredibly useful; I found myself reading at least one hour every day, just through utilizing these tiny periods of time. Coupled with reading every night before bed, I was easily able to achieve my goal of a weekly book.

In my experience, the hardest part about picking up reading was the act of opening the book and getting started, rather than the actual reading itself.

Whenever you're trying to adopt a new habit, keep in mind the idea of ground states and use them to your advantage.

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