Surely it has happened to you that you propose to create a new habit or change an existing one, but after a while you find yourself without having achieved it.
You can have a lot of motivation at a certain moment, but as the days or weeks go by, everything fades... again. But don't feel bad because there are two pieces of good news that come out of all this.
The first is that you are not alone and there is nothing wrong with you, it is a universal phenomenon that is part of our human nature. But the second great news is that you are now reading this article, where we will share some tricks that behavioral psychology teaches us so that you can meet your goals for this 2023.
Perhaps you are wondering how we can help you in this process if we do not know your goals. The answer is very simple: the goals don't matter (wanting to lose weight, quit smoking (now yes) or travel more), everything always comes down to having an action plan. And for this, habits are a fundamental part.
The reason why habits are a very important part of our lives is because like it or not, our days are created from our habits, and how we spend our days is how we finally spend a year and even a lifetime without realizing it. account. Another important reason is because habits create our identity, as the famous phrase says "We are what we do and not what we say we are going to do." This is one of the reasons why it is difficult to change and create new and better habits. Many times, our own identity does not allow us.
Now that we understand that our habits form our identity (and our identity - or future identity - forms our habits), the first step you must take to change your habits is to think about what identity you want to build and act based on that. With this in mind, focus on the following recommendations so that you can change your habits and finally achieve your goals.
If you start to analyze it a little bit, in most things there is a habit/action that if it is achieved, many other habits occur in response to it or occur in a simpler way.
For example: if you exercise in the morning, it is more likely that the rest of the day you will feel better and want to continue like this, so you will make better decisions regarding food and perhaps even go to bed early. .
So find that initial action and put your effort there, so that subsequent habits happen with less effort.
A very useful tip that can help you create new habits that you can follow is habit stacking. What this refers to is joining the new habit with something else you already do so that it costs you less effort and energy. For example, after brushing your teeth before going to sleep, prepare your things for exercising the next morning.
A habit is made up of the following 3 parts, according to James Clear, author of the famous book Atomic Habits.
- Routine: this is made up of two parts, the craving plus the response
- Reward: can be literal as or physiological as dopamine elevation from eating hyperpalatable food or norepinephrine after smoking
Understanding this structure of habits can be extremely helpful as you can design good habits to be easier to do and take the friction out of them (like leaving your workout clothes ready the night before) and make bad habits harder to do ( like keeping junk food out of your immediate reach or not buying cigarettes).
So now pay attention to the triggers of bad habits so that you can substitute the answer (like changing the soda at lunch for mineral water) and facilitate it in the case of good habits.
We have all been at the point of starting a new year and wanting to change everything in our lives with a 180º turn. And of course, this is very difficult to achieve. It is because there are many things going on simultaneously that take you out of the routine and the brain becomes "saturated" so to speak. The reason we are creatures of habit is because having routines automates our responses and we spend less energy making micro decisions.
That is why it is better to make small changes, almost imperceptible in your day to day, but when they come together in a period of time they achieve a lot. They don't have to be perfect, but they do have to be consistent.
And if you leave it at any point, don't worry, it's part of the process. Change your mindset from thinking all or nothing to thinking that everything adds up, even if it's small and that if you stopped you don't have to start over, it's just resuming the process.
- View the result
In addition to thinking about your new identity, when you have little motivation or desire to do it, think about why you are doing it. Our brain always seeks the path of least resistance and this is so obvious when we're starting out that it seems almost impossible to achieve, but with each repetition it will get easier until it's an automatic response. Visualize that moment and that person.
As we already said, changing habits is not an easy thing, but it is possible. If you rely on these tips, you will surely achieve a lot this year.
In addition, there are also other tools that can help you in this process and one of them is our psilocybin microdose treatments to help you create new neural connections and change your thought patterns.
If you are looking for more information, we recommend these other articles that can guide you in this process.
Carden, L. & Wood, W. (2018). “Habit formation and change”. https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/current-opinion-in-behavioral-sciences/vol/20