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Healthy Habits: The Checklist Strategy

Jun 22, 2020

Pilots use them before takeoff. Surgeons use them before surgery. And many of us use them before grocery shopping. They are a proven and effective method that can increase productivity, reduce error, stay focused and get us motivated. What is this simple, yet powerful tool?

The checklist, of course!

"Checklists…instill a kind of discipline of higher performance."

~Atul Gawande, MD from The Checklist Manifesto

In his book, The Checklist Manifesto, Dr. Atul Gawande explains that checklists are not just lists, but a method of execution. Using checklists as methodical guides, we complete repetitive tasks more quickly, efficiently and regularly. He says no profession is above the use of these performing tools and encourages their use in both our professional and personal lives.

[A Dopamine Hack]

You may have heard of dopamine described as the “feel good,” reward chemical in the human brain. Research has shown that checking off items on a list actually releases small amounts of dopamine. Each time you check off something on your list, you get a little motivational jolt of dopamine released in your brain. As a result, it takes less willpower to get things done—and less willpower to create those healthy habits.

[Create Healthy Habits with a Simple Checklist]

In our March blog post, we discussed the effectiveness of micro-habits as they key to long term sustainable wellness. The idea is to set small but winnable goals that require minimum effort. Focusing on micro-wellness habits can add up over time to big changes in our health. And--the use of a simple healthy habits checklist can provide the motivation and the prompt needed to help make these habits regular. One way to think of checklists is to see them as building blocks of habits to create a healthier life.

[Make That List and Check it Twice]

Checklists are part of FIT2order’s Healthy Habits Method. Each of our [email protected] Kits comes with a simple checklist for employees to write down the tiny movement or stress management habit that can easily be done during the workday. Here’s how the lists help:

  1. Writing the habits on the checklist cues the brain about the small habits to be done.
  2. When the habit is performed, the brain is rewarded with dopamine.
  3. Done daily, a physical and emotional routine is established.
  4. In about 66 days, the habit is now a lifestyle.

For more information on the [email protected] Employee Kits, click on the image.

 

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