By: William Valdes
The world is in a very interesting and anxiety-provoking place right now, more than ever. Many people are struggling with how much their day to day is changing in the midst of the COVID pandemic. Finding a rhythm can be just as difficult but with this horrendous situation that we are all in together, there is a silver lining, an opportunity. Just how we have a choice right now to stay home and do our part for society, you also have a choice to work on YOU. This is a very unique time to have some introspection and cultivate new and more constructive habits.
Where we are today is a direct accumulation of our habits.
The level of fitness we have worked for, or not is our habits.
The level of happiness or unhappiness, habits.
What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray. We have all said these words at one point in our lives “Tomorrow I will finally start exercising, eating better, or maybe stop watching Gordan Ramsey videos until 3 am…..” Well, I’m excited for you, and in this short post, we will be walking through some actionable steps to take control. Let’s start making some new constructive habits with 4 actionable steps to Bruce Lee kick any old, not so awesome habits into a metaphysical K.O.
“Focusing exclusively on what is in our power magnifies and enhances our power.”
1. Small Steps for the Win
Motivation and Willpower two words that are usually interchangeably in direct relation with habits. The thing with these two is that they are not long-lasting in our journey to everlasting change. There is evidence that willpower is just like a muscle and will become fatigued the more we use it. Motivation, on the other hand, is like another fast and the furious movie, it comes and goes. There is even a name for such an occurrence which is called “motivation wave.”
The antidote for such a psychological barrier starts small. Give yourself the task that needs little to no motivation. Instead of reading 50 pages a day, start with maybe 5 pages a day. Instead of running five times a week, start with one time a week. The goal is to make the task doable and easy without the need for something that ebbs and flows like motivation.
“You cannot change your future; but, you can change your habits, and surely your habits…will change your future.”
– Dr. Abdul Kalam
2. Breaking Those Habits into Bite-Size Pieces
Building Momentum is vital and with just 1% improvement each day for the next month, you will come to realize how quickly you have solidified your new habit. These 1% improvements are keeping you accountable and motivating you to continue making these bite-size changes. The longer you stick to your new habits, Motivation and Willpower will subconsciously build.
“Be clear about your goal but be flexible about the process of achieving it”
3. When You Fail, get back on Track Quickly!
Failure is inevitable. Being a Marine Corps veteran there was a saying before every mission, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” When we start our journey to improvement we have to be prepared and plan for failure. There is research showing that missing your habit on one occurrence has no impact on long-term progress. So instead of trying to beat yourself up for falling off the horse, dust yourself off, and GET BACK ON, adventure awaits! Be consistent, not perfect my friends.
“ Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
4. Patience is Key
Patience is very hard to cultivate in a world where the quicker we can have something the better. I’m not complaining about this fact because just having every “Lord of the Rings” movie at my disposal by a push of a button, makes life pretty sweet. Patience, however, gives us a glimpse of what true and meaningful (i.e. trust, love, health, relationships) aspects of life are about. A good example of this is the aspect of losing weight. The action and discipline is a direct derivative from the countless weeks and months of work you put in. The thing with solidifying a plan to a healthier you is small wins compounded through time. So stick to your new habits because this is a journey worth venturing in, to a new goal crushing you.
Thanks for reading, please share and comment below, what habits are you planning on setting during this time????