If you’re looking for a quick and effective solution to improving your lifestyle one packed day at a time, then you might consider this article. It helps you to better understand how to change your lifestyle, one day at a time. It’s all about small changes, so even if you’re not sure you want to change your lifestyle, you can still read through the article and learn how to change your lifestyle effectively.
Changing our behaviors can seem like a monumental task. We pressured ourselves to change in the summer and on top of that, in a big way. Not surprisingly, these high expectations are often unrealistic, which is a recipe for disappointment and self-criticism. However, everything is much simpler: do what you love and start small.
40% of premature deaths are due to behaviors that can be changed. There are hundreds of self-improvement or habit-forming methods that attempt to help with this urgent task. But the reality is that complex books and articles are published that describe long and tedious processes of 5, 6, or 7 steps, to create lasting habits.
In fact, they overcomplicate what is essentially very simple: we are made to do more of what we like and less of what we don’t like.
The academic term for this is operant conditioning. It was first studied in the early 20th century by Edward Thorndike. In the 1930s, BF Skinner took this concept and used it to build an entire school of psychology called behaviorism.
Therefore, the formula to change something in your life is:
- Clearly describe what you want. That is your goal to achieve in x time
- Find a behavior that helps you reach that goal because you like it.
- Do that behavior.
- Achieve your goal.
For example, if you want to lose weight, write down all the somewhat healthy foods that you like to eat. Pick a few and eat them over the next few weeks. This is basically how all diet programs work.
Some people really like to eat bacon and meat. For them, the keto diet works like a charm. Other people are disgusted by fatty foods and meats. For them, a Mediterranean or vegetarian/pescatarian diet is great.
The best thing is that if you really enjoy the behavior, it will be self-reinforcing. The pleasure of the activity will make you want to do it more often, and it will easily become a habit. This is how you will be able to exercise more, eat better or less, read more, meditate, etc.
But there is more, to ensure success in the new behavior, you have to think small. Tiny behaviors can become habits. The idea is to make this behavior changes so small that they are easy to do.
The three pillars of the Tiny Habits method
BJ Fogg is a psychology professor at Stanford University who has developed a highly successful method for helping people develop habits they like.
First of all, you take any new habit you want and shrink it down to be super tiny. In the case of wanting to read more, that could mean reading a paragraph. In the case of meditation, it could be taking three quiet breaths.
You make it so simple that it’s almost like you have no excuse not to do it. So even when you’re in a hurry or sick or distracted, it’s so small that you can keep doing it.
The second thing is to find where it naturally fits into your current routine. Ask yourself, what comes after this habit? For example, reading can come after sitting on the subway. That may be the perfect time to open a book and read a paragraph.
The third pillar, aside from making it tiny and using an existing routine to remember it, is to hack your brain by invoking a positive emotion, celebrating it, whether it’s clenching your fist, raising your arms, doing a little dance, singing Eye of the Tiger in your head. Whatever helps you feel successful, that’s what will help fix the habit.
As you make these changes and feel successful, the way you think about yourself begins to change, and your identity begins to change. So you start thinking, “Oh, I’m a physically active person “I’m the type of person who meditates” or “I’m the type of person who reads.”
Even if it’s just something very small, when you start to think of yourself that way, you find other opportunities to exercise, meditate, or read. Thus, the habit spreads naturally to other parts of your life.