An implementation intention is “a plan you make beforehand about where and when to act.” A study by the British Journal of Health Psychology found that—without a stated intention—only 38 percent of participants followed through on their exercise goal. However, 91 percent of those who used an implementation intention did hit their objective. One simple action more than doubled their odds of success.
Like a software engineer writing an “If…, then…” statement, people can program themselves to perform an action when a prior “if” condition is met. For example, before going to bed, write down your most important activity for the next day (see Hack #15, Daily Highlight) as an implementation intention. Mine this morning: After I finish my morning meditation, I will edit 15 productivity hacks for my tactical guide.
I write my implementation intention on a basic index card that I keep on my desk. I’ve had my eye on Ugmonks’ minimalist analog wood cardholder, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet.
Source: Ben Meer