Behavior Change is an unsolved mystery. In the science of psychology the best we have so far are general principles, that work for some people, some of the time. In pop culture we have a lot of cheerleading (good) and vibing (good?).
Diets don’t stick. Dreams drift into haze. Wealth always waits beyond the horizon. Plans peter out. Life stymies virtue.
What’s up with that? Can’t get the good sh*t done. I can’t quit that yucky thing. I can’t follow through on that gloriousness.
The prob: habits don’t exist in a vacuum. You don’t start them in a vacuum. You don’t stop them in a vacuum.
The solution: an integrated approach. Routines stick when they emerge authentically, dovetail with other habits, and suit your work and social life.
Simply put, habits have internal factors, and external factors. Internal: feelings, beliefs, needs. External: people, place, time.
For example, for better money saving habits, consider what time of month is the best time to shift money into your savings account and then make it a religion, first thing every morning on the best morning of the month, to save money. Make a commitment to your partner that you will do it. Write a page in your journal re-affirming the benefits.
To arrive at work on time more often, negotiate with your family to eat dinner a half hour earlier, shower earlier, take a melatonin earlier, buy yourself a cool alarm clock and wake up 20 minutes earlier, turn on your inspiration podcast, and get to work on time.
Seem like a lot? It’s just a matter of inches. And smidgens. Itty bit by itty bit.
You don’t eat a cake in one bite.
You don’t build a house with one nail.
You don’t write a novel in one page, by definition.
You don’t change habits in a vacuum, by definition.
You can change, with an integrated method.
Remember that people who make it look easy do just that, make it look easy, while you’re over here grimacing. They may grimace on something else; but whatever, don’t worry about them, you do you, and get that glorious change.