The compounding effect of simple habits.
One of the most valuable lessons I have come to appreciate A LOT this year is how simple habits can have life-changing impact.
It all started with discovering the power of habits from the writings of Shane Parrish, James Clear and Naval Ravikant. They helped me realize how shifting your perspective from chasing GOALS to HABITS can be the most vital thing you can do to maximize positive results. AND it has truly transformed my life.
Today, I wanted to share examples of how I’ve tested that theory in my own life and my lessons from the process.
4 months ago, I had none of the habits I’m listing below. Instead, I always (for years!) had very surreal goals and expectations. I’ve struggled because I used to chase over-ambitious goals without necessarily thinking of making HUMBLE adjustments.
“Before” indicates how I would have normally approached my goals. “AFTER” indicates how I’ve been approaching it using the HABIT mindset.
Some successful examples:
1) BEFORE: Become excellent at writing (goal)
AFTER: Write daily at 8:30 am throughout the week (habit)
Progress 9/25/18: Wrote 49 blog posts so far.
Progress 1/22/19: Wrote 119 blog posts so far.
2) BEFORE: Become better at meditation (goal)
AFTER: Meditate daily on MARTA commute (habit)
Progress 9/25/18: 2544 min, 291 sessions so far.
Progress 1/22/19: 3862 min, 469 sessions so far.
3) BEFORE: Become good at a new outdoor sport (goal)
AFTER: Take tennis classes on the weekend.
Progress 9/25/18: Completed 6 classes and getting pretty good so far.
Progress 1/22/19: Completed 12 classes and stopped due to winter.
4) BEFORE: Build a joint spiritual foundation with Devin (goal)
AFTER: Attend Sunday morning meditation sessions at KMC (habit)
Progress 9/25/18: Completed 20 classes so far.
Progress 1/22/19: Completed 33 so far.
4) BEFORE: Become more financially independent
AFTER: Ditch all credit cards and spend only debit money
Progress: Spent $0 on credit this entire year!
Progress 2: Spent $75 on credit and paid $25 off.
Some new goals:
1) BEFORE: Lose 15 lbs in 2 months
AFTER: Walk 10k steps daily
Progress 9/25/18: 9 days and covered 100k steps so far
Progress 1/22/19: Continued until 25 days and quit due to cold weather.
2) BEFORE: Lose 15 lbs in 2 months
AFTER: Count calories and eat less than 1500 cal on week days
Progress 9/25/18: 9 days and going strong
Progress 1/22/19: This goal went well until the holidays and gained the 15lbs back.
Some unsuccessful examples:
1) BEFORE: Become a voracious reader
AFTER: Read for 10 min before going to bed
Progress: Started well but missed the mark after 10 days
2) BEFORE: Get a full night’s rest
AFTER: Go to bed before midnight daily
Progress: Started well but had so many stumbles
Here are my top lessons/takeaways from living through both successful AND unsuccessful ones:
1) Break down your goal into an insanely simple habit.
2) Make it predictable if possible (same time same place daily).
3) Don’t go 3 days missing the daily habit. (very important!)
4) Speak and share freely about your habits to your loved ones.
5) Think and analyze less, just do it.
Check out THIS amazing resources on habits below:
What do you think? What are some new habits you have enjoyed developing? What has helped you the most to stick with them?