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The New Habit Challenge: Is The Key To Accomplishing Our Goals As Simple As Tricking Ourselves?

Join our resident habit expert Rachel Gillett and other Fast Company staff on Friday, December 5 at 11 a.m. EST as we discuss what happened when we retrained our brains for success.

Marketers have been using visual triggers for a long time to trick us into associating one thing with the need to buy their products, but what if we could use the same concept to remind ourselves to accomplish our goals?

Dan Heath and Chip Heath, authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, suggest placing visual clues from our daily lives in prominent places to trick yourself into accomplishing your goals. 

Here's how to do it: Start by making a list of goals you want to accomplish. Next, think of what environmental cues you would associate with each goal. And lastly, place these cues in a prominent place where you’ll see them. These visual clues will elicit the lasting effect you need to create psychological connections between your goals and the things you commonly encounter in your daily regimen. 

For example, you could place pink running shoes in front of your bedroom door to remind yourself to work out. Or you could change your computer and online passwords to phrases that remind you of your goals. This man used passwords like Forgive@h3r to recover after a depressing divorce and Quit@smoking4ever to stop smoking overnight. 

For this week's habit challenge, several of us at Fast Company plan to see if establishing visual cues can help us accomplish our goals.

Join us for a live chat at 11 a.m. EST on Friday, December 5 to find out how it went, share your thoughts, and ask us questions.

Did you try using visuals to accomplish your goals? Tell us about your experience in the "make a comment" box below or join in the discussion on Friday.