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Habits And The Compound Effect

Habits And The Compound Effect

Good and bad habits form over time. In this article written by Lisa Salinger of BlindAliveshe talks about how we develop and can change bad habits.  The article was originally published on March 01, 2015.  

Are you going to eat that whole bag?

Stationary bike, elliptical machine and a treadmill at a gym in front of windows. Starting an exercise program can lead to healthier habits.Have you ever sat down to watch TV or read a book, with a large bag of your favorite snack food?

If anyone asked, “Are you going to eat that whole bag?” Your response would be immediate. “No way! I’m not going to eat all that!”

So you sat, and you watched, and you munched. Before you knew it, the book or program was at an end, and so was that bag of snacks. How did it happen?

The Birth Of A Habit

The answer is simple, yet powerful and complex. You started a habit, and you kept it up—one bite at a time.

Let’s look at another possibility. You watched your program or read your book, but this time, you walked on a treadmill, pedaled a bike, or simply stretched during the commercials. When the book or program ended, you felt good, knowing you took time for yourself that was both healthy and enjoyable.

In his book The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy powerfully illustrates the positive and negative results of compounding. He advocates that small, consistent steps can yield life-changing results.

The compound effect was working when you started munching those snacks. Once started, keeping on that path of least resistance seemed easy and even pleasurable. If you do that too many times, you’ll see the negative results of the compound effect in the form of a higher number on the scale or clothes that don’t fit as comfortably as they once did.

It was also at work when you chose to do some sort of activity. Do that enough times, and you will see results of the more positive variety. The beauty of the compound effect is that when you make small changes, you will see positive results over time.

Maybe you decide to make one small positive change in your eating habits, or maybe you decide to incorporate a daily ten-minute walk into your routine. Stick with these changes long enough, and you will reap the benefits.

How have you benefitted from the compound effect? We’d love to hear your comments.


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