A ”simple” habit, once set in motion over time, can and will lead to extraordinary results.
When I was in high school, I guess you could say I was in the overachiever’s club, so I had loaded up on honors courses.
The problem was that these college-prep classes often entailed reading multiple novels and writing multiple position papers throughout the semester. I had three or more books that I was reading at any given time.
With basketball practice and other teenage distractions taking up my time, I was forced to create a system in order to finish my work.
While we could argue over how useful the individual books may have been, it was the system that came out of those assignments that was essential.
Once I had a basic system in place, then I could start thinking ”outside the box” for new ways to get things done faster.
If my new technique ”failed”, I could always resort back to my basic habit. If something new worked, I systemized it.
Complexity Breeds Procrastination
I kept my system simple.
I looked at when each book was due to be read, and would add up the number of pages. I then divided the pages by the number of days I had to read it.
I realized that instead of 900 pages of reading to suffer through over three weeks…I really only had 45 pages to read each day.
The reading would take me 45 minutes, of which I could complete half (or more) while actually in school.
So really the ”huge”, ”unfair” and ”overwhelming” task of reading all of those books was chopped down to simply reading for 10-15 minutes before and after school every day.
I learned that when you ”chunk” large projects into small pieces, not only do you perform better work, but you do so in less time.
The key is in ”reframing”…
You do not set out to lose 25 pounds over the next year. You set out to lose 1-2 pounds a month.
Same goal, different mindset.
In order to lose 25 pounds you have to lose the first one!
I learned that it was better to manage just one small detail at a time.
So when other nutritionists spend time organizing complex and detailed food plans, they may actually be doing their clients a disservice.
Have your unique barriers to healthy eating been identified? How do you know if an approach that has worked for others will work for you?
Complex plans may work well for one-two maybe even three months, but more often than not, clients like you are left right where you started from – except you’re now even more frustrated because now you feel as though you really tried, and still ”failed”.
With a small step-by-step approach, not only are you more likely to reach your goal, but you are also working within the inherent limitations of our own psychology.
When you focus on doing small things consistently, you build the necessary skills and habits tomaintain the small incremental changes over time…
Most importantly, when you focus on small changes, you expect to fail, but the stakes are lower when you do and it’s easier to come right back with a new approach.
Soon those incremental changes find their ”tipping point”, and that’s where ”big” and ”lucky” change happens.