In Environment Hacking, I wrote:
In [the Fogg Behavior Model], we add prompts to our environment for things we want to do more […] changing our environment to influence our own behavior. I have been thinking of “habit totems” I can put into the environment to prompt me.
So, in the past, when I’ve tried to institute daily startup and shutdown routines, it would fall apart eventually because I didn’t remember to do it. It was a partial habit at best.
So, this time, I designed a custom bookmark. I use them in my journal, my sketchbook, and any book I’m reading. Here it is (I got them made on VistaPrint):
The words under each routine are a short-hand. “Breathe” means meditate, which could be with the Breathe app on my watch, or any other way. “Practice” means to do my daily practice of coding, writing, and sketching. Hone is my yearly theme.
In practice, the biggest help is to remember to plan the next day. It only takes a few minutes, but makes all the difference.
I tried to think of something clever to put on the back of the bookmark, but I was so indecisive about it that I finally just stuck a photo I took of a Florida beach sunset and called it a day.