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5 Ways To Find Out If Your Idea Is Worth Pursuing

5 Ways To Find Out If Your Idea Is Worth Pursuing

So you’ve got a creative idea that you think might be worth pursuing, but you’re just not sure. As with any new creative pursuit knowing whether your idea has legs can be difficult. To help you make the decision, I’m going to share with you five ways to find out if your idea is worth pursuing.

1. Create a Minimum Viable Product

The very best way to find out if your idea is worth pursuing is to create a minimum viable product. A minimum viable product has only the most basic core features of your idea and nothing more i.e. no bells and whistles! Creating a minimum viable product allows you to get your idea out there in front of people to get valuable feedback without putting exorbitant amounts of time and money into its creation. After all, your idea may not float in which case its back to the drawing board. Virgin Airlines started with a single 747 in 1984 on one route. From this minimal service they were able to determine whether the idea was worth pursuing. Today Virgin Airlines is a booming business, but like many others they started out small.

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2. Test it Out

Once you’ve got a minimum viable product out there it’s time to test it out! Get real people using it and use it yourself. Does it work? Can it be improved? How? Testing your idea and answering these big questions will help you decide if your idea is worth pursuing. Twitter started out as a small service among just a handful of friends. In these early days they were able to test the service and improve on it based on results. Today Twitter is a booming online service with millions of active users sharing daily.

3. Seek Feedback Regularly

Seeking feedback is not something that happens just once in a testing phase. Seeking feedback regularly while bringing your idea to life will help you find out if it’s worth pursuing every step along the way and importantly if you’re on the right track as you progress. The best feedback is from those people who most closely fit your target market i.e. the intended end users of your product or service. You can also seek initial feedback from friends and family. Although these people are potentially not in your target market they will likely have some good feedback nonetheless. Gather as much feedback as you can as often as you can to give your idea the best chance of success.

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4. Assess the Level of Passion in Responses

To find out if your idea is worth pursuing you’ll need to assess how passionate the response is toward your idea. Rate responses on a scale of 1-10 and keep track of the scores over time. It can be as simple as keeping score in a computer spreadsheet and regularly checking in to see how you’re tracking over time. Passion is a great predictor of success so start assessing it early on to get a good idea of whether your idea is worth pursuing and how the level of passion among users is changing over time.

5. Be Excited in the Early Stages

You’ll never know if your idea is worth pursuing if you don’t put everything you have into it in the early stages. Don’t be shy of sharing your idea with others around you and pursuing it fully. Get out there are really put your idea out there for the world to see! Be excited and throw yourself into the process by putting your heart and soul into it and you’ll be rewarded with progress and being one step closer to having a stellar idea that others want to be part of. Being excited, passionate and committed in the early stages will give your idea the best chance of success and help you find out if it’s worth pursuing further.

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You might also like: How to Consistently Come Up With Great Ideas

Featured photo credit trophygeek via Flickr CC.

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Featured photo credit: trophygeek via Flickr CC via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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