Published: 03rd April 2021
E-Canteen Fundas: One small step per day, a giant leap for life!
Pro Tips: Design your life so it’s easy to start small, repeat behaviours with marginal improvements every day. Celebrate small wins and share them with others to make the habit stick
Bhaiyya, I tried building new habits to improve my health and fitness routines but I’m not satisfied,’ said Rahul. ‘Any tips to make these habits stick?’
‘Of course, author James Clear gave several,’ said Rakesh. ‘Remember the key principle — we repeat behaviours that have satisfying consequences and avoid behaviours that have unpleasant consequences.’
‘So, to build a new habit into a routine, we need satisfying consequences for the new behaviours,’ laughed Rinku.
‘Yes,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘But first, get the behaviours going. For starters, rearrange your environment. Our behaviours are guided by our vision; so make what’s related to your new habit clearly visible and within easy reach so you can start ‘doing’ easily. One use, one place. Make what distracts you invisible.’
‘Okay,’ said Rahul. ‘So I put my tracksuit, shoes, water bottle and so on in sight and easy reach if I want to exercise, right?’
‘And keep my phone on silent and away from my study table to avoid distractions while studying,’ said Rinku.
‘It’s proven that small and frequent repetitions are more effective than one big effort,’ said Rakesh. ‘It’s not how long, but how many times. So, design stuff to get you to act easily and frequently, even if it’s for two minutes. Don’t break your routine more than once because then, you’ll likely fall off the habit.’
‘Okay, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘Now how do we stay on course?’
‘Use commitment devices,’ said Rakesh. ‘Commit upfront for the long term. Paying an annual subscription to the gym ties you in to your habit. Another effective commitment device is to have an accountability partner. When we share our goals and plans with a partner and report our progress regularly and informally, we hold ourselves accountable. It’s a powerful tool.’
‘True, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘I never commit long term. That’s why I break habits easily.’
‘But, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘All this seems like a lot of work again. Where are the satisfying consequences so we repeat our behaviours?’
‘Ah, important question,’ laughed Rakesh. ‘To get your habit to stick, you must feel immediately successful after your action. So, after you begin your small, regular behaviours with marginal improvements every day, it’s very important to celebrate every small win. A cool drink, lying on the grass, anything that makes you feel good. Got it?’
‘Yes,’ said Rahul. ‘Create small wins and celebrate every win. Awesome!’
Pro Tips: Design your life so it’s easy to start small, repeat behaviours with marginal improvements every day. Celebrate small wins and share them with others to make the habit stick.