As someone who is always looking to improve themselves, I am forever evaluating my existing habits and working towards building good lasting habits. The process has not been without its roadblocks. While I’ve had my successes, many of my habits are still a work in progress. I’ve often asked myself: Why can’t I be disciplined? Why do some habits take too much time and leave me going through the same cycles over and over?
My theme for 2020 was “Breaking Cycles”. Well, at least that’s what it was before the pandemic happened and left us all scrambling to rediscover and reinvent ourselves. I’ve read the top bestsellers on habit formation: Atomic Habits by James Clear and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I’m certainly not lacking in knowledge tactics on behaviour change. So, with all the info, why do you and I still struggle to build lasting habit change.
Not taking a long term approach to habit change has been my greatest detriment. I call this taking a project versus operations approach to habits. Projects start and end but operations go on forever. E.g. There is a difference between wanting to lose 5Kg verse striving to create a healthy lifestyle. By striving for the latter, you will accomplish the first goal. A long terms approach helps you take sustainable actions rather than short term tactics that might be detrimental in the long run. Some habits take a lifetime to form and requires time to replace. Taking the long view means that you’ll be setting up your environment to support great habits and creating arrangements to ensure you are always monitoring your progress and staying accountable so have the best chance of success.
Whatever you are trying to improve in your life, take a long term approach towards it. It’s the key to creating lasting sustainable change.