When You Compound Tiny Habits, Success Looks Easier
Forget inspiration, adapt habits. It will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not.
Our actions have a large impact on us. Even the most comprehensive lifestyle can fail if there is no behavioral modification component. One of the biggest aspects of behavioral transition centers on our own habits. So if we can just focus on our habits, it can make a big difference in our lives.
Habits are something that deliver results when compounded. This means you might not see an immediate change, but in the long run, it will show an outcome. This simply means that small changes over time create big differences.
Now, I am a big believer in habits, and I have seen the positive impact of them when added over time. So, through this blog, I will share how habits can be formed and how significant it is to form tiny habits to crush big objectives.
My thoughts are deeply inspired from the book I recently read, Atomic Habits by James Clear.
What is a habit
Habits play a fundamental role in our lives, as almost 50% of our daily actions and choices are habitual.
A habit is a set of behaviors that, through repeated practice, become automatic and become part of your daily life.
For better or worse, habits can greatly affect our lives in many ways, including our health, productivity, and well-being. Developing good habits and getting rid of bad ones is important for personal growth and self-improvement.
By consciously choosing the habits you want to adopt, you can increase your overall well-being.
Build habits, not goals
Instead of chasing specific goals, establish habits and let them help you reach your goals. Every time you set a goal, you want or just want something that you reveal in your goal.
Let’s take an example:
When I was young, the reason I started working out was to lose weight within one year so that I could impress a girl in my class.
Now, according to the book, setting a habit is more important than running behind a goal.
Which means if impressing the girl was my only goal, I could have quit working out if she rejected me. So, my priority for my health was dependent on her reaction.
But as time went by, I started falling in love with working out, which completely changed the reason to move my body.
I converted it from a short-term goal to a long-term habit.
(To inform you I am still workout daily 5days a week.)
What happens when someone achieves a goal?
That person should write that off to their achievement list and move on. Once a goal is achieved, the fun and enjoyment do not last as long.
How to build a habit?
According to James Clear, these are the four steps that are necessary toward building a habit.
1) Finding ways not to skip it
When it comes to learning something new or developing a new habit, most people fail when they begin skipping it. So our main target will be to eliminate any possibility of skipping a day.
For example, if we want to develop an exercise habit, we can sleep in our workout clothes so that we don't miss any days. Or, fix a particular time to move the body so that our mind automatically reminds us to go hit a workout.
Another thing that can be done is to start working out from home. Most people fail to exercise daily because they find it hard to move their bodies outside or to the gym.
So, working out from home gives one no excuse to skip.
2) Attaching attraction to it
When do you feel attraction to something? when you actually like what you are doing.
In cases of habit, use the same method. Assume you want to read every day but despise educational books. Going directly there will never make it sustainable. So, start with books you like reading; for example, story books.
Begin with that, and over time, add educational books to your routine.
3) Decreasing the friction
Let’s go back to our exercising habit again. Your goal for building the habit will be to delete the friction anyhow possible. On day 1, do not go too hard. You will become sore and will most likely quit the next day.
Another example can be while choosing a gym. The closer it is to your house, the less likely you are to skip it.
4) Attaching reward to it
What else goes best with this but cheat meals in dieting. The more tough you are with a habit, the more likely you are to quit. For a short-term goal, going hard on yourself can work, but as a long-term habit, it does not.
Feed your mind a reward, and you will never stop following a habit.
Everything boils down to patience
People fail at everything in life because they want it fast. But can you build Burj Khalifa in a week?
Same goes for a habit too. It is a commitment for a lifetime. So, it will take time, and for that, you need to be patient. In one line,
“Give a habit enough time to show visible outcome.”
Habits I’ve formed over the years
My self-improvement journey started in 2018, and since then I have formed many habits. Some I have been following since the first day, and some I quit because they added no value to my life.
So here are a few habits I am still following or have recently started.
- Moving my body
I have been involved in some form of activity every day for the last 4 years. This is probably the best habit I've built over the years. I started running every day and joined the gym two years ago.
I workout in the morning, and to be completely honest, this is probably the most exciting part of the day.
- Publishing my thoughts on writing platforms
Medium was not the first place I started writing. Before I did this, I wrote on Quora for a few days. But I was not used to writing daily.
Then I came across this platform, and my daily writing journey started from there. Although I started with the intention to earn money, soon I fell in love with it.
I get a feeling of accomplishment when I write my thoughts here. And as I said earlier about attaching a reward to a habit, this feeling works the same for me.
Nowadays, I do write on LinkedIn and Quora as well.
- Planning my days in advance
Even though I started with it two years ago, I stopped using it for a while. The reason to stop it was because of the daily repetitive tasks. But I started using a to-do list again.
Just like before, I plan my day the night before. And on the days I forget to make the list last night, I create it before starting my day.
- Coding daily
It is more like a recent habit that I added to my life. The reason to start practicing code daily is to get ready for my college placements. I usually sit in the evening around 6 p.m. and continue it for 2 hours or sometimes even more.
Before, I started with learning for an hour and practicing that for an hour, but as I am done with learning, nowadays I am doing projects on it.
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