Make it Easy, Don't be a Martyr

by Nyamka Bayanmunkh in


Even though change is a constant in life, that doesn't mean implementing change is easy. Most of what we do day to day is a result of our habits. Some habits positively affect our lives, and some negatively affect our lives. We know this and we make goals to change our actions for the better in the future. But sometimes our goals seem so far away, where we feel overwhelmed and never start. One way to overcome this is to break it down to small steps and make that step so easy, that you can't possibly refuse it.

I had my fair share of goals that materialised and goals that didn't. The goals that materialised have a few things in common, like fitting in with my values, would undoubtedly make a positive difference in my life and wouldn't cause any harm to others. But these are just the reasons behind adopting the goals. The factor that made it possible to achieve the goals is starting small. Making the steps of the goal so easy, that you can't possibly refuse it. Whether the goal was small as a goal to floss everyday to something large like eating healthy every day, the constant factor that made it happen is making it easy. I learnt this from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, who is one of my great inspirations in minimalism, and life. To make flossing a daily habit he would tell himself to floss just one teeth, and because that's so easy, he would go and floss one teeth and more often than not he would floss all his teeth. On the days where he flossed just one teeth and left it that, he was still practicing the habit, and making it a part of his daily habits.

If the habit is easy to implement we are more likely to actually do it. Instilling a new habit doesn't have to be painful, we can go past the old idea of 'no pain, no gain'.  When ingraining the habit to eat healthy everyday, I started with making at least one meal healthy and stuck with it till the habit was ingrained. I only added more habits when the current habit was fully ingrained. When I had the goal of eating organic foods, I made it easier by signing up to an organic grocery delivery system. If I relied on the supermarket which only had a very small organic section, and the market which was only open on certain days I would've failed and gone back to my old ways. By getting almost all of my groceries ready in the fridge makes it easier to cook healthy organic meals. If you are starting a new habit, just start with one habit and break it down to small achievable steps. Make its so easy, that you can't resist.

With love, and simplicity,