By Leo Babauta
If you want to create a new exercise habit (for example), you might tell yourself something like this:
“This is going to be amazing, I’m going to get fit and look incredible and be super healthy!”
This is a story you’re telling yourself. It’s not real, but it has tremendous power to affect your feelings about your habit, and to change your action. You have a positive story about the habit, and it motivates you to take action.
But perhaps the exercise you did one day was really tough, and you didn’t enjoy it. Your story might change, to something like, “Wow, that was super hard. It sucked!”
Now your story about the habit is not so good, and you’ll be less enthusiastic about doing the habit from now on.
Maybe you also missed a couple of days of exercise because you got busy. Your story changes to, “Damn, I screwed up, I’m not as good at this habit as I thought, why am I not disciplined?”
The story isn’t so good. Now you might actually try not think about the habit, and you are much more likely to skip the habit from now on.
The story you tell yourself about your habit matters more than most people realize.
So the key is to shape the story, become your own habit storyteller, and create a story that will make you more likely to stick to the habit.
Telling a Good Story
The truth is that none of these stories is actually true…