How To Make A New Habit and Stick To It
I like reading and practicing James Clear’s writings on anything to do with changing behaviours and habits. Here’s a good read:
And a key takeaway is this – start small, do it, and consistently.
His 2-minute rule:
“Can all of your goals be accomplished in less than two minutes? Obviously not.
But, every goal can be started in 2 minutes or less. And that’s the purpose behind this little rule.”
Want to exercise? Insert a body stretching movements (2-minute rule) just before breakfast.
Want to eat more healthy? Eat an apple (2-minute rule) an hour before meal.
Want to start meditation? Take a break once every hour, sit and look around (2-minute rule) you, at a green plant.
The reward system of the brain is activated when we do something and is rewarded by our actions. This part of our brain function helps to reinforce our behaviour and leaves deeper memory so we can repeat the actions more automatically. Imagine we start to take small steps, stretch our arms and body a few minutes and reap the rewards of a more relaxed muscle and ease the tension, we will remember the reward and benefit of doing it. If we challenge ourselves too much with a bigger task that we cannot get rewards, it will not help to reinforce the action the next time.
This cultivation of small steps to habits is also the way to success in everything we do. Often people don’t see the efforts dedicated to an end result, they only marvel at the result, the glory of the success, but not realising it’s the journey behind – perhaps over countless failures, moving few steps forward then backwards and forward… many many small steps towards where they are at the result.