How To Stick With Good Habits Everyday Without Fail
When I was in my first job there was this cute girl who used to work in the sales department and you know me being me would always stare at her and I noticed a weird thing. After every sales call, she would take a paper pin from one jar and put it in another. And me being curious about this habit asked her
“Hey, Shristi! Why do you transfer paper pins after every sales call?”
And she was instantly embarrassed but decided to answer me. She told
“I actually read about this really interesting technique called Paper Clip technique in a book called Atomic Habits and after applying this I really improved at my sales and you should try this too”
And after listening to her explanation of it. I was really fascinated and started applying the same trick but with marbles. My writing skills improved like crazy.
So, Without wasting your time let’s share this technique with you which will help you stick to any habit effortlessly.
The Paper Clip Strategy
The thing about us human beings is we love to see progress and not just progress but visual progress but the problem is whenever we are doing any good habit we won’t see any instant results and that’s why it becomes difficult for us to stick to any good habit.
But we can change that easily by making a Habit Tracker. I know a Habit Tracker sounds like a hassle and uncool but hear me out.
All you’ll need is a calendar and each day you work out you need to cross the date with a red marker after a few weeks you will have a streak of workouts and all you have to do is never break the chain and you will achieve your dream body. And to convince you that habit trackers really work wonders let me share with you a few benefits of it.
Benefit #1: Habit Tracking Motivates You
Did you know habit tracking is much more motivating than Sandeep Maheswari? A study conducted on more than 1600 people found that those who kept a daily food log lost twice as much weight that people who did not. They observed that the mere act of tracking behaviour can spark the urge to change it.
Because let’s be honest most of us have a distorted behaviour of our own behaviour. We think we act better than we do but the simplicity of tracking a habit shows us our true behaviour and keeps us honest with ourselves and this input is necessary for us to recognize where we can improve and actually improve on that.
Benefit #2: Habit Tracking is Attractive
Do you know why Snap Streaks are so popular? Because Tracking something gives us a sense of the visual progress we are making. And progress is motivating especially on a bad day when you don’t want to do the habit. But when you look at the calendar and you see that you have made so much progress and if you don’t do the habit today you’ll miss the streak and it forces you to do the habit today too. Habit tracking makes the right habits addictive for you which will benefit you in the long term.
Benefit #3: Habit Tracking is Satisfying
Tracking habits is its own form of reward. It’s rewarding to cross a date on the calendar knowing you did the right things. By tracking your habits you fix your attention on the things that you do every day rather than the result. Your focus is fixated on exercising every day not on having those 6 pack abs. And we all know that the Journey is more satisfying than the Destination. And tracking your habits allows you to take the satisfaction of being on the journey rather than fixing your focus on the end goal.
How To Recover Quickly When Your Habits Break Down?
Let’s be honest here. It is inevitable that you will break your streak. Sometimes you might get sick, you might have to travel or maybe an emergency came up. And at the same time, you need to remember that you should never miss twice.
Missing once is an accident but if you miss twice in a row it will lead to a downward spiral which leads to more of the bad habit. And you will observe this frequently with your food habits. Maybe you have been eating healthy but for some reason, you had to eat pizza with your friends and you might be okay since I have done one mistake let’s make 2. Then 2 turns to 3 and you end up breaking the good habit that you created.
So, Remember that missing once is okay but try to get back on track as soon as possible because if you don’t you’ll find yourself engaging in all the bad habits in a few days' time only.
Knowing When (And When Not) To Track a Habit
Coming back to my friend's example. Tracking how many sales calls she did was a good measurement for her. But was it a good measurement for the company? No. It doesn’t matter how many calls she made in a day. What mattered was how many leads she generated in a day.
She might be making 100 sales calls a day but if she doesn’t generate even 1 lead then the company will not make any revenue. This means that the company is measuring the number of leads generated by her as a measurement of if she is an asset to the company or not.
So, Although it’s important to track a habit. It’s even crucial to know what to track and what not to track.
For example, Ajay wants to lose weight so he started measuring his weight every day. But the sad part is his weight is not even budging a little even after a week which really demotivated Ajay and he stops working out completely.
And Vijay has the same goal as Ajay but instead of measuring his weight every day. He measures the number of workouts he does in a month and the number of healthy meals he takes. Which resulted in Vijay sticking to the habit and eventually reaching his desired body goals.
So, It’s clear that not every measurement needs to be tracked for a habit to be successful. The right measurement can help you succeed whereas the wrong one will make you lose.