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Much of human behavior follows a predictable cycle: trigger, behavior, reward.
For behaviors that you want to do, the goal is to make triggers salient, the behavior easy, and the reward as immediate and satisfying as possible. For behaviors that you want to avoid, it’s the opposite.
In habit speak, don’t underestimate the power of everything around you to act as a trigger.
A better option than relying purely on willpower is to consciously design your environment to remove the temptations that regularly get in the way of what you’re trying to do.
If you want to make any kind of significant change, you’d be wise to take baby steps.
If you regularly overshoot on the ability side of the equation, you’re liable to flame out. But if you gradually increase the challenge over time, what was hard last week will seem easier today.
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Sun Tzu, the legendary military strategist, preferred to win without fighting or, at the very least, to win the easiest battles first.
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In most situations failure is not a result of poor willpower, but a result of poor strategy.
Good military leaders start by winning easy battles and improving their position.
Same goes for starting habits. You should not start new habits in an environment that makes progress difficult.
Most people do not stick to their New Year's resolutions because they focus on the entire task.
By just focusing on the daily small steps, one is able to create a successful daily routine.
Dial back your goal for the New Year to be a more practical, pragmatic one, and your chances of success will rise dramatically.
Don't be too hard on yourself.