SMALL COMMITMENTS – BIG RESULTS

“The easier a behavior is to do, the more likely the behavior will become a habit.” BJ Fogg

It is counterintuitive, but small commitments are better than large ones. That’s because they are easier to keep. This fact is as valuable as it is obvious. When we shrink the commitment, we increase our odds of success. If we are overly ambitious with our commitment, we’ll ace our chances of forming a habit. Big obligations cause inconsistency. We aren’t always going to have enough time, willpower, or motivation to meet the commitment. Inconsistency is a habit killer. If we aren’t consistent, then it isn’t a habit.

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Our Excuses are a Prison that Protects Us from Pain

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We tend to take responsibility for our successes, but we create stories for our failures. If there is an area of our life that we are not doing well, we usually have a story around it. My boss doesn’t like me. I have a slow metabolism. I don’t have time to log my food or prepare meals. I don’t see a path forward in my career, so there is no point in doing more than I must. They don’t pay me enough. I don’t have time to read or take a course. I don’t have the resources. I don’t know the right people. I don’t have time to work out.

These stories protect us by shifting the responsibility. Blaming things outside our control serves to insulate us from self-incrimination. The reason we feel physical and emotional discomfort is to force us to act. Pain causes us to remove our hand from a hot stove, and we instantly learn not to touch it. When we create a story, we don’t feel the pain we should be feeling. It is like a medicine that treats the symptoms of a disease but doesn’t address the underlying cause. Remove the pain and, the lesson is never learned.

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