January 23, 2023

Creating actionable plan to change habits using Implementation Intention

James Clear writes about an experiment where scientists measured people's motivation to exercise. 91% of the group that created a concrete plan to exercise on a [Day] at [Time] in [Place] worked out at least once per week.

The sentence they filled out is called Implementation Intention. Writing this down is a way to tell ourselves of a clear plan of action. This also reduces the friction of picking up a habit by removing some of the constraints that lead in inaction.

The format is this:
I will [Behaviour] at [Time] in [Location].

Some examples

  • I will read a book at 7:00 AM when I wake up, in the living room.
  • I will exercise at 6 AM in the gym.
  • ...more

In product design and product management, similar frameworks are used. For eg, User Stories.


  • Atomic Habits (James Clear), Chapter 5 – The Best Way to Start a New Habit