Have you ever felt like you need to overhaul your entire life to be happy?
Or have you ever made big changes to your routine and ended up running out of steam before your destination?
Maybe you tried a new diet or workout regime, and it had great results...that didn’t last 🤦♀️🤦?
I’ve been there, done that, bought the T-shirt... and now that shirt is stored away because it doesn’t fit anymore 🤪
The research says that BIG and FAST changes in our habits and routines tend to have short term benefits and they don't last more than a few weeks, or if you're lucky, months.
Big changes, made instantly, do make us feel like we will reach our goals quicker BUT, If we’re not proactive, it also means that we will either burn out before we reach our goal, or we relax the new routines allowing our old habits slip back in.
That’s how we end up where we started.
How can we achieve our next level in life and make it long-lasting and sustainable?
The answers are surprisingly simple...
One way is to follow Tony Robbins advice that we need “leverage”. He explains this further by simplifying it to:
People are either motivated by seeking pleasure or avoiding pain.
We can use this pleasure/pain principle to help push us in the right direction.
In other words, to make changes in behaviour permanent, we need to make the thought of staying where we are more painful than the “work” it will take to reach our goals.
For example, I’m using this principle in real time. My goal is to lose 30 lbs in 2021 and one behaviour that will hold me back is the amount of sugar I consume. Knowing this, If I find myself having an emotional craving for something when I’m not hungry, I practice thinking about what life will be like in 20 years if I gave in to every craving!
I remind myself that type 2 diabetes runs in my family and I’ll have no energy. I even make it a point to feel the “weight” of it.
This helps give me the extra push I need to avoid the unnecessary behaviour, in this case, a piece (or 6 😳) of chocolate.
Side Note: this is in no way meant to shame myself or be self-sacrificing. If chocolate is what I really want, like a piece with a coffee 🤤, I will eat it mindfully and fully enjoy it. This scenario is about resisting the urge when it’s for the wrong reason, like a pick-me-up because I’m in a lower emotional state.
We change best when we feel our best.
(If you’d like to know more about how to fully enjoy your food while eating less of it, contact me for additional info)
The VERY IMPORTANT next step that Tony Robbins insists we do is to vividly imagine what life would feel like when we reach our goals. Feel the joy and gratitude and “lightness” of it.
🔥HOT TIP!!! We need to spend much more time envisioning the pleasurable future. Our brains don’t know what’s real or not, good or bad, it believes those thoughts that have the highest frequency/and intensity.
The contrast between our imagined painful vs pleasurable future, is the leverage needed to sustain positive behaviour so that it becomes second nature.
Also, this has to be practiced!!!! If we’ve spent an entire lifetime giving into the pleasure of say chocolate, it’s going to take repetition of the pain/pleasure principle in order to wire in a new habit
A second way to have lasting change is by sprinkling tiny behaviours into our existing habits throughout our day. It works best to add that newly desired habit to something that you do consistently.
Phd B.J Fogg, author of the best selling book "Tiny Habits", suggests creating a cue using the behaviour that we do regularly to remind us of the new habit that we want to create.
This technique helps me take my vitamins daily. I picked the action of putting the water jug back in the fridge in the morning as my cue to take them.
On the days I remember to do it, I do a short celebratory dance to further imbed the habit (our brains produce "happy" chemicals when we celebrate which make the new habit worth repeating),
Given time, a, seemingly insignificant 1% shift in our daily habits, like remembering to take vitamins, will result in a completely different end result.
Consider these stats from whitecrew.com
If you're going somewhere and you're off course by just one degree, after one foot, you'll miss your target by 0.2 inches. Trivial, right? But what about as you get farther out?
After 100 yards, you'll be off by 5.2 feet. Not huge, but noticeable.
After a mile, you'll be off by 92.2 feet. One degree is starting to make a difference.
After traveling from San Francisco to L.A., you'll be off by 6 miles.
If you were trying to get from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., you'd end up on the other side of Baltimore, 42.6 miles away.
Traveling around the globe from Washington, DC, you'd miss by 435 miles and end up in Boston.
In a rocket going to the moon, you'd be 4,169 miles off (nearly twice the diameter of the moon).
Going to the sun, you'd miss by over 1.6 million miles (nearly twice the diameter of the sun).
Traveling to the nearest star, you'd be off course by over 441 billion miles (120 times the distance from the earth to Pluto, or 4,745 times the distance from Earth to the sun).
Over time, a mere one-degree error in course makes a huge difference!
It also works in reverse! A purposeful 1% shift in our daily behaviours will, over time, take us to the future we desire instead of continuing towards the undesirable outcome that we are steering towards at present.
Tiny habit changes= BIG results over time
This shift happens with every decision we make in every moment, the difference is whether we are the pilot or, by default, on auto-pilot.
With the littlest change in behaviour and by putting the pain/pleasure principle into practice, life become enjoyable and easy and, BONUS, we avoid the burnout 💪🙌👍
Best of all, these techniques make change FUN!
By using both techniques consistently throughout our day, we can achieve any goal and, even better, we can sustain it!!!
Practice makes progress!!!! Your dream life is only 1 degree away...........