Notice the Context-Dependence of Your Habit
Published at 20/01/2024

Notice the Context-Dependence of Your Habit

Habit and memories are context-dependent.

This means the context you are in when you form the habit or memory becomes an associative cue for it. The context can be anything ranging from place, time, item, environment, and task.

The Good

The context-dependence of habit is often what makes habit powerful. We can connect a context we are in everyday to remind us to do a good habit.

And it can also be used to restrict bad habits like using social media only at certain time of day.

The Bad

The problem is when we actually want to form a context independent habit. But we unconsciously practice it in the same context.

I realized this after I finished my bucket-list phase experiment, where I try to make a habit of taking action and being adventurous. However, because I always practice it in the same context of trying new activities, I noticed that I sometimes did not apply the habit in other context. Like being adventurous in food or having more bias for action in work and my projects.

Forming Context-Independent Habit

I think there are two ways you can set a context independent habit: