In my last post, I wrote about an alternative mindset for habit change, and I’ve been experimenting with it in my own life for the past two weeks.
Most people think of habit change as this long process. I have suggested that instead of thinking about it this way, you just focus on the single choice that you can make at any given moment, and try to make the right choice then. For more details, check out the link above.
During these two weeks, I’ve made a few observations about this mindset that are worth sharing.
Almost everything I’ve noticed thus far has been positive, and this just adds to my belief that this mindset is superior for changing your habits for the better.
Here are my most noteworthy observations thus far:
1. It’s Easier To Make The Right Choice.
Any time I’ve needed to decide what course of action to take, it has been much easier for the past two weeks.
Instead of considering the long term implications of whatever decision I need to make, or how small of an affect that one decision will have, I just make the right choice. I don’t hesitate, because I don’t even need to think about it.
Normally when I try to change a habit, I find it difficult to make the right choices because it is daunting that I need to do that same thing every day, not just right now.
2. I Bounce Back When I Slip Up.
This one is huge.
Normally if I try to change a habit and I don’t stick to the plan, I’ll beat myself up over it. And even with all the guilt that I put on myself, I’ll oftentimes revert back to my old behaviors anyways.
The most obvious example of this is eating too many dessert foods. In the past, I would resolve to get in the habit of eating more healthy, but end up splurging on pastries at the beginning of the week regardless, just because it was easiest. Then I would keep getting pastries, because I had already messed up.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve had two days in total where I ate more dessert than I should have. One day was while visiting a friend and not being able to cook. In both cases, I started eating right again the next day, and I didn’t feel guilty about my indiscretion. I enjoyed my unhealthy eating much more, but did it much less.
3. It Can Be Powerful When Combined With Other Techniques.
When utilizing both this mindset as well as other, more direct techniques, failure to make the right choice becomes almost impossible.
My best example of this is a tactic I use when I want to work out. When I’m still iffy about whether I will or won’t work out, I put on my gym shorts. While it is not a 100% commitment to working out, it does make me far more likely to follow through.
I’ve been able to work out for 11 of the previous 14 days (remember that I was traveling for two of them) without a problem by combining the gym shorts technique and the alternative habit change mindset.
If you have motivational techniques that work for you, applying them while holding this mindset will super charge your ability to make the right choice.
4. This Mindset Functions As It’s Own Habit.
In other words, it combines multiple habits that you might want to adopt into a single one.
By making the right choices in as many situations as possible, I build the habit of doing the right thing, no matter what area of my life it may be.
I’ve found that, for me at least, adopting this mindset has helped me make the right decisions with regards to health multiple times per day, which is a good reason why health should be your first priority. I get to practice making the right choices, and then doing right in other areas becomes even easier too.
Over time, this mindset appears to be building momentum for me, and it’s only been two weeks. The way I look at certain decisions I need to make has become much clearer.
For example, I haven’t written anything in a while but I found it far easier to get myself to sit down and write this because I knew it was the right thing to do. I didn’t have to think about the pros and cons or anything, I just did it.
5. It Hasn’t Worked Against More Intense Fears Or Procrastination Attempts.
It’s not as though this mindset does all the work or removes all the discomfort of taking action. No matter how much it helps, you still need to go and make the right choice.
Unfortunately, there are certain things that are more challenging to overcome, and I haven’t found this mindset to help so much with them yet.
When I’m taking the bus to work and see a beautiful woman that I know I should approach and talk to, I still hesitate. Even though I know that it is the right choice, I falter because I can’t always push through the uncomfortable feelings.
That being said, I think the mindset could be effective for this type of situation for me, it will just take more time and momentum.
All in all, I really like how this new mindset has played out, even after as short a period of time as two weeks.
Given some time, I believe it will have drastic effects in almost every area of my life, and with minimal effort. I highly suggest you try to adopt this mindset and see what kind of results you can achieve.
If you have tried thinking this way, let me know how it has benefited you.