My Mistake While Creating Habits

My habits have been backsliding recently. I forget to do them, or occasionally just don’t want to do them.

Does That Sound Familiar?

New habits are hard. It’s the rare person who decides to make a change and instantly embodies that change. So you need to do something to boost your chances of repeating the behavior you want to improve, and make it a habit.

Celebrate!

If you don’t celebrate your changes, it’s harder to want to repeat them. Because I’m out of shape, I don’t like exercising. But I’ve walked 5 miles a day for the past two weeks for one reason-once I finish the walk, I get a sense of accomplishment, of success. That’s my celebration.

On the other side of the scale, I’ve been slipping on performing BJ Fogg’s Maui Habit, because I’m not celebrating when I do it. I do get a reward for it (I REALLY like checking things off my todo list), but because I don’t have that immediate reinforcement, I’m less likely to remember to do it. You need to feel Shine to (help) replicate behaviors.

What Is Shine?

Shine is BJ Fogg’s word for the feeling you get when you celebrate successfully completing a habit. Shine can be as small as an internal cheer or as big as you want. Give yourself a round of applause. Fist pump the air. I’d only caution that you do something than genuinely makes you feel good. I feel awkward when I fist pump, so that’s not a good celebration for me because I’m likely to avoid the habit to avoid the fist pump!

Add That Tiny Moment Of Celebration To Succeed!

If you give a mouse a cookie…. wait. If you give a dog a cookie for sitting on command, you reinforce that behavior. Positive reinforcement of wanted behaviors is a key to making changes. (While negative reinforcement can work, positive reinforcement is so much more fun.) Giving yourself a moment of shine after completing a behavior you want to create helps move that behavior towards habit territory, where you do it almost without thinking. The habit itself can even become its own reward!

Change May Be Inevitable – But You Can Control It!


Want to take the next step in your habit journey? I recommend the following three books. You don’t need to get them all, but I think they compliment each other. Can’t decide which one? Read this article to decide!

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