Why Successful Habits Are About Structure, Not Effort

Full article from Fast Company can be found HERE

START WITH A SMALL GOAL
The number one driver of whether a habit change is a success or not  is how big the initial goal is. Because everyone, if they’re consistent, will eventually achieve something massive. But the people that end up failing are the people trying to achieve overnight success.

CONSISTENCY TRUMPS EVERYTHING
The idea is to start with something really, really small and let it grow into a bigger habit or routine. You could write your goal as “go the the gym.” Not “stay at the gym for an hour,” but just “get to the gym.” Put on your workout clothes. It’s not that you have to run five miles; what matters is that you just get your running shoes on three times a week. In a month or two months, you’ll be running as far as you want to run. That consistency ends up trumping everything else that you can do with goal setting.

SCHEDULE IT AND CREATE AN AUTOMATIC REMINDER
You can be motivated, you can be able, but if you forget to do it, you’re not going to make any progress. Having a trigger in your life is a big part of that structure.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE TOOLS TO DO IT

If you go to a gym, a lot of time it’s hard because you don’t know what exactly to do, you’re shy or uncomfortable around some of the machines. That’s why a lot of people get a coach at the gym, it makes it easier for them to get started. Then on the trigger part, you can link your goal to a pre-existing behavior.

SET YOUR PRIORITIES FIRST THING IN THE MORNING
For me, my number one productivity practice is to set priorities at the beginning of the day, before I get lost in the chaos that goes on around me. When I sit down at my desk, I set priorities. I’ve trained myself that that’s the trigger for this other goal that’s not as natural, but is actually really important to me. It was a major a-ha moment when I realized that productivity is about how important the things that I get done are. I used to count how many things I crossed off my to-do list. Now, much more importantly, I actually work in the prioritized order.

PICK A REPLACEMENT HABIT
A common tactic applicable to any type of behavior change is picking a replacement habit. If you have a bad habit, the way to break it is not to just will yourself, which is a ton of effort, but to give yourself an alternative.

 

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About Jimmy vs. World!
Man chases his dreams. Life punches his face. Series and blog created by Los Angeles-based animator Sean Rohani

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