It’s all about habits
If you want to change your life (or certain aspects of it) for the better in the long run, you have to change your habits.
Let me explain you why.
Let’s say you decided to lose 5 kg within a period of one month. You go on a strict diet and you achieve desired results at the end of the month. Being excited about positive outcome, you return to your old habits. In a few weeks you notice that you gained about twice as much weight as you lost. This kind of scenario happened to many people, including myself.
Every time I resorted to radical measures, I used to receive short term results, because all sorts of measures designed to create rapid change result in short-term outcome. Why? Because those measures or temporary schedule don't change our behaviour for long. What's more, they don't help us sustain results. That's why most of us gradually return to the point where we started. That’s when I came to realization that if we want to attain long term results whether it’s staying in shape or having successful relationship, we have to cultivate habits that would help us to maintain those results.
But for us humans it might be difficult to adopt new habits and, what’s more important, make them stick. So what is the solution?
As for me, cultivating particular habits on a daily basis proved to be very effective. For example, when I decided to lose weight I started exercising daily. But I knew that for me as a beginner it would be impossible to exercise for an hour or so. Actually I could barely make myself work out. So I decided to start small – exercise daily for 15-20 minutes. In a month I increased the amount of time to 30 minutes. In a year exercising became a part of my daily routine. Today I can’t imagine my life without workouts. That’s how I was able to integrate habit of exercising into my life. And the key was a smooth transition from an old habit to a new habit which resulted in a new way of living.
And the same holds true for any other aspects whether it’s healthy eating, learning or even improving relationships with others. For instance, if you want to maintain successful relationships with loved ones, it makes sense to cultivate habit of showing gratitude and appreciation.
Whatever it is you want to achieve, zero in on making habits that lead to desired outcome a part of your life. It will take time. It will be hard to take first steps. But you have to keep in mind a real reward – lasting change and improvement in your life.
by Natalie Myhalnytska
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