The new magic words: A proven trick to achieve your green goals
I am sure you are interested in doing more eco-friendly deeds, changing some aspects of your life to match your eco-friendly ambitions, and to meet your long-planned green goals.
And sometimes, you find it difficult to actually make it work.
(Trust me, I have been there).
With your 9 to 5 job, your never-ending responsibilities, and the limited time in a day, you find yourself doing whatever you thought you would never do again. Remember that time you said ‘this is the last time!’?
And then poof!
Here you are again.
Taking your car instead of the bicycle (because you are late for that date).
Buying a plastic-wrapped snack (because you forgot to pack that homemade muffin).
Or getting your coffee in a single-use cup (because you just found yourself at Tim Hortons!).
It SUCKS. I know.
But I am here to share the magic words that can help you RESOLVE this problem.
And will not take a lot of time to do.
The Magic Words: WHEN …. THEN
Let’s get straight to the point. If you have a goal of starting to use eco-friendly plastic-free deodorants. You know you want to make that switch. You have seen an ad for an eco-friendly plastic-free deodorant. And you WANT to try it.
BUT,,, you keep postponing it.
Sit down and say (or write it down in your Notes):
‘WHEN my deodorant becomes empty, THEN I will buy brand X’s deodorant from the place Y where I have seen it previously’.
Here is another example:
You want to start making your own muffins as snacks during your day instead of buying a candy bar.
Sit down and say (or again, write it down in your notes):
‘WHEN it is Sunday night at 8 PM, THEN I will prepare the muffins recipe that I have put on my fridge.’
Doing this and turning your goals into specific, precise actions is what we call ‘Implementation Intentions’ in behavioral science.
Research has shown that the sole action of writing down these WHEN… THEN phrases, with enough precise information about the goal to be accomplished, will increase your chances of actually achieving this goal. It will also help you get rid of your old habits, which are not eco-friendly.
YOUR TURN TO TRY!
Maybe your goals are different from those I mentioned in this blog.
Maybe you want to start a habit of turning off the water when you’re brushing your teeth. Or you want to start turning off the lights before you leave the house. Or unplugging the charger when your phone is done charging.
So take a minute to reflect on a goal that you have been avoiding or putting off.
Then fill in the blanks:
WHEN (the situation S arises) , THEN I will (do this in the specific place and add as many details as possible)
There you go : )
Let me know what you think about this, and let me know if it works for your next eco-friendly choice!
Thanks for reading this post!
Have a great day, and keep the green vibes going!
 Guillaumie, L., Godin, G., Manderscheid, J.-C., Spitz, E. et Muller, L. (2012). The impact of self-efficacy and implementation intention-based interventions on fruit and vegetable intake among adults. Psychology & Health, 27(1), 30-50.
Rees, J. H., Bamberg, S., Jäger, A., Victor, L., Bergmeyer, M. et Friese, M. (2018). Breaking the habit: on the highly habitualized nature of meat consumption and implementation intentions as one effective way of reducing it. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 40(3), 136-147.