Changing Your Behavior
Why do we fail at changing our behavior so often?
Changing your behavior is hard. Really hard. Maybe what makes it especially hard is that it doesn't feel like it should be that hard. Exercise for 30 minutes a day? No sweat. Stop snacking on treats? Piece of cake.
We commit ourselves to things, often inspired or triggered by a New Year's Resolution or a beach vacation, with high hopes and ambitions. Then when the rubber hits the road, we start slipping. One day goes by, then another. Then all too often, something sets in called the "what the hell" principle – that's when you decide to turn your temporary failure into a permanent one. What the hell. I already broke my commitment this week, what's the point.
...So what can we do about it?
According to Christine Carter, author, speaker, and coach, we should think smaller. Instead of committing ourselves to the entire 30-minute daily exercise or cutting out carbs completely, we should start with a "better-than-nothing habit." We should be, in the words of Christine, "wildly unambitious." We should stop trying to be so good at it. We should aim instead for something so easy that you could do it easily every day.
So what does that look like? Well, for example, aim for just 1 minute of exercise. Yes, just 1 minute. How can you say no to that? Get that under your belt. Be successful at 1 minute. Then ask yourself to go to 2. Before you know it, you'll be at 30-minutes, and without ever having to feel that daunting task ahead of major behavior change.
Good luck and we wish you happy changing!
Watch Christine's 10-minute Ted Talk on forming a new habit by clicking here.