What is the best way to start a new routine? How do I ensure success? One of my favorite books is a behavioral economics book called Predictably Irrational. The author Dan Ariely talked about making a decision based on the decisions you have made in the past. His example was the choice you make in coffee – one day you noticed Star Bucks for the first time and decided to stop in. Then the next day you remembered that you enjoyed the coffee the day before and you stop in again. After a few weeks – you no longer think about the decision, you just follow your previous choices (getting in line behind yourself) and stop at Star Bucks daily for coffee. This is what Dr Ariely calls “self herding”.
If you wanted to go for a coffee run right now – my guess is you would end up where you have gotten coffee over the last several weeks or months. But what if that option was a bad one. What if there have been new coffee shops with better coffee for less money opened in your neighborhood – how would you even know? I’m trying to figure out how to trigger that moment of change – the one where you stop one thing to do a new thing.
I don’t drink coffee but I do have a pattern of failing at weight loss. I’ve started several routines, several diets, several gimmicks for losing weight. But at over 275 lbs, I continue to quit again. This is the choice I have made over and over – and I have gotten in line behind myself many many times to do just that – quit.
How do I now change that decision – self-loathing, sabotaging, quiting. I want to get in a new line – but I am having a difficult time making this a habit. I can make a great choice today – I can push away my plate, I can hit the gym, I can drink more water even… But I have to conintue making that great choice each and everyday for EVER!!! This is where I fail. Over and Over.
What is the trigger? The moment where you no longer follow your prior choices and begin to make new deliberate ones? The thing that actually gets you to live life on purpose – with purpose? I struggle with this often – and when I’m not struggling, its because I’ve quit…