The best habit is the one that’s slightly better than your current one. And, yes, this applies to diets, exercise, reading, sleeping and everything else you can think of.
This is because sticking to your better habit is way more important than attempting a radical change that brings you back to your old ways.
When attempting difficult change, revolutionary change feels very tempting. And, for extreme cases (e.g. getting off an addiction), revolutionary change is probably the only option. After all, desperate times call for desperate measure.
But, for all other changes, an evolutionary works much better. It isn’t as exciting. But, it is many times more functional.
Big changes are small changes applied consistently over time.
Compounding is a simple and powerful concept.
A $100 saving compounded at 10% per month gives us $110 in month 1.
In month 2, compounding doesn’t just give us $10. It also gives us 10% of the $10 we earned in the previous month to a total of $11. Now, our amount at hand is $121.
The following month, we receive interest on the $100 and then the $21 to a total of $133.1.
Compound interest starts off as pocket change but soon becomes the primary value of the saving.
Thanks to source for the image
Here’s the kicker – compounding doesn’t just apply to money.
My hypothesis is that everything worth developing or learning compounds. Fitness, self control, initiative – you name it and it likely works that way. Heck, even learning compounds.
Every trait that makes us better people is hard to develop at first. Start exercising today and it feels hard. The results either feel negligible or absent. But, climb up that curve and suddenly things feel different. There’s a momentum where there never was one. There’s an understanding of how pieces tie in together.
So, if you are aiming to get started on a habit that you think will make your life better – start today. Compounding is more powerful when you start earlier and do it for longer. And, for those of you who feel stuck after putting in effort for a while, push through. Keep at it. It is tough at first.
But, it’ll get easier. And, most importantly, it’ll be worth it.
This is a line I repeat to myself every time I get started on a new project, initiative, or a relationship of any sort. The novelty of new disappears quickly.
To thrive in the long term, we just better be consistently good. As A G Lafley of P&G said, “get good or get out.”
Yes, it is going to be hard and yes, there are going to be many trials along the way. But, you know what? Nobody cares. You either deliver or you don’t. The hero and the coward feel the same things. They just respond differently.
We are what we repeatedly do. And delivering on our commitments consistently is not an act, but a habit.