We all have something we want to achieve. For some it might be learning to cook, for others it might be starting a home business. All are equally valid and for most of us all equally difficult. Especially when we have other things taking over our days. To be honest, it is very difficult to change established habits.
Today on Bright Side, we’re going to make the “I don’t feel like doing much” kind of change that no one talks about. Because the little things make a big difference.
- Make it really, really clear.
The goal is to become a yogi, but if the living room you practice in has boring white walls and the TV is always on, it can be difficult to find inspiration. Place your yoga mat where it can be seen, make it a rule that you only turn on the TV at certain times, and put a poster on the wall to remind you to exercise.
We have a great impact on our environment. While major retailers operate their stores to influence shoppers, interior designers study how space and visual cues affect our senses. The key here is context. Keep the things you don’t want out of sight and the things you do want in sight. You may find yourself naturally more interesting.
- Go for the law of least effort.
Reading just one page a day is much easier than reading a chapter. Start there. Choose small, easy and convenient. Want to walk every day? Follow a straight path with no steep climbs or inclines. Do you want to start going to the gym? Choose the one closest to your home.
Whenever we encounter friction (the gym is far away, the road has parts we don’t like), we slow down. And at the end of a long workday, motivation may not work. So, whatever you think will make it easier: do it. Leave your plates and ingredients for a healthy breakfast on the balcony and your gym clothes by the door.
- “Fake it” until you make it.
If you want to run really fast and win a marathon, and you’ve been running, think of yourself and others as a runner beforehand. By making what you want a part of your nature, you will more naturally adapt to its flow and characteristics. And the habit will naturally follow.
We’ve probably heard it called “fake it all,” but it’s more than just “fake.” Our personality determines how we think and act, and when we change that, our habits follow. Also, by focusing on what you think is important, you will create an emotional response called a “high”; a state of motivation where people want to be better.
- Repeat with strange satisfaction.
Make small changes every now and then to reward yourself and create a positive habit loop. Have a reward system. If that works for you, go for a marker, or because our brains love randomness, go for a labeled candy jar. From extra episodes of your favorite series to “that” treat, your imagination is the limit.
The value of habit in our brain is to reduce the waste of energy. And repetition is a persuasive tactic. The more you choose your favorite habits, the more likely you are to repeat them. And our brains are wired to receive things that reward us. So, even if the reward is small, it will make a real difference in the big picture.
- Run your loop signal.
Identify the moments of the habit you want to adjust and create a routine. Time and location are two mantras. Decide what, when and where to do it. You can have it “after your morning coffee” or “before dinner”, but get specific information about the place and the activities that take place there.
Like, “After my morning coffee, I’m going to stretch my back and shoulders for 15 minutes in the living room.” This will help you get clear on exactly what you need each day, and allow you to follow through and focus on new behaviors (remember, it’s the little things).
- Find your dreams, throw away your goals.
You understand that you love food, can cook very well, and want to be a chef. Congratulations! Now hang in there, don’t get caught up in your dreams or create expectations of how great it will be once you get there. Having goals and dreams is the starting point for starting a new business. They need to know what we’re aiming for and where we want to go, that’s their job.
But if we turn our desire into a big goal, we might think we have to “go big or go home.” This creates unnecessary and demotivating anxiety. Get that stress out of the way. You’ll also avoid “arrival confusion”; A psychological trap that occurs when we set our expectations too high and then are disappointed when we reach our goals. Keep it small and steady.
Happy new year to you