If we want to make a positive change, habits are crucial to our success:
If we make a habit of training regularly, we will be in excellent shape.
If we make the habit of eating better, we will be healthier.
If we make the habit of reading every day, we will be more ideological and curious.
These are some of the most popular and desired habits, but why is it so difficult to build them? Unfortunately, we usually repeat the same thing every time - we promise to be serious, but after a few weeks, we usually break the promises we have made and go back to old bad habits.
# healthy and beautiful
With this article we will return more or less to some of the basic principles of healthy and successful weight loss. photo: Huha Inc. / unsplash With this article we will return more or less to some of the basic principles of healthy and successful weight loss. If recently ...
Why does it happen?
The reason so hard to build new habits is rooted in the wrong approach.
What do 99% of people do? They set a big, ambitious goal and have too high expectations from the beginning. For example: We say we want to train 4-5 times a week for 60 minutes, read 20 pages a day and observe a perfect diet… But given that we haven't trained at all, haven't eaten healthy, and haven't read regularly, we're taking too much of a step outside of our comfort zone. Our subconscious is beginning to resist the thought of making such drastic changes. At one point, we just give up on our unrealistic, ambitious goals because we do not have the perseverance to stick to them every day.
В this article I will share with you a completely different approach that will turn your ideas 180 degrees. It turns out that building new habits is not so difficult as long as we do it the right way!
What is the right way to build new habits?
The more drastic a change is, the more resistance we will have against it. Therefore, if we want to build new habits and change permanently in a positive direction, we must make changes so smooth and imperceptible that our subconscious mind will not even notice them!
In your book The Power of Small Steps I am making this decision and now I will share it with you in a short version.
Instead of setting big, unrealistic goals, it is better to set small, achievable ones that do not seem threatening to us. We must take such small steps every day that it is impossible to find excuses. Our response should be, "Is that just it?"
Here's a few examples:
- Instead of reading 20 pages, let's aim to read 2 pages a day.
- Instead of training for 60 minutes, let's aim to train for 5 minutes every day.
- Instead of drinking 2-3 liters of water a day, let's aim to just drink one glass in the morning after waking up.
You may be wondering what is the point of setting such small goals? How would this help us move forward?
The truth is that when we set such small goals, we achieve something very important - we stop being afraid to start over. It's much easier to start a 5-minute workout than a 60-minute workout.
In the first case, the perceived difficulty of the task is much lower and our subconscious does not stop us from starting it. We say to ourselves with a sneer: "Everyone can read 2 pages, even on the busiest day. This is funny! Of course I can do it! ”- and we just do it. And in the other case we set a big goal, but we fail…
Which, after all, is more important: to have a big, ambitious goal and to do nothing because we are afraid of it, or to have a ridiculous, even pitiful, goal but to be able to achieve it every day without exception?
I think it's obvious what the right answer is!… Let's have shamefully small goals and impressive results, not impressive goals and shameful results!
We will not stop every day only to the minimum goal we have set ourselves. On some days it will be easy for us to exceed it - nothing stops us from training for more than 5 minutes, as long as we want it. The only rule is, at the beginning, not to force ourselves to do more if we don't want to. If we train for 5 minutes and have no strength for more - we just have to stop there and congratulate ourselves on having achieved our goal!
I want this to not be another article you read, but you don't take any action after that! This time will be different! I want you to do the following:
- Choose a habit that is important to you! Let it be something related to your long-term goals and values. Record this habit and set yourself a goal to cover every day, which is ridiculously small (for example, if you want to start running, aim to run 2 minutes a day)! Only select one habit for now!
- Follow the habit for a week! Try it for only one week! On most days, you will easily see that you are exceeding the small goal you have set yourself. But on some days you may be so busy that you are grateful that your goal is so small. This will give you freedom and flexibility.
- Analyze your results and add more habits if you like! After the first week, take a step back and see how you feel! Did you enjoy covering your small goals? Did you miss some days or manage the ease? If you missed, you didn't set a small enough goal. Reduce its size even more! The goal should be so small that it is impossible to miss it - so you can practically fail because you will make it a habit every day. Do not add more than 3 habits at a time, this should be your ceiling - otherwise it will be difficult for you to handle.
- Be patient! Habits do not form for a fixed period of time (21 or 30 days). Some habits can take weeks, other months, and others even years. You will know that an action starts to become a habit when it is easier for you to just do it than to miss it.
В the book I explain many more details of this strategy, so it is simply impossible to cover everything in this article. In the book, I give the scientific explanations behind this approach; explain in detail how to put it into practice, depending on your needs and goals; explain how to monitor your habits (on paper or digitally) to see the progress you are making; explain how to remind yourself to make your habits every day, and much more…
Setting big goals seems like a great thing, but small steps are what will really allow you to progress every day and build the habits you desire. The easier it is for you in the beginning, the greater the chance that the habit will form. And once the habit begins to form, it will be much easier for you to upgrade!
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