develop new habits and behaviors around established actions

develop new habits and behaviors around established actions

Countless people want to improve their lives and bring better versions of themselves. Yet, they never actually take positive actions on a consistent basis and develop constructive habits to bring a lasting change in their lives. 

There’s a popular Chinese proverb that goes like this: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Many people, in spite of their good intentions, never even get started on the journey of self-improvement and bring big changes in themselves to reach their desired destination. 

Why are they either afraid or shy away from taking that first step? Sometimes, the journey seems too uncomfortable or overwhelming, too much effort needs to be applied, the path seems hazy and unclear, and the goal is too far away. Or maybe they’re so habituated with instant gratification and immediate results in other areas of their lives, that they don’t even consider pursuing long-term goals where rewards and outcomes take considerable time.

The only way to achieve something ambitious or make a big transformation in your life is to consistently take one small step at a time in the direction of your mighty goals. One effective way to do that is to link new habits and behaviors to the actions that are already established in our daily life. 

Think about what things you’re already doing and what new habits you want to develop and then bring them together. For example, if you want to start listening to positive affirmations every day, listen to them while you brush your teeth. If you want to move more and become more active, instead of taking the metro rail to work, maybe you could walk or ride a bike, or get off the metro rail a stop or two early to get more steps in. In this way, your work commute can become a great opportunity to fit in some exercise too. 

One of the habits that I have cultivated over the past few years is scheduling my writing session as soon as my morning cup of joe is ready. 

Developing the habit of taking positive steps towards our goals every single day is not a cake walk. It takes commitment and grit to make them a non-negotiable part of our day to day life. That’s why, this particular technique can help us overcome our intrinsic inertia and get the momentum rolling.

Tiny steps are both easy to take as well easy to not take. And because they seem so insignificant, many of us are tempted to postpone them or brush them off. However, when we anchor them to our existing daily actions, we equip ourselves to take them every day helping us advance forward to our goals.