We all know it. There is a HUGE difference between that voice that strokes our ego and actually taking the action to move in the direction we dream of. It’s the beauty and beast of us. We have this beautiful inner sight of what we want our lives to look like, but in reality there’s more beast than beauty.
This beautiful version of ourselves currently lives only in our mind. That we’re these rebellious, yet naturally in tune people. That we aren’t fitting any stereotypical mold. That we’re doing something truly different.
There are so many articles and posts on why we should be this awesome, beautiful thing. Why we need to create this beautiful life for ourselves. Why we need to push the envelope and break the mold. I’m not saying those posts are wrong, they definitely make us all feel good and inspired.
But what about after coming to the resolution of making that change? We want it, so now what? What’s the first step? Where’s the guide for that?
Beauty vs. Beast
Every person has this beast manifested in them. It’s there. That part of you that lets you sleep in, that part of you that lets you veer off your schedule, that part of you that skipped your exercise hour this morning.
What do we do when we find ourselves in the position of a hidden beauty in beast mode?
I’ve recently took to study behavioral psychology because there were too many things I wanted to do, but my current habits didn’t reflect the person I was in my head. I knew I needed to change, so I’ve put every spare hour and thought into figuring out how to build a new mentality, new way of approaching life, and a new way of living. We all want to be that person that gets a million things done in a day. Say that girl you know who student teaches, is a personal trainer, a zumba instructor, and has a side business (ehm, ehm). Seriously, it’s a miracle this girls fits so much accomplishment in one day, mashaAllah!
I’m not one of those people that can start a new lifestyle tomorrow based off will power alone and I don’t think there are many of those people that even exist. However, there is a way to change. It’s by changing in absolutely the most ridiculous small steps you can imagine. I mean little, tiny increments and LETTING those small increments BE YOUR VICTORY. You need to let yourself know that what you did was amazing, spectacular, and life-changing for you. Know that you really did accomplish something, no matter how small it may seem. And then success leads to success.
When BJ Fogg, Stanford psychologist, wanted to start regularly flossing, he implemented triggers and felt victorious with small steps. He started by first keeping his floss right next to his tooth brush. This is placed as a trigger, you see it and you’re reminded. Then, once he was triggered, he would floss A SINGLE TOOTH and then go to sleep. That’s an example of making ridiculously small step I mentioned. And he didn’t feel shame for only flossing one tooth, but instead was victorious, “heck yeah, I flossed ONE TOOTH, YO!” (okay maybe not with the yo or the heck yeah). He eventually did more and more teeth. Yet, sometimes he regressed. Even if he was too tired to floss all his teeth, he would still floss that one tooth and let himself feel victorious about it, that he did do something and that he didn’t give it up!
THAT is how you build a habit. The magic of this is you can apply this to so many things and do an endless amount of experimentation.
Want to start exercising?
Step 1: Buy workout clothes and be victorious. Step 2: Buy a yoga mat, keep it close to where you’ll be right before you’ve schedule to work out (like near your bed when you wake up) and be victorious. [Location is a big deal because it triggers you, it reminds you!] Step 3: When the time of your exercise comes around, roll out your mat, sit on it for 5 seconds, roll it back up, and be victorious (repeat for about a week, whatever time increment feels right for you). Step 4: Add 5 minutes of exercise and be victorious (repeat for about a week). Step 5-?: Add a steady increment of time to your exercise routine over a period of days/weeks until you reach your goal and be victorious. Wow, you just became a regular exerciser in a paragraph, go you fancypants.
And if you ever regress, regress to a previous step, instead of giving it the boot altogether. DO NOT LET YOURSELF FALL BACK TO NOTHING! Go back to an old step and be VICTORIOUS!
Let yourself relinquish the beast and become the beauty. Start changing your life today, right now.
Start your step 1 today. What’s that habit you’ve been meaning to adopt and how can you break it down into ridiculously small steps? Let me know in the comments.