micro doses of behavior change

In learning, motivation, productivity by Jay Clouse

At any given time, there’s at least one (but usually several) small aspects of myself that I’m intentionally working to change (and, in my mind, improve).

I’ve written before about exercising more personal agency. I’m in the throes of trying (once again) to switch my sleep schedule and get up earlier in the morning. I’ve successfully removed the word “just” from emails and have done a great job reducing how often I use the word “I” as well.

The great thing about most behavior changes is that I’m not making big, high stakes decisions, snapping my fingers, and some aspect of my life changes all at once. Instead, most of these changes come from making small, binary decisions over and over again.

When I was focused on building agency, every time I was faced with traveling somewhere, I just actively made the decision not to use my GPS. Now as I’m working to wake up on the first alarm in the mornings, I make the choice to open my eyes and sit up or not.

Right now, I’m focused on raising my tolerance for risk and thinking more abundantly. And most days that is as simple as passing up an open parking spot to look for a spot closer to the final destination.

These small binary decisions in aggregate are a quick way to build a pattern of behavior. It’s much faster to achieve muscle memory and rewire my brain as opposed to larger decisions that are fewer and farther between.


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