The #1 Mistake Most People Make When Trying to Change Behavior
Starting Too Big
The key to making lasting change is to break things down into really small steps. Most people want to start at point A and jump to Point Z but you don’t get there overnight. Break the new habit down into the smallest possible increments and be specific when planning each step along the way.
In the beginning the most important part of behavior change is to be successful. This increases your motivation and makes you want to do more. If you start small it is much easier to “succeed” and build from there.
For example, let’s say you want to take up a meditation practice. Instead of trying to meditate for 30 minutes a day, start with 3 minutes. Then once that becomes a daily habit increase it to 5 minutes, etc. As Leo Babuta of Zen Habits says “Make it so easy you can’t say no.”
On one of our earlier episodes Dan Millman discussed the importance of “starting small and connecting the dots”. You will be amazed at what a series of small steps done consistently over a period of time will accomplish.
The Tale of Two Wolves
A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other.
One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred and fear.
The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”
The grandfather quietly replies, the one you feed
The Tale of Two Wolves is often attributed to the Cherokee indians but there seems to be no real proof of this. It has also been attributed to evangelical preacher Billy Graham and Irish Playwright George Bernard Shaw. It appears no one knows for sure but this does not diminish the power of the parable.