REVERSE THE 5-MINUTE RULE TO BREAK A BAD HABIT

“one way to motivate a switch is to shrink the change, which makes people feel “big” relative to the challenge.” ― Chip Heath, Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

While shrinking the commitment is primarily used to start good habits, it can also be a tool to break bad ones. To break a bad habit, we use it as a delaying strategy. We can avoid overeating by delaying our consumption. Say to yourself, “I am going to drink a glass of water and wait for 5-minutes. If I am still hungry, I can have a little more.” Physiologically, you are giving your body more time to register that it is full and hydrated. Psychologically, you are making the reward less desirable.

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THE LAW OF DIMINISHING INTENT

Installing NEW routines and behaviors requires a herculean disciplined effort. Do not squander your desire. Put it to good use. Take immediate action. Hesitation allows your desire to install good habits that will improve your life to pass without being employed. Don’t allow the emotion to diminish through indecision. Indecision is mental paralysis. Indecision means what could be is postponed or may never be. Indecision means putting off what we could do, what we should do. Indecision means the opportunity waits. Indecision means the door remains closed. The longer we delay, the less likely we are to act. Our desire quickly erodes and fades from existence. The wisdom is wasted, and the idea is soon forgotten. “Indecision is the greatest thief of opportunity.” Jim Rohn
Deciding, finally replacing your “I SHOULD-s” with “I WILL-s” can be an excellent source of motivation, but once you decide, you must discipline yourself to act. Never leave the site of a decision without taking immediate action. It can be the smallest of actions. It isn’t the size of the action that matters most. Baby steps count too. You want to generate momentum, and that is done through movement. A decision not married to action is merely a wish. A real decision forces an action. Start small and begin building momentum. Start becoming a person that gets out of their head and into action. Real decisions change our behavior. True decisions are the only things that improve our lives.
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MINI HABITS REDUCE OUR NATURAL RESISTANCE TO CHANGE

Have you ever procrastinated starting a project because you felt overwhelmed? If you have, you’ve been the victim of subjective fatigue. Beginning a task carries the full weight of the commitment. Our mind looks ahead and calculates the work, which causes us to feel exhausted before we can start. What we think is laziness is often exhaustion. Mini habits are so silly small that they are nearly weightless. Mini habits kill procrastination. They carry almost no subjective fatigue. 

Another cognitive bias that acts as an obstacle to starting is called the spotlight effect. Whenever we step outside our comfort zone, our mind magnifies the difficulty of the task. Like subjective fatigue, it causes us to feel overwhelmed. Mini habits don’t raise any cognitive red flags because they are so easy to do. Mini habits circumnavigate these mental roadblocks to starting. Once we begin, we can base our decision to continue on the task’s actual difficulty – not a distorted version of it. As we develop the habit, our perceived difficulty will diminish, not because it has gotten easier, but because we have gotten better. Continue reading MINI HABITS REDUCE OUR NATURAL RESISTANCE TO CHANGE

MR. RESISTANCE

Every day we will be challenged by Mr. Resistance, our inner saboteur. We all have one. He is fueled by fear and full of lies. He doesn’t appear to us in his true form; fear, because if he did, he knows it would shame us into action. No. He disguises himself as a friend, helping us to avoid failure and making us feel better about not following through on our commitments to ourselves. Continue reading MR. RESISTANCE

Knowledge is NOT Power

“Knowledge is power.” — Francis Bacon

Francis was WRONG. Knowledge is potential power. It must be applied. Reading a fitness or self-help book isn’t going to improve your life. Using the principles, you learn, will.

“Knowledge is NOT power. Action is power.” – Tony Robbins

Action produces results. Knowledge and intentions, unapplied produce NOTHING. In fact, while I highly encourage people to read as much as possible, it can be a form of procrastination. Learning cannot replace action. Continue reading “Knowledge is NOT Power”