After learning more about habits with James Clear this week, Brad and Jonathan discuss the compounding interest of self-improvement and turning intention into action.
James Clear outlined the four stages of building habits in Monday’s episode.
If you haven’t listened yet, then check out the full episode here.
Exploring those steps allows you to either build good habits or break bad habits.
As you explore your habits, you will likely realize that the choice between something that is 1% better or worse is not all that different. On any given day, a choice that is 1% better or worse will likely seem insignificant. But when you continue to reinforce those choices, the results will compound over time. After all, the hallmark of any compounding process is that the results will be delayed.
As you walk the path the FI, you’ll start to gain more bandwidth to make 1% improvements across a wide range of your life.
The goal is to hopefully take the bandwidth that you achieve in one area and apply that to the other areas that need focus.
Although the greatest returns will lag, you need to start the process by making choices that are 1% better. Even if you don’t see a difference in the short-term, the long-term benefits will show up if you continue to reinforce the habit. Remember, the work isn’t wasted, it is just stored for the future.
Most of us have at least one area of our lives that we feel needs improvement. In many cases, the identity statements that we have been telling ourselves can hold us back from an improved future. So, if you want to change the outcome, you need to start taking action. Think of each action as a vote for the person that you want to become.
You might need to fake it until you make it. For example, if you want to be a fit person, then you need to start exercising. If your chosen method of exercise is CrossFit, then you need to show up to your CrossFit classes. If you can just make the effort to show up, the rest will sort itself out.
At some point, the life you build will match up to the identity statements you tell yourself. With that, you need to make sure that the identity statements you tell yourself are still serving you. For example, if your identity is tied to your profession, then you may need to look for the qualities within that profession that you can pull out.
You always have to look for what is serving you, what is moving you forward towards where you want to go in life?
Humans are adaptable. Find a way to change the narrative that gets you unstuck. If it’s not working for you, then adapt it.
If you want to build better habits, then you need to take action. Although a goal is a good place to start, it should not be the end all be all. In fact, it should just be the beginning.
The most effective way to take action is to build systems that will propel you towards your goals. As James Clear pointed out, you don’t rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems. Find a system that works for you and stick to it.
Don’t let perfectionism be the enemy of action.
If you are trying to build a good habit, then make it easy. After you establish the habit, you can build and improve it. But the first step is to get started.
Find Your Tribe
As you seek to improve yourself, find a tribe that will hold you up instead of pulling you down. Be selective about the communities that you choose to be a part of. Pick a tribe where your desired behavior is the norm.
For example, the ChooseFI community is a place to build life optimization strategies with support from people that are attempting to do the same thing.
When you look at life through the lens of unbridled optimism, the world opens up to you. And that is what financial independence is all about.
If you love the information that is helping you down the path to FI, why not share it with someone. It is the perfect season to gift ChooseFI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. You can spread the FIRE to friends and family to help them improve their own lives.