A Tip To Building New Habits

By Azzy Aslam

Habits, Routines, & Behaviours

11 Jan, 2021

A Small Habit To Build Big Habits

Sometimes it’s the small thing which really matter. The little thing you do which makes more of a difference than the actual action or activity.  In the same way creating new habits can be helped along nicely with a very simple small action.

It’s a few seconds of self congratulation when you complete the habit or activity.  It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out affair. A small recognition you have completed what you said you would.

It can be a smile, a punch in the air, a flourished tick mark against your to do list.

You can make a big self congratulation too. A jump, two arms punching the air. The kind of thing you may do when your team scores the winning goal and you jump, punch the air, big smile and shouting the word ‘yes’. Probably best done in you home or an office in this case.

And it’s not too dissimilar to the bell ringing you find on the odd sale floor when someone brings in a new order. Although that examples rasies a bunch of question, but you know what I mean!

 

Why is the small habit of self congratulation helpful?

The short version is it tells the brain you did what you said you were going to do and it makes you happy. It kicks in a bit of dopamine. The brain loves to kick in dopamine. We love dopamine. Dopamine tells the brain you like this.

This happens all the time with many other aspects of our life. Sadly it tends to work really well with stuff we would prefer not to be doing – eating too much, vegging out with a box set, sleep a little longer before rushing to get ready. I’m sure you can come up with your own example. In these cases the brain accepts you like doing these things and so makes it even easier the next.

When it come to doing the things we know will move us to better place with our health, well being, career, finance, and relationships, it always appears to be tougher. Main reason is because it takes conscious effort as we are up against the easy to do habits – eating the calorie laden foods or the much couch potato approach and watch the boxset.

This is not to say we shouldn’t be doing these things, but as with most things moderation helps. And it stops turning these unwanted habits into automated ones.

To repeat; create the habit of acknowledging your small success with some quick, immediate reward even it’s just a knowing smile to yourself.

Go build your big habits!

 

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