How to make habit change easier

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1 year ago

The past and the present vs the future

Why we always seek the most entertaining and easy thing instead of the ones that will really put us to the test and make us improve as well as our situation in the whole run? Well, this has to do with a lot of factors, most of which are present in our environment, as we're constantly bombarded with publicity about every trend and every new product that promises to bring us an extra layer of comfort and security. However, at the end of the day we still feel worthless and helpless against the predicament of an unfulfilling life, keeping the same destructive habits that brought us to the situation we're in right now. That's why in this article I will present you with a series of strategies to apply in order to make changing your habits something more effective and entertaining, thus increasing the chances of you applying them to your life permanently and becoming the best version of yourself. Let's begin by explaining quickly why we tend to choose immediate pleasure over long term well being.

Why we choose the quickest route?

Like I've been saying for the previous week (and yes, I know It's getting tiresome) this has to do with our brains primal functions, as in the beginning of our survival and thrive as an species, we had much shorter life expectancies, constantly faced with the dilemma of survival in any choice we made. Well, as you might have noticed, we're in a point where we're not presented with the same life or death choices, and surely we're not in a tribal environment where our existence depends on If we make the best choice, though our minds still think that the future might not come (Which might be right or not), so we choose always what will come faster, sacrificing all the positive and long lasting benefits of activities like working out, talking to other people and beginning new practices to the expediency of immediate rewards like junk food, social media or pornography.

Now that we know how we tend to always choose immediate plasure over delayed gratification, we can talk about some strategies as to make habit change easier and funnier, even using instant gratification to our advantage:

Make It Fun

Maybe the biggest reason as to why we don't do what we should really do is because It is much more "entertaining" to sit down and scroll through our feed all day, though we can give a twist to that to make ourselves actually do what we had been putting off all day, simply by choosing another thing that we really like, Being It playing a videogame, eating a particular food or hearing an audiobook, and using It as a reward for doing the right thing, either giving ourselves that pleasure after we finish or applying It in conjunction with the mentioned activity (For example, only listening to your favorite podcast when you're working out). In this way your brain will have much more enthusiasm to perform, as the meaningful action will be automatically linked to a source of entertaining.

Be flexible with the plans:

You might have scheduled a perfect routine for your day, highlighting all the hours at which you should be doing all things. However, life doesn't always go as we planned, and most often than not we will find inconvenients that deviate from our normal modes of being, taking a couple of hours and messing all the time we thought we had, sending us to a spiral of confusion and repeating the same patterns of behavior. That's why you shouldn't be that strict when defining the criteria to meet when applying a new habit. Instead, focus in many alternatives when the unexpected happens, either using the most common pathway, just giving that time slot as lost and using the next hours as the plan B or a more elaborate solution.

If It didn't work, try with something different:

With this I'm not saying that If the habit you tried to put in your life didn't stick, you should scrap It and seek a new one. What I mean is that If the procedure used to introduce that change failed, you should use a different method in order to be more consistent with It, looking at what variables caused the errors in the first attempt and modifying them in order to change the result, making the new one much more effective. One way of doing this is being self aware, dedicating little slots of the day to just think or journaling (which is an habit in Itself).

I hope that the information brought to you in this article could be of use for your development and that It can actually encourage you to try new habits applying the methods described, making for long lasting changes in your life and better things in whatever you try to do. Thank you for your support and good luck!

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1 year ago