The effects of small habits compound over time.
They seem to make little difference on any given day and yet the impact they deliver over the months and years can be enormous. A slight change in your daily habits can guide your life to a very different destination.
Making a choice that is 1% better or 1% worse seems insignificant in the moment, but over a lifetime these choices determine the difference between who you are and who you could be.
MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE
The idea is simple: You keep a record of all the behaviors you want to establish or abandon and, at the end of each day, you mark which ones you succeeded with. This record can be a single piece of paper, a journal, a calendar, or a digital tool, like an app.
When it comes to habits, James suggests that the environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior. That’s why a prompt is always the first step in performing any habit.
Designing your environment for success
Stop thinking about your environment as filled with objects. Start thinking about it as filled with relationships. Think in terms of how you interact with the spaces around you.
The power of context also reveals an important strategy: habits can be easier to change in a new environment.
The goal is to make the time and location so obvious that, with enough repetition, you get an urge to do the right thing at the right time, even if you can’t say why.
To follow this the favourite approch to follow is one I learned from Stanford professor BJ Fogg and it is a strategy I refer to as habit stacking .
Your identity emerges out of your habits. You are not born with preset beliefs. Every belief, including those about yourself, is learned and conditioned through experience.
More precisely, your habits are how you embody your identity. When you make your bed each day, you embody the identity of an organized person.
The more you repeat a behavior, the more you reinforce the identity associated with that behavior.
Your identity is literally your “repeated beingness.”
This is a gradual evolution.