Proof That Small Habits Really Do Make Big Changes
Today you decide to park farther away from your office building than you usually do. It seems like a small thing. But you do the same thing every single day, and after a while, you start to notice something. That walk isn’t quite so laborious that it used to be. You’re feeling better, even stronger than you ever did before. And all you did was park a little further away.
Small habits pack a great deal of power which is not easily spotted or even understood. It might even seem ridiculous to eschew all the great big changes you’ve wanted to make in your life in favor of mini-habits.
To understand how small habits do have the power to make big changes in your life, you first have to understand how you form habits.
How to form habits
- Continually repeating things is the key. Studies have shown that our brains will start doing certain things automatically – specific things that we’ve done many times before. These are called habits, and once formed, they’re very difficult to undo.
- There’s no magic number. Doing something for 30 days or three weeks or any other magic number that you’ve heard does not automatically form a habit. Believe it or not, you will have to repeat your actions anywhere from 18 – 254 days to build that habit. And much as we’d like to predict how long that habit will take to form, there’s no way to tell which ones will take longer, or even why.
- Habits require two things: Motivation and willpower. Motivation is what gets done what you need to, and willpower is what drives your ability to keep doing the action you wish to make a habit so that it has a chance to become that habit.
But studies from many prestigious universities have shown that motivation is fleeting and willpower a finite resource. So what can you do to make habit formation easier?
How to develop good habits in life
You forget about creating great big habits and bypass the process completely.
Mini habits have the power to change your life by slipping in under the radar. By setting small goals, you find it easier to accomplish your goals. That builds up your confidence, which gives you the ability to harness more willpower which in turn motivates you toward change.
That means your small habits, really do make big changes when used in combination with one another. Over time you create new patterns of behavior and accomplish your goals.
With this in mind, you can no longer fail.